A Complete Guide To Playing Lacrosse After College

Playing Lacrosse After College - GirlsLacrosseHQ.com

Photo Courtesy of Kiarash Zarezadeh

You are most likely reading this article because you don’t want to put down your stick after your High School or College playing days are over.  We don’t blame you! By the end of this article, we will have you strapping on the goggles and running on to the field to play. Let’s talk about playing lacrosse after college!

But how do you go about getting on a team?

What steps should you take?

We have you covered in this complete guide to playing women’s lacrosse after college. Whether you are in college and are not playing on the school team, not playing as a young adult or maybe you feel like you want to regain your glory after many years away from the game.

We also have some great suggestions from ladies who have walked the walk. We interviewed women who currently play in a post-collegiate women’s lacrosse league and are loving every minute of it.  You’ll read their testimony later in this article.

First Things First…Are You Ready To Play in an Adult Lacrosse League?

Yes!  That is the simple answer.  The fact that you are reading this article indicates your state of readiness.  Now it is just a matter of piecing together a few elements to making this happen and that is:

  • Getting the basic stick skills back to where they were or where they need to be.
  • Getting your fitness level up to the point where you feel comfortable playing.
  • Finding a place to play
    • If you can’t find a place to play, we will show you how to do it yourself!

1. Getting The Basic Stick Skills Back

You’re not going to be surprised by this one.  You can probably hear the echos of coaches past assigning you some ridiculous amount of reps of wall ball.  Well just like your parents, the coach was right!  It is time to hit the wall for a daily routine.  Fortunately for you there is a treasure trove of wall-ball routines out there on the internet and there are a great selection of reasonably priced bounce-back rebounders out there to choose from.

The great thing about picking up a daily wall-ball routine is that it has many side benefits that you might not have thought about:

  • It is a form of meditation (it is about getting into a flow state)
  • It increases your upper body strength and muscle tone (you don’t always have to put dumbbells in your hand to get a ripped upper body)
  • It increases your cardiovascular fitness level (you don’t always have to be moving your feet to accomplish this)

The video below is a great starting routine.  The variations are endless.  Have fun.

2. Getting Your Fitness Level Back

This is the point at which a reader of this article might be extremely confident in their fitness level because they’ve maintained it over the years OR this is the point where you want to cry at the thought of how far you’ve fallen off the fitness radar.  No matter which of these two categories you put yourself in, you’ve definitely got some work to do.

I am so out of shape, there is no way I will be ready for this.

We can stipulate that you are out of shape but whether or not you are ready is mostly a mental game.  You might not be ready now but you will be soon enough.

You may remember those insane workouts from High School or College where you were on top of the fitness world.  Those are known as the old days for good reason.  It’s going to be tough to get back into that kind of game shape so it would be wise to look at getting back in game shape as a series of progressive, small goals.

The best way to get started is to write some goals down on a small whiteboard and check them off as you accomplish them.  Trust me it will help.  Examples might include:

  • Today I will play wallball for 5 minutes straight, tomorrow for 6 and in two weeks I’ll build up to a 10-15 minute routine.
  • I will run field sprints today at 1/4 speed, next week 1/2 speed and in a month at full speed.
  • Today I will pick a field painted for women’s lacrosse and run every line; next week I will do that with my stick in hand; the next week after that, I will do it while cradling a ball.

Before you know it, you will have what it takes to participate at a respectable level.  You may not be the best one out there but at the very least you can be initially confident that you can at hang with the rest of the pack.  We will leave the MVP season for another year.

Gaining a game shape level of fitness doesn’t have to involve dedicating every spare minute to a long duration cardio workout.  Workouts have evolved over the years and new science tells us that we can really maximize cardiovascular health in a much shorter period of time.

Try to focus on doing a program based on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) rather than killing yourself on the treadmill.  HIIT training can bring you surprisingly good results in a shorter period of time than the classic lengthy cardio programs.  Additionally you will be simulating the start and stop motions that you will see in the game.  Sworkit is a great app that will guide you through all the movements for a full body workout and there is a free version of it available.

3. Finding a Place to Play

Lakeshore Lacrosse

The web is your friend in this journey.  The closer you are to a large metropolitan area the more easy it will be to find an organized team but there are plenty of rural options as well.  For your search, you should try to:

  • Review the U.S. Lacrosse Post Collegiate Lacrosse database for a club near you
  • Perform a Google search such as “women’s lacrosse club near me” or “women’s lacrosse club in (Some State)”
  • If the both of these come up empty try meetup.com for a potential MeetUp (maybe it’s smaller scale and not a full league), craigslist.org (post a reverse classified stating “I am looking for a women’s adult lacrosse league”), reddit.com (ask about clubs under https://www.reddit.com/r/womens_lacrosse)

Can’t Find a Program Around You?  Start Your Own.

