Megan McCormack is a lacrosse lifer, for decades she has been associated with the game. After starring on the University of Scranton lacrosse team, she returned home to Long Island and is now the coach at North Shore High School. The season is right around the corner and the coach took some time to talk about a life in lacrosse.
Q: What is your lacrosse background?
I have played lacrosse since 2nd grade and it has been a part of my family forever. I actually played at North Shore High School, which has been amazing coaching at my alma mater. I went to play collegiate lacrosse at the University of Scranton and originally wanted to attend their PT school.
Q: How did you get into coaching?
I got hurt very early in my post HS career and had two major ankle surgeries. I was attending school locally at the time and NS needed a JV coach. Our town needed a PAL coach to start with the 3rd grade youth team and I stepped in. That group was special and I coached them until 12th grade. They made me truly love coaching. I have been involved in the HS lacrosse program at some capacity now for over ten years. I never looked back and have loved everything about it ever since. I truly love being out there every day, love strategizing, game planning, and the competitive nature of the game. I have coached various travel teams, am involved with WPLL training clinics, tryouts, US Schoolgirls, Brine AA, UA, and love organizing collegiate clinics or prospect days at NS.
Q: How do you balance coaching and teaching?
Balance is an important skill to practice. You can work on this daily by balancing life, school work, extra curriculars, socialization, and work. One of the most important things to do with teaching and coaching is utilize good time management. I really use my time well and when I have prep or lunch in season I am always prepping for either lacrosse, school or meetings. I am either writing practice plans, line-ups, scouting, scheduling or watching film. I spend a lot of nights watching film during season. I like to get in to school early, so I can spend time lesson planning and prepping for the day. In season last Spring, I was acting as an interim AD, so I had more flexibility with my schedule. I had bigger blocks of time where I was able to get things done at particular moments rather than at different times throughout the day. As you get more experienced, things get easier. It becomes a routine. I am also very organized so I make sure that I have everything categorized in folders on my computer as well in books. I type a practice plan for lacrosse every day to keep us on track. I send it to my assistants to review prior to practice that day.
Q: What your motto?
“It’s not the will to win that matters- everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
Q: What was the highlight of your coaching career?
I have truly had a few amazing coaching experiences. I have coached girls who have gone off to play high level collegiate lacrosse, and who are in the WPLL now. I love cheering them all on. I have been fortunate enough to coach and win the Brine All- American team a few times, the US National school girls team, as an asst. coach win counties. We have done some amazing things as a team and this past year we went and played at the US headquarters in MD. It was a great experience and seeing/hearing the excitement was amazing. Hearing girls say “Coach, one day my name will be on that wall” is inspiring.
Q: Is there a particular player or team that stands out to you?
There are quite a few players that stand out to me. Long Island has so many talented players, it’s impressive. I see and play against some of the best girls out there and it is an experience for everyone to be a part of. I had the opportunity to attend the State tournament this year working the event as the president of Nassau and the talent was remarkable. Long Island has a lot to be proud of when it comes to lacrosse accomplishments!
Q: What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
I am expecting to have a great year. We only graduated four seniors last year, so we have a lot returning. We will definitely miss those four, but the group we have back and the girls coming up offer a lot. As a team we have a lot of flexibility with moving people throughout various positions and we have a lot more experience on the team. When I see the girls, they are all very excited and eager to start up again. Last year our team slogan was “no more sleeps.” They had a countdown going for how many days it was until the start of the season. They couldn’t wait for game day. This group wants it in 2020.