Category Archives: Zebras

Thank Goodness for smart thinking

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The Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association recently voted unanimously to stop the recruiting madness by not allowing players to commit to playing until their junior year (see article below).  This comes on the heals of the IWLCA (Women’s Coaches Association)  who voted on this same topic a few weeks ago.  This is a breath of fresh air provided the NCAA goes along with the process and makes this happen.  Now young people can mature and develop without having the stress that comes along with getting recruited.  All too often players and their parents listen to the hype or jump program to program in search of the next shiny thing.  I have seen a lot during my over 40 years involved in our great sport and 90 percent of it is great and 10 percent makes you wonder what the world is coming to.  We have freshman and sophomores committing to colleges and universities and they have not played a single minute of high school varsity lacrosse.  The insanity had to stop at some point.   We have many wonderful people who help guide our players during the process and there are many unscrupulous club programs that promise the moon and the stars.  I am so glad that the NCAA coaches have come to this monumental decision.

I talk to college coaches along with several of my colleagues that coach High School lacrosse on a weekly basis and they could not me more thrilled.  I believe all coaches (college, high school and club) were doing a disservice to these players because they are just not developed enough.  As the sport of lacrosse started to explode a few years ago it became an arms race to get as many kids in your program as you possible.  Whoever had the ability to stick to it college coaches could roll the dice.

Many of my coaching brethren when we played did not commit to playing in college until junior and sometimes fall of our senior years.  I know that was the case for me and I am glad for it.  I was not mature enough to make a choice like that and it was a hard decision as senior.  Think about if you were a freshman.

So parents, players, fans and coaches take heed.  Do your research and find out the best college choice for you.  It’s a 4o to 50 year decision and you don’t have to make it as a 9th or 10th grader.

Kudo’s to the IMLCA for recognizing this fault and putting corrective measures in place.

 

IMLCA Article

 

See ya on the field!

 

Coach Lou

US Lacrosse…always playing by the rules!

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My son Gordon who runs officiating training for US Lacrosse in Baltimore recently published a face-off video (listed below) with Greg Gurenlian The 2015 MVP of the MLL.

Greg who runs Face-Off Academy is arguably one of the best face-off players in the world.  What is more impressive is he won the 2015 USL/MLL Sportsmanship Player of the Year.  This is important to note because in the video he shows officials how they can spot a cheater at the Face-Off X.

I think Greg did a wonderful job in this video because he is showing officials and players how to recognize someone that is breaking the rules.  Sports are difficult enough without someone trying to tarnish the image of the game by bending the rules and “Cheating”.

While I have never met Greg personally I think it is refreshing that he points out these rule infractions for everyone to see.  I am sure he has faced-off thousands of times and seen many of these methods.

US Lacrosse our governing body as well as the education experts in our sport do a terrific job teaching the fundamentals the right way and playing by the rules.  Atlanta Youth Lacrosse are tireless supporters of the US Lacrosse mission as well as playing the game the right way.

Our motto “Fun, Fundamentals, Sportsmanship and Honoring the Game” are the cornerstones of our program.

Lets give a big thank you to Greg, Gordon and US Lacrosse for doing things the right way!

 

 

Is it Safe?

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As a high school coach as well as youth coach (Lacrosse & Football) my paramount concern before we step on the field is player safety.  Ask any coach and official what the most important thing is and they should answer unanimously SAFETY.   If you do not have a safe environment to play in you will run the risk of injury to all the players and possibly the fans and officials.

The GHSA (Georgia High School Athletic Association) takes great pains to insure all coaches are trained in first aid, CPR and Concussion awareness along with many other safety precautions.  Some schools actually make all their coaches take first aid, CPR courses to maintain standards. Each year every GHSA certified coach most take a concussion class in order to keep their GHSA coaching certificate in good standing.  This is a very important step to keep all of our players safe.  US Lacrosse does a fantastic job with their Science and Safety Committee (click on link US Lacrosse Concussion) with several presentations regarding concussions.

With over 40 years of playing and coaching the game of lacrosse I have seen my share of concussions.  While I never received a concussion in lacrosse I did receive four while playing football.   I can say that lacrosse is much safer then other sports when it comes to this dilemma.  There have been many advances in concussion awareness and protocol.  The link below is an article from Patrick McEwen of Inside Lacrosse.  It shows how simple rule changes (not targeting the neck and head) have lowered the cause of concussions in Men’s Lacrosse.  Patrick will be writing a follow up article showing the data from high schools in the coming weeks which I will share when it comes out.

NCAA Concussion Data

As a player and a coach I have seen the advancement in the game from equipment and rule changes.  I believe one of the reasons why I did not get a concussion in lacrosse versus football is the helmet I used in lacrosse was very flimsy (see picture below).  There was no way you would use your head as a weapon wearing something like this.  My football helmet (actual picture below) that I used in high school, college and two years of semi-pro football was made of hard plastic which gave me the belief that I could become a missile or projectile when playing the game of football.

bucket helmethelmet

 

 

 

 

Concussion are very serious injuries and should be handled appropriately by doctors, trainers and medical professionals.  I have seen and observed many concussion symptoms during my years as a coach and the data and methods to identify concussions has come a long way for the good of our student athletes.

IMPACT Concussion Web site

Please take a minute to review these web sites mentioned in this article which will allow you to make informed decisions regarding your son or daughter.

See yah on the field…Coach Lou