Is this recruiting bubble going to burst? If you are playing lacrosse as a 7th grader, chances are, at least one of your team mates or opponents are "committed" The game has evolved quickly to support recruiting players at a very young age. Is 7th grade a stretch?... yes, but we have encountered more and more freshman in High School each year that have made their college decision. The Pressure: When club teams were originally created in lacrosse the motivation was to pick high level players from multiple towns and play in higher level tournaments against players from other areas. This is healthy for the sport and for the players. School programs are limited by who they can play and in some cases regions they can travel to by scheduling, budgets etc. Summer "select" ball is a natural progression that many sports have went through and it has been great for the growth of the sport. These club teams give college coaches the chance to see players playing all over the country against all types competition. From a coaches perspective the more times they can see a player on the field before presenting an offer the better. Many schools (even at the division 1 level) take into account NCAA rules, budgets, travel schedules and have a tough time getting to see all the players that they would like to evaluate. This summer tour of select teams have made players available. The increasing amount of players that are "committing" early in their high school career has created an enormous pressure for players and families that threatens the entire experience. What to do? There are a ton of resources out there for recruiting. 1. Arm yourself with information. Figure out the best resource for the "what to do" and "what not to do" on the recruiting trail. If you are not aware of the restrictions and obligations of both young athletes and coaches you can make the process very tough on yourself. There are a lot of restrictions on when coaches can and can't contact you. If you know what they are, you will skip a few sad walks back front he mailbox and nights staring at the telephone. 2. Own your destiny. Take a good hard objective look int he mirror. Figure out the level that you are playing at. If you are a freshman in high school you have plant of time to get bigger, faster, stronger. You can change your level. If you are a junior figure out where your level of play lands you and pick a few schools out that fit your other needs. Make sure those coaching staffs know who you are and where you will be playing. Being proactive if you are interested in a school is always a good thing. 3. Don't keep up with the Jonses. Inevitably a player on your team will commit early. Do not let that get to you. Make sure you continue to elevate your game and make the right plays. If you are doing the right things between the lines, and off the field, there are a ton of opportunities to play in college. While you are in the recruiting circuit do your best to enjoy the time and competition. The experience will fly by and it will it should be, some of the most fun you will have between the lines in your career. There have been some college coaching voting forums that might even lead to significant changes in the Lacrosse recruiting rules. These changes (if approved) could push back when players are able to be recruited. This might allow late bloomers to develop and keep elite players motivated through their career. Like everything this process will evolve. Stay informed ENJOY the game! and GOOD LUCK!