Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lax Homework: Read Coach Peter Lasagna's Columns from Inside Lacrosse!

Peter Lasagna is the head coach of the Bates College Men's Lacrosse team, where I played college lacrosse.  He is a great coach, a wonderful guy, and also a terrific commenter on our beloved sport of lacrosse.  I commend his many articles to anyone who wants to learn about the game - and about the state of the game today.  

Click below to see an archive of his columns in Inside Lacrosse

Coach Carey

Access the archive of his great columns HERE

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Article: Stop Rushing to Build Baby Athletes

An important article from Outside Magazine:

Stop Rushing to Build Baby Athletes

The pressure to enlist kids in competitive sports has us putting four-year-olds on the soccer field. It’s clear they don’t know what they’re doing. And it may be a more harmful decision than you realize.

Earlier this fall, my husband and I wrestled with the question of whether or not to sign our girls, ages five and seven, up for organized sports. On one hand, we want to expose them to the benefits of team play. On the other, we were reluctant to cram our schedule with twice-weekly practices and Saturday morning games when there are so many family adventures calling, like hiking and mountain biking, that we could all do together. 
Not so long ago, youth team sports used to start in late elementary school or even middle school, but now it’s standard to see soccer teams for the under-five set and pre-school ice hockey leagues. By seven or eight, kids are already being funneled into highly competitive travel teams, many of which play all year. While it’s important to develop a lifelong habit of physical activity early in life, starting so young and specializing too soon has its risks. It makes kids more prone to burnout, injury, and inactivity later in life, according to the Changing The Game Project, an initiative designed to bring balance back to the hyper-competitive world of youth sports. 
Still, with age four becoming the new norm for participating in team sports, I was afraid that if our daughter didn’t start early, she’d miss out and fall behind. It sounds neurotic, but I’m not alone. “You get sucked into thinking that if you don’t get your kid on a T-ball team when he’s five, he’s going to flunk out of school and end up living in a ditch,” says Toby Brooks, a father of two and an associate professor of athletic training at Texas Tech’s Health Science Center. 
Read the rest HERE

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MLAX: Hofstra's Seth Tierney Named To 2018 U.S. National Team Staff

Hofstra Head Men's Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney
Men's Lacrosse |  | By Jim Sheehan

MLAX: Tierney Named To 2018 U.S. National Team Staff

Hempstead, NY -  Hofstra University Head Men's Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney has been named as assistant coach on the 2018 United States Men's National Team coaching staff, US Lacrosse announced Wednesday.

In addition to Tierney, Marquette University Head Men's Lacrosse Coach and Hofstra alumnus Joe Amplo and Tony Resch, the 2015 Team USA Indoor Coach, have also been named as assistant coaches for the 2018 national team that will be led by Duke University Head Men's Lacrosse Coach and former Pride head coach John Danowski, who was announced last month.

Seth Tierney is entering his 10th season as head coach at Hofstra Pride in 2016, where he has led the Pride to 78 victories, the 2008 CAA Championship, the 2009, 2011 and 2014 CAA regular-season titles and berths in four consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2008 through 2011. Tierney, who has seen Hofstra lacrosse players earn 43 All-CAA honors including five who won received Player, Defensive or Rookie of the Year honors, has also been named CAA Coach of the Year twice during his tenure.

Tierney began his coaching career at Hofstra as an assistant from 1995-2000 under Danowski, after a five-year tenure with the NLL's New York Saints as a player and assistant coach. During that time the Pride recorded six consecutive winning seasons with a combined overall record of 61-28 and a conference mark of 29-2, captured five league titles, received five top 15 final national rankings and competed in four NCAA Championship tournaments.

A former team captain at Johns Hopkins University ('91), Tierney served as assistant and later associate head coach for the Blue Jays from 2001-06, winning a national title in 2005 as the Jays led the nation in scoring offense.

"I want to thank John Danowski and U.S. Lacrosse for this great honor to be selected to the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team coaching staff," Tierney said. "To represent your country for a chance at a world championship is an honor like no other. In addition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and friends, John (Danowski), Joe (Amplo) and Tony (Resch) as we pursue U.S. Lacrosse's 10th World Championship in 2018."

