September 9, 2008

Sept. 9, 2008

Recruiting is a topic on which families, prospects, coaches and others expend considerable resources, time and emotion. Lacrosse Magazine will delve into many of the sub-topics involved in a series of articles, augmented by personal stories from young men and women that have recently completed or are in the midst of the recruiting process.

This article appears in the September issue of LM, a US Lacrosse publication available exclusively to its members.Join today to start your monthly subscription.

by Shannon Smith, Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

When Sept. 1 comes each year, the crazy college recruiting process begins. Student-athletes stress over it, just like I did, but really it is probably one of the most interesting, exciting and rewarding experiences in an athlete's life.

I tried to narrow down my colleges of interest in the summer of my junior year and tried to attend those college camps so that the coach could see and get to know me. After each visit, I would write pros and cons about each college. To help further my recruiting process, I attended the Fall Classic and Mid-Atlantic tournaments in the fall of my junior year.

Shannon Smith

I was concerned over the fall and winter sports I was playing, which had an enormous, positive influence on me as a lacrosse player. They allowed me to stay in great physical condition year-round, and each sport contributed to a higher level of play for me. In all sports, you learn teamwork and how to deal with different personalities. In basketball, you use the pick-and-roll, back-door cuts and give-and-goes, like you do in lacrosse. In soccer, the agility, speed and transition of the game carry over to lacrosse. Most college coaches believe that playing additional sports is very beneficial to a lacrosse player.

Before the fall and winter seasons started for my high school sports, I was honest and up front with all my coaches. I told them that there were going to be Junior Days (unofficial visits to colleges) that I was going to attend. I promised them that I would never miss a game, but I would probably miss some Saturday practices. My coaches were understanding and supportive because they knew lacrosse was going to be my sport in college.

The college recruiting process was a period of nervous butterflies, information overload and excitement, but my dream of going to college to play the sport I love -- plus receiving a degree -- came true.
Shannon Smith was a multi-sport standout at West Babylon (N.Y.) High School. She helped lead the 2007 U.S. Under-19 team to a world championship. Smith is a freshman at Northwestern.
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