Head Coach Erin Kollar sees a bright future for Massapequa lacrosse. After going 7-9 in 2019, the coach believes that her team is prepared for a “redemption season”. Coach Kollar has carried her love of Physical Education throughout many years of coaching Massapequa’s sports teams. In this time, she has familiarized herself with much of the school’s spirit and will to win. She continues to remained committed to the growth of her players as athletes and as people. As Kollar begins her first year as Varsity Head Coach, the LILJ spoke to her about coaching philosophies and prospects on the coming season. See below to read the full interview!
Q: How did you get started coaching?
A: I have always had a love for sports and coaching! As a Physical Education teacher at Massapequa, I have this ability on a daily basis with all my middle school students. Massapequa has given me a lot of opportunities to coach multiple sports in various levels. This school year, I coached 8th grade soccer, JV basketball, and started my first year as the Varsity lacrosse coach after six years as the JV coach. It is a tremendous feeling to make those connections with athletes and to see their growth as a young woman and athletes competing. I have been very honored to be able to coach a lot of these young women at all different levels and sports and to be a part of their life.
Q: What are some of your key coaching philosophies?
A: My coaching philosophy is to bring my team together both on and off the field. I believe team chemistry is everything, it is essential to achieve our team goals. I want my players to push each other and compete against each other every day to make each other better. I prepare my players with high intensity and competitive practices that set them up for game situations. Overall, I want my players to not only have the stick work, speed, and endurance, but also field vision and lacrosse IQ that will take them to the next level.
Q: The team went 7-9 during the 2019 season and went 3-6 in conference play. How is the team working to improve their record in 2020?
A: The team is hungry and motivated for redemption of their 2019 season. During the off-season, the team was committed to improve. They put in the work on their lacrosse skills, stick work, and their overall fitness with winter league and training sessions. The team also had an amazing team building/community service opportunity. Our team was extremely lucky to be invited to work the 50/50 raffle at a New York Islanders game for the Hance Family Foundation the Saturday before the season officially kicked off for us.
Q: What does the potential cancellation of the 2020 season mean for you and the team?
The potential cancellation of the 2020 season brings great sadness for the coaches and the team. We understand that our safety and health is the most important and that we are dealing with uncharted waters with this pandemic. We have to take it one day at a time and keep the team involved as much as possible virtually. We have done various challenges including our virtual team photo which the girls really enjoyed and got a lot of laughs out of!
Q: Where do you see the Massapequa program heading in the years to come?
A: In the years to come, I see the Massapequa Girls Lacrosse program constantly improving and setting our goals high. We have athletes that are committed to the program and young talent that are eager for the future when they enter high school. Massapequa has great leaders within our student athletes, as well as, the support from our school, parents and community. I believe this time off right now will only make us all stronger for the future. We are sure excited for what comes in the future!
Q: What are you looking forward to most in the coming season?
A: In this coming season, I am looking forward to my first year as a Varsity coach and coaching alongside a former alum Maddie Lee. This year was a new start for the program but it still had a great deal of familiarity to it. I have coached a majority of the players at one point or another. Coach Lee was a junior when I began coaching in the program, so I have seen her play and know her work ethic from her time as a player and from coaching summer camp together. Coach Lee as a high school player volunteered and helped coach the current seniors when they were in elementary school. The coaches and the players were so excited to see this all come full circle! The one week we had of practice was magical, the intensity and energy made everyone want more for the 2020 season!