Amplo, a 2000 graduate of Hofstra, is in his fourth season as head coach of Marquette University, where he started the university's Division I program in 2011. Prior to Marquette, Amplo spent 10 of his 11 years as a college assistant coach at his alma mater, Hofstra University (1999-2001, 2002-11) in addition to a one-year stint at the University of Pennsylvania (2001-02). While at Hofstra—where he coached and played under Danowski and Tierney—Amplo helped lead the Pride to eight NCAA tournament appearances and four conference championships.

Resch was an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. men's national team, and recently led the 2015 U.S. men's national indoor team to a bronze medal at the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.

"This was one of the toughest set of decisions that I have ever been involved with," Danowski said. "We received applications from 31 dynamite professionals who were all so deserving. In the end, since we don't have a lot of time together, the committee has chosen three men who I know well and who know me well. They all love and respect the game. We will hit the ground running in January."

The U.S. National Team will be in pursuit of a record 10th gold medal at the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Manchester, England.

The Team USA staff will begin their tenure at the Team USA Spring Premiere, Jan. 9-10 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where the U.S. will face defending NCAA champion University of Denver in an exhibition game. The Team USA roster will be announced later this month. Tryouts for the 2018 U.S. men's national team will be held in summer 2017.

The U.S. men's national team has amassed a 59-4 all-time record in international play, claiming gold at nine World Championships (1967, 1974, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010).



