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An Off-season Reflection – How Champions Train

With the summer lacrosse season ending, it is time to reflect on the past year. All the hard work, blood sweat and tears, the time and effort put into the game we all love. Did you get better? There’s an old saying that “champions are made when no one is watching,” however with the way competitive club lacrosse is going, training is the focus. So, we arrive at the question, are you training the right way? Is what you are doing when no one is watching the right way to do it? Are you fundamentally sound?

FLG as well as other competitive lacrosse clubs offer a variety of training packages, all of which aim to bring out the best player you can possibly be. But not only being a skilled lacrosse player, but rather specializing in your specific position and game like situations pertinent to your position. Repetition, building skills, developing IQ, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Clearly you cannot invest 10,000 hours in your club. So, therefore you must train on your own. But training the right way is key.

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Reflecting on and evaluating your skill is a great way to become a better player. Talk to your trainers and coaches. Ask them questions and find out, what areas of your game you are already good at and what areas you can be better at. Then don’t forget to follow up with the question “How do I accomplish or make that skill better.” The focus here is that you are developing a plan. Yes, shooting 100 lacrosse balls is great but are you shooting them the right way? Will shooting 100 lacrosse balls make you a better player? The quality of your reps is key. Before you go up to the field to train, develop your plan. Start off with a quick wall ball warm up. If shooting is the focus for the day, start off with some body mechanic drills that focus on proper hand and foot placement. Then go into shooting half speed where you are really dialing into what your body is doing and where the ball is going. Speed up that process to mimic game speed and begin to add dynamic footwork to work on dodging. A speed ladder is also a great tool to supplement footwork. Adding exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to make you a little more tired is a great way to develop the mentality of playing to your best when you are tired.  Pick a spot on the field. Maybe we focus solely on the wing today and move to up top if we are a middie or down low behind the goal if we are an attackman.

The key here is that you are building skill while working hard and having fun. Take a few days and enjoy some time off. But remember while your hanging out, someone your competing against is getting better. If you have a vision or goal to take your game to the next level, you must train hard to reach that goal. Take advantage of the off season and work hard. Let’s change that old saying to “champions train when no one is watching.”

 
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FLG Scoring Academy RECAP

Scoring Academy Participants,

It was great getting back on the fields with our Scoring Academy participants last night. I do apologize for missing our session last week, something I don’t normally do! I had a baby girl last week and was busy welcoming her to the world. Soon teaching baby Everley the ins and out of the game!

Anyways, last night was a session focused on reps, reps, and more reps. Being our participants are more advanced and have a deeper understanding for the fundamentals of shooting the right way, we can now focus on get more reps, and do more shooting drills.

After our wall ball warm-up, which reinforced proper shooting mechanics and emphasized correct upper/lower body movement, we took to the cages for a series of shooting drills. These drills not only working on shooting on the run. They worked on footwork, setting up your defender, shooting out of a dodge, scoring in tight, re-dodging your defender, and shooting to score.

For examples of the shooting drills please be sure to check out FLG Lacrosse on Instagram @FLGLAX Our latest post from the Scoring Academy will feature Kerrie Heuser working on the Dodge, Bounce, Re-dodge drill. You will also see our two Studletes of the night, Caroline and Mikey, who did an exception job executing concepts taught consistently at full speed.

See everybody next week!

-Corey

 
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Scoring Academy Session II RECAP

FLG Scoring Academy Participants,

Last night was another great session at our Scoring Academy in Northsport. We started the session with a quick recap of proper fundamentals for shooting on the run. We emphasized the big four: arms out and up, head of your stick above your head, establish pivot foot and kick the can foot, as well as knowing when to release the ball. We then had everyone establish some real estate next to the padded walls surrounding the facility. We started our warm-up on our knees so players eliminating any lower body movement. Instead, players simulated a shot using only their upper body. This is a great way for players to warm-up there back muscles and work towards perfecting the fundamentals for how to shoot on the run. We then had players do the same thing on 1 knee. Finally, our players were simulating a shot on the run on both feet. The warm-up went really well as players started to get more comfortable shooting with both hands. Perfecting the fundamentals makes shooting on an actual cage more fluid and effortless. Check out the video from our warm-up on our instagram page here.

