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The biggest takeaway from my time with the U14's a few years ago is how we need to do a better job getting this group ready for High School lacrosse while making sure the game stays a game.... whether you've been playing for a few years or this is your player's first year. This experience will be what we build this season around.
I've also learned over the year's that this is probably one of the most difficult age groups to handle as a coach. Reason being is that at this age, there is naturally going to be players that will vary in size and speed. Also, there will be a group a players that have decided at this age that they are year around lacrosse players and play on travel clubs throughout the Southeast...but this also is the age where we can see the greatest development in both skill and lacrosse IQ and this is what we will be focused on.. the things that we can control. This in my opinion makes this game beyond special, a players physical size and strength is only a small piece of the lacrosse pie. A player's ability to catch and throw with both hands, communicate and work hard means so much in this game.. all of those are within each player's ability and control.
To help increase our skill and IQ, we will have Walker Lacy full time with us who not only played lax and graduated from Oak Mtn, he also went on to play in college. He was with us during our Fall Camp and he is going to be a fantastic leader, coach and mentor for our group. Additionally, we will be having our high school coaches helping at practice as much as possible. This includes Oak Mtn's newest addition, Brett Eisenman who played D1 lacrosse at Mercer. A few high school players will be coming to our practices on occasion to help ensure our U14's are getting the best on field instruction as possible.
Know that as board and a coaching staff, our focus will be building your player up so that this is the best experience possible. We are going to work our tales off together but I truly believe the rewards for the effort will be beyond evident.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!