Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Available in all shapes and sizes….

Posted by Barry Marenberg on May 24, 2011

I’m a huge proponent of helping the sport of lacrosse grow (and grow and grow).  One of my favorite t-shirts is from LacrosseAllStars.com and say’s GROW THE GAME.  I love it that more and more boys (and girls!) are starting to play the game each year.  I watched both quarterfinal games on Saturday and typically I “watch” the game but don’t listen to the commentators.  At one point, I did, however, catch a quick exchange between Eamon McAnaney and Quint Kessenich that resonated strongly with me.

Over the last 5 years as a boys lax coach in NJ I have gained new players every season.  Oftentimes I hear from current players or through the grapevine that so-and-so will be joining the team next year but he is not athletic, too small, etc.  If I don’t know a player I immediately dismiss such hearsay.   During Saturday’s NCAA game between Cornell and UVA, McAnaney and Kessenich hit it right on the head when they were discussing how size and strength is really not a determinant for overall success as a lacrosse player.  All a player does need is SPEED.  If a player has speed, all the other lacrosse skills can be learned and mastered with practice.   THAT I have seen first-hand as well.  Some of these new boys that come to me every year are small and some have never played an organized sport before BUT most of these new players have SPEED.  With the speed in place, any coach can teach the fundamentals and necessary skills to be mastered.  I have seen this first-hand many times.  Some of my best and most improved players had nothing more than speed when they started.  To this day, some are still considered small in size, but they make up for their lack of size or strength with their speed and ability to beat their man using that speed.

When my Saturday mail arrived just after the Cornell/UVA game had ended, I was flipping through my just arrived INSIDE LACROSSE magazine and right there in Editor John Jiloty’s column was an article about SPEED and how lacrosse has not yet become like other major sports where participants can be eliminated due to lack of size or strength.  Agree!

At least at the youth and middle school ages, lets continue to encourage young athletes to try the sport.  If they have the speed, they can learn the skills and can no doubt end up being a top-notch lacrosse player by the time they reach high school.

See you on the field!

– Coach B

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