Youth Lax Development -- Recruiting, Club Size, Geography

Re: Youth Lax Development -- Recruiting, Club Size, Geography

Postby picknroll » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:55 pm

This is really a difficult topic. I have many conflicts even in my own opinion.

I grew up playing football in a blue-collar southern town. As a 12 year old 7th football grade player I can remember the HS coach coming over to our junior high and giving an inspirational speech. The key part of the speech was "Living in <insert rival town> gives you no advantage in playing football. The only difference between them and us will be the work and preparation that happens over the next 6 years." I heard that same speech hundreds of times over the years and it became engrained into the our culture. I think that's one of the beautiful things about public HS sports. The coaches are playing with the hand that was dealt. You can't depend on talent to have an enduring program. It's all about building culture and a system. It may sound hokie, but it is really about striving for excellence - doing the absolute best you can with what you've got. At least for me that has endured (beyond the laughs with my teammates).

Coming from that background I have a strong preference for kids "playing for the home team". That just feels right to me. It's the core of youth sports - from my view. My kids play at a club that has much the same view. We've got our city's name right out front and we've got a strong partnership with the city and local schools. That's good for me because it matches my view of the world.

Now the conflicting part is that I see huge benefit in the NCJLA having programs like the Scorpions and Firehawks. The goal is to get good and those guys are darn good. Even if their view of an NCJLA club doesn't exactly match mine, they're setting the standard and making us improve.

The other conflicting part is that I see the perpective of those kids travelling to play on these teams. As parents we all want to give our kids the right opportunities that will allow growth for their talents. If there's a truly talented kid that who's home team doesn't match his skill level I think it's appropriate that he's given the opportunity in a place that does match the skills.

So I guess overall I think letting kids move around outweighs the downside - for now. The tricky part is where does the line stop? When does a "community-based" club stop becoming part of the community and start being an all star team? Tough questions and legitimate concerns.

Now for chmdave, I think you're playing us a bit. Here's a history lesson on the championships for this U15A group.

2006 Pee Wee - Ross Valley beat Petaluma
2007 5A - So Marin beat Ross Valley
2008 6A - So Marin beat Novato
2009 U13A - Ross Valley beat Pleasanton

Notice anything about those teams? All of them except Pleasanton are from the North Bay. The teams up there are doing just fine. We've got a season to play still before we crown the Firehawks champions and history tells us that the path to the championship runs through the North Bay with this age group. All four of those teams (Ross, So Marin, Novato, and Petaluma) are excellent teams and Central Marin is up and coming. There's more concentration of strength right now in the North than anywhere else in the NCJLA. While the Scorpions were off winning championships those North Bay clubs quietly built an outstanding bobblehead program which swung the pendulum back their way (from the East). Those bobblehead programs produced some outstanding talent which is showing up in U15A now and became the model for NCJLA's U9 program. Big kudos to the Marin clubs for blazing the trail there. Another outstanding example of clubs raising the bar (of excellence)!
picknroll
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Youth Lax Development -- Recruiting, Club Size, Geography

Postby numbersman » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:16 pm

A point slightly off topic to this thread:

As I was taking a look at which clubs have been stronger over the past few years, I was unable to find any archive data of NCJLA champions on the NCJLA website. I also looked at the Scorpion website and they don't archive anything past a few months any more either. You can kind of piece together NCLJA playoffs and champions for the last couple of years by thumbing through posts on the youth forum here, but it is quite an exercize. Is there any central place where you can get this info anymore???
What if the hokey-pokey IS what its all about?
User avatar
numbersman
NCLF All American
NCLF All American
 
Posts: 1068
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: Walnut Creek

Re: Youth Lax Development -- Recruiting, Club Size, Geography

Postby picknroll » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:35 pm

numbersman wrote:A point slightly off topic to this thread:

As I was taking a look at which clubs have been stronger over the past few years, I was unable to find any archive data of NCJLA champions on the NCJLA website. I also looked at the Scorpion website and they don't archive anything past a few months any more either. You can kind of piece together NCLJA playoffs and champions for the last couple of years by thumbing through posts on the youth forum here, but it is quite an exercize. Is there any central place where you can get this info anymore???


This is out there still, but I think it's only regular season for the most part:

http://www.sportability.com/spx/Leagues/Client.asp?ClientID=186&Status=Closed

We should do an "NCJLA History" thread like the one for HS. I'll start one. Great idea.
picknroll
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Youth Lax Development -- Recruiting, Club Size, Geography

Postby Billax » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:36 pm

All things being equal, I can't imagine a player traveling an extra hour three times a week to play Lacrosse. Problem is, all things aren't equal. As the parent of a player who changed clubs in 8th grade after five years with his original club, participants in this thread might do well to actually ask the kids who changed clubs what they sought. There aren't very many of them, so it wouldn't take long. I think you'd find the answer to be uniform - better coaching.

Why did the Scorpions dominate for so many years? Better coaching. Why do you think Pleasanton has become such a strong club? Improved coaching. What about Walnut Creek's rise? Improved coaching. What about players returning to Skyline? Improved coaching. If you go to the California Coaches' clinics in NorCal and the US Lacrosse Coaches' conventions, you'll see the same clubs represented every year. There aren't many programs whose coaches are so dedicated. Their reward is kids who play better lacrosse and understand the game more deeply. I, for one, support these coaches and their goals.

For example, I'm a big fan of the Pleasanton program. To the best of my knowledge, they don't have a single DI AA on the staff, but they have tons of guest coaches each year, who give talks to, and answer questions from, a roomful of rapt youth coaches who have hundreds of on-point questions. Often, they're kind enough to invite coaches from neighboring clubs. Yet, very few clubs have adopted Pleasanton's methods, even after experiencing them. Whose fault is that, when the success of their methods is so clear? It's sure not Pleasanton's.

In sum, better coaching can - and does - produce significantly better teams. Better coaching provides these results with or without players transferring in. NorCal lacrosse has improved dramatically in the last eight years. It ain't the tiny number of inter-club transfers that have created this change. It's the growing number of coaches who have committed to making their teams - and their clubs - better. What's not to admire about these coaches and these clubs? And what is it that keeps other coaches and other clubs from following this path?
Sports don't build character, they reveal it. - Heywood Broun
User avatar
Billax
Forum Father
Forum Father
 
Posts: 3554
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:49 am
Location: 37.882767, -122.198214

Previous

Return to General Youth

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron