Tag: sportsmanship

US Lacrosse…always playing by the rules!

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!




How come my child is not playing and how can I be a better teammate!

One of our coaches (Dave Regan) recently posted the below article as well my son Gordon posted this article for US Lacrosse yesterday.  I thought they were both important for several reasons.

Atlanta Youth Lacrosse provides a safe environment for all of our players and like anything in life especially as it relates to children we take it seriously.  While we always want to have fun and be competitive we  never want to get in the way of being safety consensus first.

The first article revolves around the world of playing time and allowing young people to face adversity with failure.  All to often we protect our kids and in some cases hurt them in the long run.  As a youth program we want to be conscience of the development of each player but we also want to teach them the rules of the game, sportsmanship, respecting coaches, officials, opponents and their parents.

The article focuses on football but it can be applied to any sport.  This quote stood out for me.

“The thing is that many kids know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at. When it comes to football, for instance, most of the middle-schoolers or freshman already know the one or two kids who are good enough to play on the varsity team. And be the ones likely to catch the eye of a college recruiter. Their parents do not.

The rest play because they enjoy it, need the discipline, want to belong to a team, have dreamed of it since they were 5 or 6, are trying to make their parents happy, need a varsity sport on their college application, or some combination thereof.”

The rest of the article is very thought provoking and puts things in perspective.


Gorden’s article tackles the issue of learning the rules and playing a better brand of lacrosse.  If you notice in our U9 games the official counts to 4 and if the player does not pass the ball it becomes a turnover.  This is not a real rule in lacrosse and can be confusing.  We call this game “Hippo” it does several things:

  1. It forces players to look up field and move the ball
  2. It forces players without the ball to get open for their teammates instead of just standing there
  3. It eliminates the stronger player from the game who can go “coast to coast” with the ball and just score at will.  I call these players the BLACK HOLE.  Once they get the ball their teammates never get it back.

As Gordon highlights we do these things to help the players get a better understanding of the game when it means little.  When you tie it back to Coach Dave’s article it shows the importance of what we learn on the field and how we can be better teammates and develop a way to deal with adversity.  Sports are a great way with dealing with the ups and downs of life and the earlier we learn these lessons that better we will be in the future.



See ya on the field!


Coach Lou


New Year, Same Mission

New Year, Same Mission!

It is a brand new year and AYL is looking forward to another fun and exciting spring season! I want to take a moment and explain the AYL Mission, and the most recent addition to our 4 (now 5) goals each year. As always, if you want more information about Atlanta Youth Lacrosse you can email us at questions@ayllax.com for a timely response.


  • We believe that kids don’t want to come back for another practice, another game, or another season if they aren’t having fun. While we work to maintain a good level of competitiveness between teams at all age-levels, we always come back to – “Is this fun for the kids?” This is why we do watermelon rolls with the young Incredibles, give our STARS plenty of tasty food, and maintain a high level of positive energy with the players, coaches, and parents we interact with.
  • Players typically quit a sport by the time they turn 13 because they aren’t having fun. We don’t want to add to that statistic.


  • We list this second because it has FUN in the name! Fundamentals, the basic skills all players need to be successful as they grow older are a cornerstone of AYL. Our coaches emphasize proper passing and catching, getting low on ground balls, breaking down on defense, and aiming before shooting. We push fundamentals through the whole year because if a player can master a basic skill they’ll have fun in practice and in games. They’ll see their hard work pay off, and will remember how to pick up a ground ball properly for the rest of their lives.
  • We teach our players as young as U9 to try and use their off hand in practice. The sooner they can get comfortable using both hands in a game, the better the overall play.


  • Years ago we ended the traditional All-Star game at the end of the spring season. While we can appreciate young players playing at a high level, we did not think that All-Star teams represented the best of youth lacrosse. So we created the Sportsmanship Game. In this game each team nominates a few players that they believe exhibited the best sportsmanship over the entire season. It could be the most experienced player on the team, or the player in his first year, and that is why we hold the game. Any player can show good sportsmanship, and we want our players to practice both their lacrosse skills and demonstrate good sportsmanship.
  • Lacrosse skills will serve the player on the field, but practicing good sportsmanship at a young age prepares the player for many challenging life events off of it.

Honoring The Game

  • Lacrosse has a history that goes back so far that when a Native American man was asked by a Canadian settler where lacrosse originated he pointed to the rising sun. It was used to settle tribal disputes, celebrate momentous occasions, and (in more recent history) proved to be an exceptional way for young Canadian men to stay in shape and build moral fiber. Now, lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the United States and has been for the last couple of years. It is our obligation as a program to hold ourselves and our players, coaches, and parents to the high standard that the history of this game demands.
  • We want our young players to grow into good young men and since they spend a great deal of their time at our fields and interacting with our staff we owe it to them to demonstrate the right way to go about things.

Educating Everyone

  • This is the new mission for AYL! I’ve spent almost three years writing blog posts and I’ve written almost 300 of them. I’ve been fortunate to have them picked up by both LaxAllStars and US Lacrosse. With this large amount of useful lacrosse knowledge on our site we decided to add “Educating Everyone” to our mission because we feel that the more players, parents, and coaches know about the game, the more fun everyone can have. We added the “Education” tab to our main menu, which organizes the posts into Player, Coach, Parent, and Zebra categories so anyone who wants to learn something can find it quickly.
  • It is a lot of fun to watch a young player have that light-bulb moment when they learn a new skill or understand a challenging idea. Youth players may be where we do the bulk of our education, but we want the adults in our program to have “Ah-Ha!” moments too.

We look forward to seeing many familiar faces and many new ones for the 2014 spring AYL season!

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