The second half of our night consisted of different shot types. These shot types included:

  • Shooting coming upfield (away from the goal)
  • Shooting downhill (towards the goal)
  • Getting into your defender, stepping off, and re-attacking downhill
  • Getting underneath your defender from the low wing for a shot in front of the goal
  • Dodging downhill, rolling back to the middle, switching hands, and getting off a quick shot on goal
  • Hitch and goes. Catching coming up field, throwing a little pump fake or hitch, and re-attacking upfield

While we worked on several different types of shots last night, they all had one thing in common: Each shot finished “on the run.”

It’s a beautiful thing to see our player’s last night apply what they learned early in the session into the latter part of the session. There were 2 players in particular that stood out last night and were awarded String King Practice Player of the Day. Their names are listed below:

Girls: Kerrin Heuser, 2019, Hicksville High School, Stony Brook University Commit

“Kerrin is someone for the girls at Scoring Academy to look up to. Kerrin leads by example. She is proof that hard work and paying attention to the details will provide opportunities to play at the highest of levels.” -Coach Bob Schmitt

Boys: Jude Anton, 2021, Northport High School

“Jude is a detail guy. He focuses on how to do things right. Jude is becoming one of the most consistent shooters at the Scoring Academy.” -Coach Corey Winkoff

See everyone next week!

 
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FLG Scoring Academy – Session I RECAP

FLG Scoring Academy Participants,
Thank you for joining us at Session 1 of FLG’s Winter Scoring Academy. For the families who couldn’t make-it, this recap will tell you exactly what we focused on last night.
In lacrosse, over 80 to 90% of the shots taken are on the run. Meaning, you are releasing the ball from your stick towards the goal while you are moving your feet. That being said, we feel it’s very important to work on this part of the game.
Before we did any shooting on goal last night, we worked on the fundamentals of shooting on the run around the out-skirts of the indoor facility. We discussed 4 BIG things that must be done in order to correctly shoot on the run:
  1. Get the head of your stick above your helmet or head. This allows you to get more control on your shot, get more speed behind your shot, and hide the ball from the goalie.
  2. Arms out and up! Keeping your hands close to your body might help you control your shot in the short-run, but will significantly diminish your speed and accuracy in the long run. Remember! Extend your arms and get those hands up towards the sky.
  3. Now, we start thinking about the lower half of our body. Establish a “Pivot Foot” and “Kick the Kan” foot. Your inside leg should be established as your pivot foot, remaining on the ground, and your outside leg should be established as your kick the kan foot. The outside leg should swing around, coming off the ground, and allowing your hips to square up on cage. Your momentum to bring your body into a 180 degree turn, eventually finishing your shot with a back peddle.
  4. Lastly, the release. We teach our shooters to release the ball as soon as their kick the kan foot (outside foot) hits the turf. Reason being, once our foot hits the turf, we know that our hips are now on cage, a crucial step for getting an accurate shot on net.
We spent a solid 30 minutes focusing on the fundamentals for how to shoot on the run. Instead of warming up on a cage, we warmed up on the netting around the indoor complex. We do this so players don’t focus on where the ball goes. They should be focusing on everything else. Hand positioning, where their eyes should be, foot work, body language, release point, etc. Being able to synchronize all of these ideas takes time to master and lots of repetitions.

Once our players started shooting on net, they looked great. Our athletes did a really nice job applying the fundamentals of how to shoot on the run. It allowed for more accurate and consistent shots on goal.

Moving forward, we plan on focusing on the fundamentals at the beginning of each session, and incorporating more advanced shooting drills towards the middle and end of each session. We want to get lots of reps. But, more importantly, we want to get lots of QUALITY REPS. Consistency is the goal of the scoring academy. We want to answer the very important question of “How can we become more efficient, consistent, and effective goal scorers?” To help find answers to that question and for video footage on how your son or daughter is progressing, be sure to follow us on Instagram & Facebook.
#LoveTheGame
Sincerely,
Coach Corey & Coach Bob
 
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2016, A Year of Change and Lacrosse

As 2016 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on this past year, which for me was a year of change to say the least. And most of that, “change”, has centered on lacrosse. This time last year, I was finishing my 24th year in the same job and looking forward to a winter of College Wrestling and a spring of College Lacrosse, as I planned to get to as many of my kids’ events as possible. By the end of January, I had accepted the Assistant Coaching Position at SUNY Old Westbury and by the end of February, I had retired from my job of 24 years.

