What I learned: Recruiting surprises

Courtney Valdez from Foothill (Santa Ana, Calif.). Courtesy Valdez Family/ESPNHS

According to a US Lacrosse report there are 105,914 girls playing high school lacrosse and of those, 13,105 will go on to play in college.
With that growth has come an increased competition in college recruiting.

While there are guidelines and processes surrounding recruiting, college athletes will reveal that there are surprises along the way. These lacrosse recruits share the surprises they faced so you can anticipate them.

Question: What surprised you about the recruiting process?

Bridget Bianco, 2011, Moorestown (Moorestown, N.J.), Northwestern

"The strictness of the communications - don't send things here or these dates you can't do this or when you visit, all that type of stuff - you didn't want to make a mistake."

Carolyn Kraus, Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.), Winthrop
"The speed at which the recruiting process proceeds. It starts early and begins with a flurry of activity. You have to understand the process quickly and visit schools and coaches. It was also surprising that you have to begin to get your name out early as well."

Molly Morris, 2012, Bullis (Potomac, Md.), Mount St. Mary's

"The most surprising part was probably how differently each coach approached the recruiting proces. Additionally, it amazed me how coaches jumped around to different programs. It also amused me how parents and players would not discuss where they were looking."

Aislinn Probst, 2012, Broadneck (Annapolis, Md.), Navy
"What really surprised me was how early it started, and how much it made me think about what I want to do with my future. I had to do a lot of serious research and thought before I made my choice."

Alex Revel, 2012, Oakton (Vienna, Va.), James Madison
"I was shocked at how stressful the process was. Emotionally, it's a roller coaster ride and one minute your getting several coaches, and then you could go for a period of time and not hear from anyone."

Ellen Shaffrey, 2011, Western Albemarle (Charlottesville, Va.), William & Mary

"I guess the fact that so many people start so early and you really do have to start early if you want to get noticed and really have a chance to play - especially now since it's getting earlier and earlier. So I would just say that if you realize you want to play get into it as early as you can."

Courtney Valdez, 2012, Foothill (Santa Ana, Calif.), Oregon

"What surprised me about the recruiting process is how much work you have to put in to finding the school that's right for you both on the field and in the classroom. I was also surprised how much my list of schools changed throughout the recruiting process. As you go through the process you learn more about yourself and what fits you best."