I’m almost close to being back in the real world following the 2013 US Lacrosse National Convention. Unfortunately, I am still craving cheesesteaks and wishing the convention lasted just a little bit longer. I got to see a lot of old friends from past conventions, officials who moved out of the state, and met a lot of new friends who are doing truly incredible work all over the country through lacrosse. I do want to say that I am sorry I did not live-blog the convention as I had in year’s past. I was busy rehearsing my first presentation and I wanted to make sure I knew everything I wanted to say to the group of coaches I was going to be speaking to. So today is a recap of the 2013 convention including what I learned and how the whole convention went for me.
I thought the entire convention was a fantastic experience. I learned a ton from top officials from around the country, hung out with many different coaches, presented my very first topic on youth lacrosse, and became a certified lacrosse officials trainer. I cannot express enough my gratitude for the effort the speakers put into their presentations. It was clearly evident that everyone I saw present had a passion for the game of lacrosse and wanted to give back to the game that gave them so much.
This convention was a little different for me because I was selected to present. I decided to speak about a topic that I am very passionate about, which is team building in youth sports. I titled my presentation, “Putting the ‘I’ in Team: How to get Individuals to Play for One Another.” During my talk I broke the presentation down into these four sections:
- Practice Drills – solid drills that work well for U9 and U11 teams
- Set Plays – a few plays that young players can run well
- Managing Parents – how to integrate parent and team goals
- Coaching Philosophy – how my coaching philosophy has changed since I started coaching and what I believe is most beneficial to the players at that age
I presented for one hour at 8:00am on Saturday morning to about 25-30 youth coaches. My dad recorded the entire speech, which I will post on our AYL YouTube page as soon as I can. For now though you can Click Here to download the PowerPoint presentation that I used during the speech.
Speech aside I got to meet the guys from Wheelchair Lacrosse once again, and I am stoked to report that they are expanding rapidly across the country. At the Marriott Lobby I ran into Charlie who told me all about Fields of Growth. An organization that completely blew my mind. This organization is bringing lacrosse to countries all over the world that have never even heard of the sport, let alone seen a lacrosse stick or goal. So far they have brought lacrosse to Uganda and Jamaica, and you can read more about their efforts here: www.fieldsofgrowthintl.org/our-wor/overview/. I was enthralled by Charlie’s stories of his recent trip to Jamaica and how much the young players enjoyed the game. He said it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life and I can certainly see why. If you are interested in supporting Fields of Growth head to their donate page!
Overall the convention was great. I learned a bunch, laughed a ton and enjoyed seeing everyone excited about the upcoming lacrosse season!