Club Lacrosse in college is an interesting animal. You have programs that play completely for fun and you have programs that run like a D1 program would. The situation can create some odd and sometimes awkward “in-between” feelings. If you play for a D1 program, you pretty much know for sure that it’s your number one priority outside academics. Other extra curricular activities take a backseat to lacrosse.
Playing on a club team is different. Again, it depends on how serious of a program you are playing in, but at some schools you’ll have players miss practices and meetings for club meetings, career fairs, even parties. Before we go on I will quickly say that I am in a fraternity, but that is all I will say. This post is meant to be objective and helpful. My goal is not to persuade you either way, just to get you thinking.
First things first
The first thing you need to do is talk to your lacrosse coach to see how they handle it at their program. Some coaches may be fine with it, some coaches not so much. But this way at least you both know what you are getting in to. Plus, depending on your coaches answer, it could simplify things for you. At IU, our coaching staff has a set opinion on it and there are many greek players. This makes it easy for us to communicate what expectations are. However, that doesn’t mean the decision gets any easier. We’ve lost guys on the team to fraternities, and guys have dropped their frat to play. Where it becomes really difficult is this line:
“You can rush a fraternity, but lacrosse comes first.”
That line is probably more common than any other. When this happens, I advise you go to the fraternity and talk to them about it. Lay out your schedule and commitments to lacrosse and see if they will allow you to miss meetings and events. There will be overlap, so deciding what to do about it is key. Pledging a fraternity is a time consuming process so you can’t go in blind thinking you’ll be fine. If all parties are okay with the situation then you could be good to go. But there are two more things you have to keep in mind.
You go to college to get a degree and a job. Remember that first and foremost. One of the biggest questions you need to ask is can I handle all these clubs and activities on the side while keeping my grades right? Whether it’s a fraternity, professional club, or hobby, managing your time alongside school work is a must have skill. Grades should always be first priority on the list.
The obvious but overlooked question. Can you handle the time commitments? Are you going to be able to go to class, eat, workout/practice, attend meetings, finish schoolwork, and sleep? I’m not saying you have to get eight hours a night (because who does that in college?) but you can’t run on 3 hours every night for a whole semester. Keep this in mind.
Hopefully at this point the gears have been turning a little bit. The decision will be different for every situation, but here are three main takeaways:
- Communicate with your coaches, fraternity, parents, and other guys who may have been through the same thing. Guys who have made the decision at your school will be your best resource for experienced answers.
- Grades. Make sure no matter what you choose that you can get the grades you want to achieve.
- Take care of yourself. Whether you decide to participate in one, the other, or both, make sure you won’t be running yourself down too quickly.
I’ve made specific examples of fraternities and lacrosse, but this can be applied to any time consuming activity. College is what you make it. It’s up to you to decide what you want out of the experience. Weigh your options, make a pros and cons list, talk to as many people as you need, whatever works to make the right decision for you.
What do you all think? Comment below or tweet me your thoughts. To other MCLA guys, how is it handled at your school? I’m looking forward to hearing some other thoughts on this.
First fall ball scrimmage
After 3 weeks of practice together we put on our new helmets to face Purdue yesterday. I was very impressed and I know coach was happy with how the freshmen and new guys played. It was a very sloppy first half, but we started to get a rhythm to end the second quarter and extended it through the rest of the game. Scores don’t matter in fall… growth does. We definitely grew as a team yesterday, pinpointing specific aspects of our game we can work on. Three more weeks until our next fall ball game.
But wow these new helmets. We switched to the Cascade R this year and the boys are pleased. I’m going to keep you waiting until later this week for a full post on them, but if you really can’t wait that long you can dig up some leaked pics on Twitter and Instagram.
Until then that’s all folks.
Photo Credit: Athena Cinema