Tag Archives: high school

It Made A Difference For That One

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Over the last ten years I’ve coached a great many youth and high school players. I’ve had the real privilege of officiating a freshman that I coached when he was thirteen, coming in to play for a few minutes while his team was winning, and then seeing that freshman turn into a senior leader on his team four years later. Officiating is, and will always be, the way I give back the most to the game of lacrosse, but there is such an allure in coaching players of any age that it is always a pleasure to coach at a camp, clinic, or rec league.

My favorite part about coaching is getting to watch the lightbulb moment in action. Seeing a high schooler I’m instructing over the offseason fully understand the proper way to break down on defense after several repetitions, or seeing the gears turn in the mind of an eleven-year-old as he processes the benefit of finding the extra pass in a two on one. That is my selfish reason for coaching. I really enjoy it when players gain a flash of insight about how to play the game better after a little nudge or two from me in the right direction. But that is not the main reason I coach.

When you take out the team records, the individual statistics, the diagrammed plays, and the seemingly constant travel to practices and games all that is left is one question – why do I do this? For me at least, the answer is that it matters to the players.

When I was very young I won a competition in my Taekwondo class for being able to stand at attention the longest. For a seven year old boy standing still for any length of time is an accomplishment, but I managed to keep myself from squirming long enough to win a martial-arts themed coloring book. In this book were many different stories about the proper attitude to bring to a lifetime of training, and one story stuck with me for nearly twenty years. After searching I found this coloring book story was based on “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley.

The story was shortened considerably in the coloring book, but here is the core of the tale:

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”

– The original text from above may be found here: http://mommiesofmiracles.com/star-thrower-loren-c-eiseley/

In the coloring book a new martial arts student witnessed a master tossing starfish from the beach into the sea, but no matter who the people in the story are the truth is always clear – It does not matter how long you’ve coached or how many wins you accumulate. What truly matters is that you had a positive impact on another person and they will remember you as I have remembered the amazing coaches in my life.

So if at the end of this regular season you are tired and wondering why you’re still leaving work early for practice and staying late to help a player improve their technique remember that you’re a coach and every one of your players is a star on a beach waiting for your positive impact.

Featured Image Credit – http://elonawareness.com/2013/10/17/the-starfish-story-how-ordinary-people-can-make-a-difference/

Cheers,
Gordon

Accounts Of The Original Lacrosse Game on LaxAllStars!

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I’ve written a few posts on LaxAllStars over the last few months. Mostly dealing with rule questions from their avid readers. My longest post to date deals with the history of the game as played by the Native Americans:

http://laxallstars.com/accounts-of-the-original-lacrosse-game/

This is the first post in a four-post series that will detail how the Men’s game evolved to what we have today at the high school, collegiate and professional level. I’m using a first hand account as my source for each of these posts by William George Beers who wrote, “Lacrosse: The National Game of Canada“. The copyright expired many years ago and now the book is on Google Books in the public domain. If you are a lacrosse fan I highly suggest downloading the book to your favorite eReader and get your learning on. Here is a short taste of the article on LaxAllStars:

With any historical account it is best to start from the beginning: “An Algonquin who was asked the origin of his race pointed to the rising sun. So may we as indefinitely answer the query, ‘When and how did the game of Lacrosse originate’” (5, 28)?

The actual origin of lacrosse is a mystery and to point at the rising sun is as good an answer as any. Plus it lends a great degree of mystique and intrigue to the game, after all we know when, where, and who invented basketball, but lacrosse has a history so long that it’s origins remain mythical.

I hope you all enjoy this post as it was a true joy to write. I learned a lot about lacrosse that I never knew, and I’m looking forward to the next three posts coming out each week for the next three weeks! If you really liked the post comment at the bottom of LaxAllStars – #GrowTheGame Cheers, Gordon

US Lacrosse Position Statement on Recruiting

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Greetings Lacrosse Enthusiasts,

Listed below is the US Lacrosse Position Statement on Recruiting. Over my forty plus years involved in the game, I have been part of the many round table discussions and recently served on two lacrosse recruiting panels. I have close personal relationships with many college coaches in the country as I get them to speak at the US Lacrosse National Convention each year. This will be my eight year on the Convention Committee and third straight year as the Committee Chair.

I am glad US Lacrosse has come out with this position as I was a three sport athlete in High School and two sport athlete in college.  We are asking a lot of our children and pushing them down a path that may not have the results they dreamt about.

This is why our recreation league is made up of kids from different schools and why we only have travel lacrosse in the summer except for a get together here and there during the off season.

We want young people to play all kinds of sports so they have the opportunity to play what they want and have a say in the process.

So keep this in mind when you sign you son or daughter up to play for something.  Please remember a few things:

  1. Am I over extending my child?
  2. Are they being fair to their teammates by playing on multiple teams and not showing up for their games?
  3. Is my child getting burnt out?

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US Lacrosse Issues Position Statement on Recruiting

BALTIMORE, Oct. 18, 2012 – The US Lacrosse Board of Directors today approved the following statement on the complex nature of the collegiate recruiting process for high school student-athletes. The statement was developed by the national volunteer and staff leadership of US Lacrosse, in consultation with members of the coaching community, and it reads as follows:

US Lacrosse shares the concern of many lacrosse players, parents and coaches that the college recruiting process is not structured or timed in the best interests of high school student-athletes. The current landscape of recruiting events and club programs – some of which operate throughout the calendar year – has encouraged an increasing number of young student-athletes to forego a well-rounded high school experience based on unrealistic expectations and misperceptions about playing college lacrosse.

Parents are being led to believe that college coaches focus on recruiting only those children who play year-round lacrosse and who attend multiple, expensive recruiting events throughout the year. While some recruiting programs and events offer positive experiences for student-athletes, others – particularly those that conflict with the school calendar or occur outside of the traditional lacrosse season – threaten the well-being of student-athletes with incidents of injury and burnout. This intense recruiting culture also has eroded the work-life balance of coaches and parents.

US Lacrosse will continue to work with high school programs, clubs, tournament directors, the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) to provide the information, resources and leadership necessary to enable high school student-athletes and their parents to make the best decisions about their lacrosse experience.

US Lacrosse also encourages men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse coaches to exert their considerable influence to lead reform of the NCAA recruiting calendar, limit the age at which student-athletes begin the recruiting process, and agree not to attend or participate in recruiting events that infringe on the academic calendar of student-athletes.

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See ya on the field,
Coach Lou