Posted on January 24th, 2021
WHY PLAYING MULTIPLE SPORTS HELPED FORMER NCAA STANDOUT/MLL PRO/DUKE ASSISTANT COACH, NED CROTTY GET RECRUITED
“Play multiple sports.” Something almost all youth athletes are told, often times directly from college coaches themselves, and yet most players and parents today ignore the advice. Coaches aren’t just wasting their breath — the advice is based on a common thread among almost all great lacrosse players -- and players of other sports as well.
THE KEY IS NOT TRYING TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE.
These days, athletes play other sports to stay in shape for lacrosse, but if you’re not focused on the sport at hand, are you really going to get better? Is it going to make you a better athlete?
One of the great things about lacrosse is that there are so many similarities with other sports: basketball, football, soccer, hockey, etc. As a professional athlete, coach, and someone with several years of experience in the sports industry, I’ve often attributed my success in lacrosse to my years playing hockey.
In hockey, you have to constantly play with your head up, make quick decisions and develop soft hands – all critical skills to my development as an athlete, and I wouldn’t have become the versatile player I am today without those experiences.
DON’T HIDE YOUR LOVE OF OTHER SPORTS
Are college coaches speaking out of both sides of their mouth when they say this? Arguably, yes. Coaches say that they want multi-sport athletes, yet they’re recruiting at events year round, causing players and parents to anxiously assume they’re going to miss out on that one opportunity to be noticed if they skip a recruiting event or two.
Ironically, this couldn’t be further from the truth. And I’ve heard this firsthand from coaches. In fact, you’d be surprised how many coaches like getting an email from a player saying they’re unable to make a recruiting event because they have a football game. It’s actually a good sign about a player, and shows commitment.
In short, playing multiple sports makes you a better athlete, and ultimately a better lacrosse player. But it’s more than that. Whatever the sport is you’re choosing to play, care about it, work really hard at it, and don’t look at it as a secondary sport.
When you email a coach, attach a highlight of your football season up to that point. While it may feel strange, coaches love watching their recruits play other sports, often, it can give them a better idea of the player’s athleticism and instincts.
RECRUITING WHAT YOU CAN’T TEACH
There’s a saying, “You recruit what you can’t teach,” and the truth is you can’t teach athletic instincts. Back when I was going through the recruiting process, schools that were recruiting me for lacrosse used to come and watch me play hockey. I remember one coach in particular telling me he liked watching the recruits who played hockey because he could quickly figure out whether or not they were tough. “You can’t hide in the boards” he said.
WHY PLAYING MULTIPLE SPORTS HELPED ME GET RECRUITED
In my time playing youth sports, I was fortunate to be supported by coaches and program directors as I explored and played different sports.
One of the things I learned during my time on the LeagueApps team was how much time and effort sports organizers spend in the operational side of running their programs. LeagueApps saves them time and headaches, streamlining their technology and operations so they can spend more time mentoring and developing athletes like me.
My love for lacrosse is undeniable – but I think it’s important for young lacrosse players to know the consequences of limiting their athletics to only one sport. If one sport is your only focus, you’re missing out on the chance to become the best player that you can be. Adding another sport to the mix will not only make you a better athlete and lacrosse player, it will also help you appreciate the game even more. It’s healthy to take a step away from the game for a little bit, similar to how it’s important for adults to take vacations away from their jobs. If anything, it will allow you to miss the sport and have more appreciation for your next time on the field holding a stick.
And remember, college lacrosse coaches get excited about well-rounded athletes. They would even tell you to engage in different sports while you can, because come college enrollment time, they’ll want lacrosse to be your sole focus.
-Written By Ned Crotty provided by LeagueApps
Ned plays for the Dallas Rattlers and is considered the best player in Duke Lacrosse history, helping his school bring home its first ever Division I NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. In 2010 he won the Tewaaraton Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player, then went on to be selected first in the Major League Lacrosse Draft. When he’s not playing, he’s mentoring younger players, as an assistant coach at Duke. Ned is also a friend and former employee of LeagueApps.
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