I was able to see almost all of my son’s wrestling events including the NCAA Regional at Washington and Lee, in Lexington, VA.  I became fully engrossed in O.W. Women’s Lacrosse and we enjoyed a great season, qualifying for the Skyline Conference Playoffs for the first time in the program’s four year history.

I was fortunate enough to attend Senior Day at Coker College, in South Carolina, to see my former player and close family friend, Shane Wilson played in his final Home Game.

My coaching duties at O.W., limited my ability to see my daughter’s lacrosse games.  However, I was able to attend the PSAC Championships at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. The Lady Lakers won their first ever Conference Championship. I then solo road tripped to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, to see them compete in the NCAA Playoffs.

On Memorial Day Weekend, I was thrilled to see another former player, Brendan Caputo, playing for Brown.  His late goal sent their NCAA Semi-Final game into overtime, before ultimately falling to Maryland in an epic game.

I coached the Long Island TOGZ 2019/20 Team through the summer tournament season.  But, by early August, the TOGZ which had been a huge part of my life for almost a decade, would no longer exist. As summer began to wane, I began coaching and working for FLG Lacrosse.

Throughout the fall, there were FLG Practices, Fall Recruiting Tournaments and then various Training Sessions . There were more road trips to see Mercyhurst during their fall ball season.

This past year marked some big changes for me. It has not been easy, but I have tried to embrace it.  I am busier than I thought I would be in “Retirement”.  But, I am very happy with my present life.  I love both of my jobs, and the people I get to work with.  2016 was a great journey.  I am looking forward to a great year in 2017.  Practice at O.W. starts on January 23. I am anxious to begin!

 
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Giving Back

 

Building More Than Just Athletes – this is the ultimate goal for FLG Lacrosse, a mission statement. What does this mean? We try to take a comprehensive approach to helping our student athletes as they strive to become not only the best lacrosse players they can be, but more importantly, the best people they can be. The focus of our training, is to teach the value of hard work and dedication to long term goals. We are less concerned with wins and losses, than with “getting better everyday”. And “getting better”, means on and off the lacrosse field.

One way to emphasize the off field part of student athlete development, is to provide our players with opportunities to perform charitable acts and community service. “Lax4all” is the not for profit entity started by FLG, dedicated to helping grow the game of lacrosse in areas that do not already have youth lacrosse programs. “Lax4all” has been instrumental in beginning the youth lacrosse program in Roosevelt and is currently working to do the same in Uniondale. For the past month, “Lax4all” has partnered with the Uniondale Athletic Department, to run free weekly clinics in the Gymnasium of the Lawrence Road Middle School. More than 30 FLG Select Team members (Elementary aged and older) have participated in this event. Watching them “give back” by helping others learn the game they love, has been extremely rewarding. A wonderful experience for everyone.

Operation Shoe Box, is a program that facilitates sending various items to U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each of the past three Saturdays, FLG has encouraged and collected donations from all players participating in its Box Lacrosse Training Program. The response has been impressive, with more than fifty donations, thus far. The thought and care that has gone into creating these packages, is a reflection of the fine families we have in our program. By taking part in this program. our student athletes learn about power of good deeds and helping others. These are the type of “life lessons”, that sports can help teach.

FLG will continue to “Build More Than Just Athletes”.  Follow our Blog, to see how.

https://lilaxjournal.com/flg-community/

http://opshoeboxnj.org/opshoebox_volunteer.html#.WFl4qNLmqA4

 

 

 
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Tonight’s a BIG Night!

Why?

Tonight is the first night of our Positional and Fusion Clinic series. The first night of any clinic is big because we want to set the tone early. We want player’s coming in excited and energetic. We want parents to be impressed with our organization, enthusiasm, and execution by our staff and coaches.

How will we succeed tonight?

  1. Make sure all coaches are on the same page. Curriculums were fired out to all coaches with ample time to read and know what they are expected to teach.
  2. Get to the facility nice and early to set it up. A lot goes into setting up clinics to maximize flow and player development. When player’s get to the facility, everything should be ready to go!
  3. Make sure everyone gets lots of touches! Reps, reps, and more reps. That’s how player’s can learn and develop.
  4. Demonstrate. Teach. Reinforce. Reflect. That’s how we teach at our clinics.

Tonight we train with the same intensity of a big rivalry game. #LoveTheGame

 
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