Tag: lacrosse

Always Play 4 Each Other

I am pleased to announce that John Gibson one of our STAR (Students That Accept Responsibility) volunteers has been awarded the prestigious APIVEO (Always Play Four Each Other) Player of the Month Award.  John has been a standout player from our youth program as well as our summer travel team the Coyotes.  Everyone knows what a big heart John (Gibby) possesses but his desire to be a better person and help others is what sets him apart.  John was chosen for his volunteer efforts as well as his community involvement.  Like all of our STARS John continues to give his time and talents to Atlanta Youth Lacrosse and now he has been nationally recognized.

APIVEO is a volunteer organization that builds leadership skills for coaches and athletes across the country.  Brad Jubin the Founder and CEO of APIEVO has developed a strong curriculum of  lesson plans to help develop coaches and their players.  I have spend several hours with Brad on the phone (we tried to meet recently but his Dad had some medical issues) talking about our shared coaching philosophies and coaching experiences.  Atlanta Youth Lacrosse is proud to be part of what Brad is doing because it directly ties with our mission of “Fun, Fundamentals, Sportsmanship and Honoring the game.  Below is an excerpt from the APIVEO web site:

The author of “Run with the Bulls,” Dr. Tim Irwin, describes a leader as a “person of disproportionate influence.” It’s tough to imagine a better description of a volunteer youth coach. If you want to know what it feels like to be a major league baseball player, try coaching a five-year-old T-ball team! You have instant hero status. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a clerk, a stay at home parent or unemployed – you are THE COACH! You are a person of disproportionate influence, and I encourage you to be intentional about how you influence your kids.

I’ve coached youth sports for more than 10 seasons, including some sports that I never personally played. I’m the first to admit that I was nervous, self-conscious and sometimes overwhelmed by the thought of volunteering to coach. How can I coach baseball when I never played?

It didn’t take long for me to realize that with players at this wonderfully young age of 4-11 years old I wasn’t coaching baseball; I was coaching KIDS. It might sound like an obvious statement, but for me it represented a paradigm shift in how I approached every aspect of coaching from practices to games to parents.

Accepting the responsibility as a person with disproportionate influence, I focused on a single and consistent message: “Always Play for Each Other.” I made a commitment to teach my players to use their gifts and talents to intentionally lift up their teammates.

In other words, if a kid scores the winning goal, who did he do it for himself or the team? One may argue that he “just did it” without intending it to “be for” anyone, and that’s probably accurate. But, if they are taught that when they are cheering, scoring, laughing, running and playing for each other, that simple “play” can be turned into a positive and intentional act of kindness and love. WOW! Now, that’s coaching.

Sports are not all about winning and losing, and they offer more than just another way to have fun. I made the decision to go beyond the sport and to be intentional about teaching my players life and leadership lessons in a fun way.

Encouraged by family, friends and coaches to share these lessons, I created APIVEO (Always Play 4 (IV) Each Other) to ignite the passion in kids to intentionally develop a life-long commitment to helping others. God designed, equipped and commanded us to do this, which is why I am passionate about passing this concept along to other coaches. Igniting a kid’s passion to help others is inspiring and humbling.

The commitment I’ve made each season to my team is now one I make to every volunteer youth coach and parent who is interested. APIVEO will provide life and leadership lessons that can be easily shared with kids. The APIVEO website will include printable lessons and discussion scripts for practices as well as insightful contributions from coaches at all levels. We encourage and count on the contributions of our readers to enhance the content by commenting and sharing their experience, concerns and opinions.

There are an estimated 20-40 million kids participating annually in youth sports. These kids are coached by 2-4 million volunteers and parented by 20-80 million parents. Together we can leverage this simple message, “Always Play 4 Each Other,” into a movement that will teach kids that WHEN YOU’RE NOT FIRST…YOU ALWAYS WIN. Then, we will have a large positive impact on the world.

Peace and Grace,

Brad Jubin, Volunteer Youth Coach

On behalf of Atlanta Youth Lacrosse I would like to thank Brad and the APIVEO board as well as Zaxby’s for donating $ 1000 to a charity of Johns choice that serves our youth.  We are extremely proud of John and congratulate him for a job well done.  We will be having an award ceremony in the coming weeks so Mr. Jubin and Zaxby’s can present the award to John.  More details to follow.

See you on the field…Coach Lou


Do the math

I came across this web site recently (http://www.scholarshipstats.com/lacrosse.html) and I thought it was great information to share with our players and parents.    The web site shows the number of Division I, II and III programs in the country (Division III does not award scholarships) as well as the tuition costs, room and board costs, number of athletic scholarships, roster size, SAT scores for admission and the financial assistance percentage each player receives on average.  I speak with and meet regularly  with players, parents and college coaches to help our players with the recruiting process.  It is a fun and interesting journey.  The dream of a scholarship is within reach (for some) but I constantly preach about the importance of education and excelling in school because that is where the real money is.  Until lacrosse is mainstream and people can make an actual living at it we will continue to see the disparity of athletic scholarships among sports.  Football and Basketball are mainstream sports and have fully funded programs.  Baseball has scholarships along with the allure of minor league baseball.  Lacrosse struggles to be relevant even though it is the most rapidly growing youth sport in the country.  This chart illustrates the point I am making:

Number of High School players:                          Men 106,720          Women    81,969

Number of College Lacrosse players                  Men   13,857          Women     10,869

% of High School Players in competing in College   Men 13%          Women      13.3%

NCAA Division I men’s Lacrosse teams have an average roster size of 45 players but only a maximum of 12.6 scholarships to award per team. This means that the average award covers less than 30% of a typical athlete’s annual college costs. Lacrosse is an equivalency sport for NCAA limits, so partial scholarships can be awarded (up to 30 per team in NCAA I) as long as the combined equivalent awards do not exceed the limit. For example, an NCAA Division I school can award 24 women lacrosse players each a 1/2 scholarship and still meet the limit of 12 per team.

This web site is one of the best information sources I have seen as it gives a true picture of what is out there for our players.  I strongly suggest that you review this information as a family so you can make an educated decision when choosing a school that is right for you.

Don’t get caught up with DI vs DII vs DIII it’s a zero sum game.

See ya on the field,

Coach Lou

What would Socrates think?

“Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.”

Think about this for a moment and read it again.

I read this article recently from Inside Lacrosse ( click on link Your Parenting ).  There is a very disturbing trend in coaching, teaching and the challenges of being a parent.  This article tends to dwell on the negative.  Being the optimist that I am I would like to dwell on the positive of coaching, teaching and parenting.  There is no owners manual when it comes to raising children.   We all have great aspirations for our children as well as the ones we have the honor to coach or teach.  Young people need structure and forms of discipline to help them with the challenges of growing up.  Yet many parents don’t allow there children to fail forward.

Over the course of their young life they will encounter good and bad coaches, teachers and authority figures.  Knowing this we should do our best to help them with above mentioned quote.

Is your child coachable?

Are they a great teammate?

Are they mentally tough?

Are they resilient?

Do they try their best?

I think back to my Mom & Dad and the lessons they taught me.  They all revolve around working hard, being respectful, tough, trying my best and never making excuses or letting my teammates down.  These lessons helped me have a successful career as well as being a tough yet understanding coach.

The quote below is from Socrates who died in 399BC:

“The children now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Raising, teaching and coaching children was as challenging then as it is now.  We just have to keep guiding them and letting them fail forward.

See ya on the field!

Coach Lou


Compliments to Inside Lacrosse writer Peter Lasagna for a thought provoking article