US Lacrosse Post-Collegiate Lacrosse Startup Manual

US Lacrosse Post-Collegiate Lacrosse Startup Manual

It’s understandable that you may not have a program near you but that shouldn’t stop you.  Consider starting your own program.  This is not as difficult as it may seem.  If you don’t know where to start, fortunately US Lacrosse has put together a very thorough guide on starting your own post-collegiate women’s lacrosse program.  Once you get going, you can use the same techniques we recommended above for promoting your new club.

Women’s Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and there are players to be found; you just have to know where to look.

Still Not Convinced?  Let’s Hear From The Experts.

We reached out to several clubs listed on the US Lacrosse Post Collegiate Clubs page and received some excellent insight. We interviewed Krystin Porcella of TOP of the BAY LacrossePlayAction Sports & Social Club and Elite Lacrosse Club as well as Caitlin Bebout from Arizona Storm Lacrosse.

Caitlin Bebout

Caitlin Bebout

Caitlin Bebout is a varsity lacrosse coach at Hamilton High School in Chandler, AZ. She’s working to grow the game by leading the Arizona Storm, a post-collegiate women’s team, and Pick-Up Sticks Lacrosse, a co-ed lacrosse league for all levels. Follow her on Twitter @c_bout.

Krystin Porcella

Krystin Porcella

Krystin Porcella is: President, TOP of the BAY Sports, Inc.; 2014 Welsh National Team Head Coach; 2011 US U19 National Team Head Coach – World Champions; 2011 US U15 National Tournament  Team TOP of the BAY 3rd Place

GLHQ: What do you think is the number 1 stumbling block for getting going with lacrosse after college?

Krystin Porcella: The uncertainty of playing with a new group of people.  A level of comfort was developed throughout the 4 years of college and now here you are on your own looking to join a team, make new friends, adjust to new styles of play…different expectations of play.  So players  on the team play for fun, others use this as a workout, others still hardcore have to win lacrosse.

Caitlin Bebout: There’s an intimidation factor when people try a new sport or come back to a sport they haven’t played in a while. Many feel like they aren’t in good enough shape, or don’t want to be embarrassed by their skill level. From what I’ve seen, it can take months for a new player to build up the courage to come out to practice for the first time.

GLHQ: What are two things that a prospective player should do to prepare for play at this level?

Krystin Porcella: Keep skills and fitness up, moderately.  Not the hard core training in college, but you want to play well and earn respect from your teammates.  Be willing to play any/new position.  Come ready to play hard, but have fun too.  It is not college, but everyone still wants to play well and win if possible.  The level of players will vary more, some players will be great, others not very good, but you are all on the same team.

Caitlin Bebout: Prospective players should first communicate with the team manager. They should ask as many questions as possible so they can feel prepared and confident for the first practice. (Questions to ask could be: How competitive is the club, how often are practices, are there league dues, which tournaments do you participate in, etc.) Once these questions are answered, they should make a commitment to come out to a practice at least once. Try to eliminate any excuses, and experience it firsthand before deciding if the team is going to be the right fit. There’s also a lot of responsibility on the team manager to respond in a timely manner and accurately describe the level of the club. If it’s for all levels, then make sure to communicate that so the prospective player feels welcome.

GLHQ: Do you have any advice or thoughts that you think would really put a prospective player over the top and help them go through with it?

Krystin Porcella: It is really fun. You still get to be part of a team and build friendships and camaraderie.  And continue to live your glory days of playing lacrosse.  My team did fundraisers as a group, we went out for lunch after away games, had a sponsor bar for home games and much more.  The enjoyment is that when the game was over, the game is over, no game film, no meetings with coaches, we did what we loved (played lacrosse) and then went about our week of work and looked forward to the next Sunday when we could do it all again.

Caitlin Bebout: One of the biggest benefits of playing lacrosse after college are the friendships that it creates. The lacrosse community is a welcoming one especially since most clubs have the same goal: growth. Playing in tournaments are also a great way to make long-lasting friends. If you’re looking for a more social, competitive way to get active, then it’s time to contact your closest lacrosse club or start your own. No excuses.
You’ve made it this far in the article so we know you are 100% in.  Get that stick out of the attic and get moving.  You won’t regret it.


Williamrarf 20-05-2016, 09:14

Thanks for the forum post.Thanks Again. Tuckerman

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