Club questions

US Lacrosse Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates

Club questions

New postby Lax&Life on Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi all! I've got a 2019 daughter that has been playing lax since 3rd grade. She'd like to continue to play in college and currently the majority of her travel team is committed to D1 or D2 programs. Her HS and travel teams are very competitive and she's been told her ability is about mid-level D1.

So far, she hasn't found the right college at a D1 or D2 level and she is seriously considering playing club at either of 2 schools that she loves. I really want her to have the balance of still playing, but the ability to have a "life" as well. She'd love to study abroad (maybe for a semester?) and she finally realized she is not going to college to become a professional lax player! Do you know if she'll get the competitive games and the camaraderie of a team like she has now? Any down-sides to club that we may not know of?
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Re: Club questions

New postby TinaBaby on Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:33 pm

As a current senior on a club team that is consistently ranked in the top 10, I have to say that I absolutely love it. It is still highly competitive, but totally doable with classes. I am at an academically rigorous university and many of my teammates are pre-med and engineers, and we practice 3 times a week for 2 hours. While school comes first, our team is very serious about succeeding on the field. The camaraderie is great; my teammates are my closest friends on campus and trying out for the club team was the best decision I have so far made in college. The only downsides I would say is our practices are later at night, usually 9-11pm. Cost can also be a factor for certain students, and it obviously varies based on how competitive the program is and how much they travel. My team travels to 3 big tournaments a year by airplane, as well as driving to several playdays and we pay $3000 a year. Feel free to ask any other questions!
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Re: Club questions

New postby NotNewToLax on Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:01 pm

Playing for a club is the same as playing for any other team. I am familiar with a top-ten team, one that alleges that semester abroad won't be held against you. However, that policy is unevenly applied, and you may not be welcomed back with open arms.
They practice twice a week for 2 hours, and sometimes after midnight. It's a club, but if you miss a practice for any reason, including a class or a test, you sit for the next game, unless you are a big scorer. Having alcohol the night before a game, even if it was your 21st birthday, earns a game of picking splinters without an evaluation of your playing ability before game time, unless you are one of the favored players.
Practice protocol may not have been updated in 25 years, and the coaches may well stick with 'tried and true' techniques that more modern, informed coaches have abandoned because they don't reflect game conditions or are unsafe. Indeed, some coaches still use the discredited 'blast the goalie'-type exercises, in which 5 or more players shoot essentially simultaneously at a goalie. Not only does this not reflect game conditions and do nothing for goalie quickness or any other desirable quality, but also it exposes the goalie to high risk of injury. It is my understanding that many teams have abandoned such practices for more reasonable, game skill-related practices.
Style of play also may become an issue. Does the team rely on speed? Do they need the defense to protect a weak goalie, or is the goalie strong and active, thus providing an additional defender? If you're a goalie, do the coaches want an active goalie, or do they want you to stay between the pipes and face forward? Do they want the goalie to run the defense, or do they let the defense run the show and leave the goalie to fend for herself? Do they want to run every time?
Some teams have high joining fees, and others have lower joining fees. Some teams carry 50 or more players, but only 20-25 are taken to games that require significant travel. Thus, the cost of travel for the 25 is borne by the 25 who are not invited to travel. When that money is exhausted, the travelling players are charged.
Teams that have a significant parent following have great between-game refreshments, but some teams have few parent followers, and the team has to fend for itself. Some players are friendly and nice, and some are snarly, insecure people who will take untoward steps to maintain their position on the team.
The quality of play on higher-ranked clubs is excellent. In my opinion, the quality of play is as good as many DIII and DII teams, and even some DI teams.
So, it's just like everything else; some are better than others. The problem is that it may be difficult to determine which kind of team you're joining until it is too late. Best of luck with your search.
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Re: Club questions

New postby KnightsLax407 on Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:56 am

As the coach for a WCLA team I can tell you to go visit a school, go to a practice(s) if you live close,meet the team, and ask lots of questions of the coaches or team leaders. Some programs like Notre Dame & Virginia Tech are self coached and they do an amazing job. I feel however that most of the top teams have dedicated coaches and this makes their programs a little more stable because they have more consistency.
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Look at team costs, they can vary greatly!!! My team charges $300 a semester + fundraising responsibilities, other as you read charge over $3000.

WCLA is a great opportunity for a player that wants to have a "life" in college or pursue other activities like sororities or get a job/internship. Typically your commitment can be 4-10 hours a week, still much less than an NCAA team, and you are not bound to the team if your classes demand more of your time.

Once your daughter narrows down where she would like to go, GO SEE THE TEAM and MEET THEM don't go in blind.

Team level can vary greatly also, teams at the top like Georgia, Michigan, BYU, UCLA could play with anyone if they had the same amount of time with their student athletes as an NCAA team others are far less competitive.

Also WCLA lacrosse is a great option for students that don't want to graduate with a lot of student debt. A lot of kids get sucked into going to play at an NCAA school and pay outrageous tuition out of EGO. I ask parents this all the time... "Would you pay $20,000 a year or more for your daughter to play on her travel team?" 99% reply NO, then I ask them "why pay more than instate tuition to play NCAA?" Kids an parents get sucked into the "dream" but to be honest, if the NCAA/NAIA school cannot get your final bill (not including you taking loans) to less than in-state tuition, you are PAYING THEM to play lacrosse at their school. PERIOD! Sometimes saddling your kid with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that could take them decades to pay off!
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Re: Club questions

New postby Lax&Life on Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:20 pm

Thank you so much for the great advice that I'll pass on to my daughter! I'm happy to say that since she realized she wants to stay in-state for college and get out of the recruiting rat-race, she is so much happier and relaxed. Obviously she doesn't get to parade around school with her "committed" college paraphernalia, but coming out of college debt free is bigger pay off. The EGO thing is SO true also - it seems that once a girl commits, it becomes part of her name (ie MD commit, Jane Doe).

I think she would also welcome 3 day/week practice, since she is doing 6 days/week now with HS. It's kinda crazy that when you put Fall Ball and Travel season in there, she has only had August off from lacrosse. Thankfully she still loves it and I look forward to seeing where it takes her!
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Re: Club questions

New postby Ga6A-A2Dad on Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Lax&Life,

I'm late to the conversation and everybody else made the great points first, but I wanted to mention one more thing that applies to life after college Lax.

Most club teams are run by the player/officers and many of the administrative tasks fall to the young women whether they are self coached or they have an external adult coach.

If your daughter has the organizational skills and a desire to seek responsibility, working her way through the club leadership will mean much to job recruiters.

My daughter's administrative responsibilities ( not a team captain ) with her club team impressed her internship corporate recruiter more than any of her other sorority/campus involvement and her internship will likely result in a job offer before she graduates.

The corporate recruiter didn't ask how many goals she has scored or what their win/loss record is.
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Re: Club questions

New postby Lax&Life on Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:18 pm

Ga6A-A2Dad:
Thanks for your input! I guess I never realized that with Club she can have administrative and leadership opportunities as well. She has learned so many life skills from juggling a full-time sport with HS, that I'm sure it will all carry over to college.

Trying not to be sad about her leaving in a year or so (she's the youngest), but rather look forward to all she has ahead of her.
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