Choose camps and club teams wisely
Often in lacrosse you hear about the kid who got a full scholarship to a major college. I’ve heard these stories so many times during the last 20 years, and they’re kind of amusing, yet sad at the same time. Very few athletes get full scholarships in lacrosse.
But each year, parents spend a thousand, and maybe two, to send their kids to various camps, or to play for club teams, because of the exposure that might lead to a scholarship.
Unlike football or basketball, lacrosse is not a money-making sport at most universities. Some of these college lacrosse programs aren’t fully funded.
So in order to compete, most college coaches divide up their scholarship money among the players. So, John Gait might be on scholarship, but it might be for only $3,000 a year. Ditto for Joe Wagner and Fred Johnson. And the next year they might get $4,000 or $5,000. Every coach has his own formula for dividing up the money, but unless your kid is the next Jim Brown or Gary Gait, he is not getting his tuition paid in full every year.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
If John Gait can get $3,000 a year for the next four years, that’s $12,000 and a nice piece of change to keep in your bank account. But if you’re putting out $3,000 or $4,000 a year when they’re in high school, then you do the math. You’re not saving much.
Parents and players have to be careful when they’re picking club teams and camps. When selecting a club team, choose one that has a person who specializes in recruiting, and one that can help you make contacts with the various college coaches.
Camps are a little different because more and more college coaches are using them as recruiting stations. I would pick one where my son might be going to college so he could learn a lot about the coaching staff. Maybe he finds out that he doesn’t really like that particular coach, and he wants to go elsewhere.
There is no set formula for finding the best fit for your child, but parents should be cautious, especially the next time you hear about some kid getting a full ride to Hopkins, Virginia, Maryland or Syracuse. If you get a couple of thousand a year in scholarship money, consider it a blessing.