Good evening GMLA 14U Families. Words can't express how disappointed I am on how the current events are affecting our season. Obviously, the dinner that I had planned for tomorrow is postponed; hopefully not cancelled. I am holding out hope that we will salvage some sort of a season as the country works through this. We have some new families to the team, welcome! By now, generally, I would have met you all and given you the basics of our expectations.
For starters, we will be communicating through this site. Please use the RSVP feature on the GMLA Website http://www.grotonmysticlacrosse.com/ for practices and games. If you are new, you can register by using the link in the upper right corner of the page. The RSVP helps me in planning ahead to see if I need to borrow players from 12U if we are going to be short. Secondly, we have a wide range skill levels this year. We have some new players to the team that have never played before and we have returning players who also have a wide range of skill levels. My goal is get all the players to advance from where there are now to some level higher than present.
With that said, the key to this is practice; practice with the team, practice as a group on their own time, practice at home with a sibling or adult, practice at home by yourself. Also, while they are with us, they need to be focused. The key to success on the field is communication and off ball movement. We will drill these concepts, they will need to pay attention; pay attention while they are in the practice play, pay attention when they’re on the sideline and their teammates are on the field. Communication is huge in this game, who has the pick, who is open, who is coming on, who’s got ball, who is going to switch. If they can learn to communicate on the field in this fast paced game, they will be able to communicate at school, at home and at work.
This is not a town rec league, but we are the town youth lacrosse league. We don’t cut players, we try to build them up so that we can feed the high school team. 14U is an extremely competitive bracket. I expect the players to try, put in effort, and do the best they can do for their skill level. My and the league’s philosophy is 14U will not be equal playing time. Rather, playing time will be based, attitude, effort and skill level, especially based on the situation that we are in at the moment. If we’re doing extremely well, we will strive to get players out there and put them in a position to succeed by feeding them the ball and give them the opportunity to make it happen. If we’re struggling, and need to play catch up, we will be playing the more skilled players. If we’re getting crushed, we’ll just try to have fun. I have found that a player would rather play 5-8 minutes of a game that we win rather than 15-20 minutes of a game that we lose. I don’t want to set up a kid for failure by putting them in a position that they are not ready for; it’s about building confidence.
The start of the indoor training gave me high hopes that we are going to have a spectacular year. To keep up the skill level, I am suggesting some at home stick work, remember practice, practice, practice. I know this can be tough if your player doesn't have a sibling or you to throw with or a goal or a bounce back, but there are some drills that can be done solo. Wall Ball is one of the best fast stick drills for new and veteran players. Try to get to a block or brick building with no windows, like one of our schools and maintain that social distancing if other people are there! The key to wall ball is to pick you target and not just randomly toss the ball at the wall. You can pick a specific brick or put some duct tape targets on the wall. Just remember to take them down when you are done.
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Brand new players still struggling to get it together:
If you have a partner:
Long Poles have the hardest time keeping ground balls in their stick. Try this drill:
More to come in the following weeks,
Stay healthy and hopefully we'll see you soon!