Posted by 
How To Destroy Your Child's Athletic Future In 3 Easy StepsIn over two decades of coaching athletes I have had the pleasure of seeing some of my junior athletes make it all the way to the professional level.  Along the way I have developed a somewhat global perspective on what it takes to go from this point A to the very distant point B.  I worked with some wonderful parents that contributed greatly to their child's successes.  But I unfortunately witnessed more parents, sometime unwittingly and always with the best intentions, sabotage their child's athletic future.  If they had just heeded a few simple rules, or examined a few of their motives, not only would their child been a better athlete, they would have been a better competitor, happier, and healthier child. 
If you are find yourself excited at the potential of your child's athletic career, I invite you take an objective look within.  And if you catch yourself doing any of the three following things, I can all but guarantee your child will not end up where you believe they will.
1.  Imposing your own ambitions upon your child.  I find it interesting that some of the most accomplished athletes I have known are not the overbearing parents you might expect when it comes to athletics.  In fact they may take a somewhat laisez faire attitude towards their young children's athleticism.  My personal opinion is that these parents have a greater understanding of the developmental process.  Laying the foundation, learning the skill sets, and graciously handling the pitfalls competition are put above awards and accolades.  They are intimately familiar with the long timeline and sacrifices required to get to the top of a sport, and even the odds of getting there.  They tend to be more respectful towards the coaches and patient with the coaching process.  They in short have gained a perspective most of us do not possess. 
Parents that have not experienced competition simply never developed the mental skills sets required of an athlete.  They may be experiencing athletic competition for the first time through the prism of their child; which can be a very slippery slope.  Others believe their child represents a "second chance" at righting the wrongs of their not so illustrious athletic past.  At any rate the most important thing to understand is that a pre-adolescent child has three basic motivations for participating in a sport: to have fun, to socialize, and to please their parents.  Too many children end up just doing the later, and that almost never works for long.  These kids seldom last in a sport to high level competition, and may even end up quitting their sport, after years of development, because it is an convenient way to rebel against a parent.  Post- competition, often the first words I hear from parents are evaluative or criticizing when they should be simply "did you have fun today?"       
2.  Over-specializing too early.  I once consulted with a somewhat anxious dad regarding his injured daughters training. The doctor had advised three weeks off of training to allow her injury to heal, but he felt this was too conservative and that his daughter would give up too much ground by taking this time off. She was NINE years old by the way. Obviously he had his own agenda in mind and not his daughters best interest. I seriously doubted that she would still be competing in her sport at twelve.
There has been an astounding rise in orthopedic injuries among children in the last decade.  This corresponds with the rise in early single sport specialization.  Kids are training too hard, too often, too repetitively and way too early without a proper foundation.  Training and coaching programs have capitalized on this, often ignoring orthopedic guidelines for training children in favor or showing early results to the parents.  Children do not have a stable enough platform to put high volume training upon, especially during growth phases.  Injuries to growth plates, vertebral discs, meniscus tears, and tendon/ligament strain can leave a child with permanent damage.  The body is not designed to repeat specific movements over and over, especially at an early age.  We are designed for multi-planer movements which is more akin to "going outside and playing" vs. training.  If you really want to develop an athlete from a young age you do just that- develop them.  You develop skill sets and general coordination, strength, and agility that is age appropriate.  A good coach/parent should be charting growth phases and adjusting training load accordingly, monitoring rest and recovery, teaching and imposing proper nutrition, and developing mental skill sets. Yet these equally important areas of opportunity are often neglected.  The bottom line is that if your child is getting chronically injured, or even if their team mates are sustaining a high level of overuse injuries, the coaching and training system is failing your child no matter how well their top athletes are performing.    
3.  Focusing on a Single Sport.  It is somewhat logical to believe that the more time spent training a sport the better an athlete will become over time.  And no doubt the occasional Tiger Woods comes along.  But this mentality more often leaves multiples of young athletes broken down on the side of the road.  Developing an athlete is like unlocking a door.  You must have exactly the right key, that engages all the tumblers of the lock, to open the door.  Training is just one of the tumblers- not the key.
A child will not self-actualize in a sport until adolescence as I mentioned above.  In order to find out what they are really good at, really enjoy, and really want to succeed at they must try a number of things.  This is good, this is healthy, and it keeps them from burning out in a single sport.  But too many parents see a bit of talent of aptitude and want to call it their child's "sport."  Participating in multiple sports or activities may even help prevent the injuries associated with over-specialization.  You should be asking your child if they want to try different sports, or even gently prodding them to do so.  Over time they can narrow their focus.  Joining the traveling soccer team at an early age may keep your child from finding out that they were more talented at (and passionate about) baseball.  
If your child is under the age of twelve, and you find yourself on the sideline with the words "champion," "scholarship," and "phenom" swirling around your head you likely need a perspective check.  One of the hardest lessons you will have to learn is that at some point they will get to decide if they want to continue in a sport.  And there will be nothing you can do to make them compete if they no longer have the will or desire. It is a simple fact that all your hours in the car, thousands paid out for coaching, and years spent attending games and practices will likely, statistically, lead- nowhere.  But that is not to say that they will get value out of the experience of competition.  Sport can bring out the best (and sometimes the worst) in both athlete and parent alike.  The values taught and gained on the athletic field will be far more valuable than any award; values such as sportsmanship, honor, integrity, fitness, hard work, and team work.  Your relationship that you develop around your child's competition will have a huge impact on their future. The decisions you make as a parent will have a tremendous effect not only on your child's athletic development, but their health, well being, and ethics.  Choose wisely.  
Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes up to the professional level, domestically and internationally, for over 20 years. He has achieved the highest level of licensing by both USA Triathlon and USA Cycling, and is a licensed USA Track and Field coach. Matt is head coach and owner of The Sport Factory, and coaches athletes of all levels full time. He is also freelance author and his articles are regularly featured in a variety of magazines and websites. Visit for more information or email him at          

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

UVA's 2016 Men's Lacrosse Schedule

UVA's 2016 Men's Lacrosse Schedule
Feb. 13Loyola (Md.)
Feb. 20@ Drexel
Feb. 23High Point
Feb. 28Penn
Mar. 4Syracuse
Mar. 8St. Joseph's
Mar. 12@ Cornell
Mar. 19@ Notre Dame
Mar. 27Johns Hopkins
Mar. 29VMI
Apr. 2@ Richmond
Apr. 10@North Carolina
Apr. 17Duke
Apr. 23@ Georgetown
The ACC tournament is scheduled for April 29 and May 1 in Kennesaw, GA.