Leadership

Ways to Get Better This Off Season Without Breaking the Bank:

Buying expensive and specialized training equipment does not always make you a better athlete. Being apart of a high-end training facility/ gym is not always needed to see results. The United States Marine Corps have a saying, “I am the gym.” It’s that simple. Whatever sport you play, athletes in general can do so much on their own and see outstanding results with minimal training equipment. It really boils down to are you putting the work in, and is what you are doing making it harder, tougher and slightly more attentive to detail.

Let’s zoom in on the sport of lacrosse. Getting a new stick or equipment is not always the answer to becoming a better lacrosse player. The lacrosse market offers great products that focus on aspects of the game, and don’t get me wrong, some of these products can definitely be utilized, however are they all that necessary? Let’s take you through an optimal training session with as little training equipment as possible. The first thing you are going to need is a back pack or training pack. Your pack is your life preserver. It will have all your essentials needed to become a better lacrosse player. In your pack you’re going to want to include, 20 lacrosse balls, a tennis ball, 5 cones, and a jump rope. Additional items to include are, a shooting rejector, a shooting target, a small hurdle and a speed ladder. If financially you can’t afford some of these items, a shooting target can simply be made by tying a 12 inch string to a soda can, a hurdle can be made out of inexpensive PVC and a speed ladder can substituted with a rope. Now that you have your pack it is time to train.

Put your helmet, gloves and cleats on your stick, put your stick on your shoulder, hop on your bike or your skateboard or your roller blades and ride up to the field. Look at that, you have already started your training and you haven’t even arrived at the field yet. Now find a wall and start your wall ball workout. Talk to your coaches about the right individual wallball/ workout routine for you but for now let’s keep it simple. Make a song playlist on your phone or ipod, 5-7 minutes long and crush 100R, 100L, 50 catches and switches, 25 shovels each hand and 25 BTB’s. If you want to make it a little more tough, add some more specialized passes. Defensive players stand further from the wall and work on overs. Offensive players add some dynamic movement to simulate more game like situations. You can even do the wall ball routine with a tennis ball to develop softer hands or bring a backup stick and fill the shaft with sand to add a little more weight. Once you have completed the wall ball routine, lets get out to the field. Set up your rejector and your target (pick a spot on the cage, tie the can or place the target and work on hitting it over and over again) and put your lacrosse balls dead center 5 yards away from the goal. Work on shooting with lead foot up, back knee down, chest up and chin over your lead shoulder. Torque you body and let it loose, shooting for power dead center of the cage. Start your progression to your feet, crow hopping into the shot and move the balls back until you are top center, bouncing the ball or hitting the target. Move to the right and left wing, adding hitches and rollbacks, resetting your feet, working on time and room shooting. Now lest go back to top center if you are a middie or behind if you are an attackman. Break out the cones and speed ladder or rope. Go through a progression where you are getting the feet going (one foot in and out, ickey shuffle, two feet in etc.) and use the cones to simulate defenders. Work on several doges including but not limited, splits, rolls, S’s, faces and V’s. focus on shooting on the run, angling your body to the goal and staying within the pipes, DON’T FADE. Our goal is to get 100- 150 GREAT shots on cage. Don’t quit until your shots are dialed in. If you are a defenseman it’s a little tougher to train on your own but talk to your coaches. There are several drills one can do using cones, ladders as well as other items that work on your hands, feet, body positioning, agility and throwing checks.

Three quarters down, it’s time for the fourth quarter. Get up to the school yard and find a jungle gym. Our workout is as follows. 200 pushups, 100 pull ups, 100 body squats, 3X 25 of burpees, 30 leg lifts, 3X 25 crunches and 3X 100 on the jump rope. Remember, “YOU ARE THE GYM.” Hard work is not earned, its just something we must do to get better. But remember you don’t have to pull out the wallet to get better. I guarantee you can find most of the stuff outlined here laying around the house. Great job, now its time to finish strong, ride home and enjoy a meal. If you put the work in, you will see results. Be determined and start a regiment. It starts now.

 
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Thoughts from Coach Wink

Had a Conversation with an FLG Alum Parent today:

Here is the story:

Back in 7th grade this FLG Player decided to leave the program and follow his friends from his town to another travel lacrosse program. After 3 years and not enjoying his experience at the other program he returned in his Junior Year. After helping him with his recruiting process this player committed in Early July to attend and play lacrosse at a very high level academic school. There were still 2 more summer tournaments left in the summer when he committed to college. This player notified our FLG Directors that he would not be attending the last 2 tournaments of the summer due to work conflicts. Our Program Director spoke with him at length on the commitment that he had made to his team and that this was not the way FLG Student Athletes conduct themselves. Our Director made it clear that He had made a commitment to his team and he should be there on the sideline & field to play with his team.

What was the conversation with the Parent about?

Coach I am disappointed why you did not return my son’s phone call when he contacted you to tell you he committed to his College Choice.

Commitment & Selflessness

What does this mean?

I am committed to my team.

I am committed to attending practices & games.

I am committed to being there for my teammates.

Why can’t parents understand what this means?

Why are parents only thinking about their children?

When does selfish behavior become okay?

It is NOT Okay to be Selfish!

Giving more than you receive!

Why is our society okay with people thinking about themselves before others?

When I see an act of kindness it warms my heart!

I will always remember when Carly Driscoll walked over to a new player on her FLG Team and welcomed her to her team when that player was feeling alone. This is an act of kindness that should never go unnoticed.

If we want our world to be a better place for our children STOP thinking about you and think about helping others.

Selflessness-thinking of others before yourself-Welles Crowther. What more can one do than try and help others before worrying about themselves!

I hope we can all reach out and be there for a stranger-lets make this world a better place!

Ask FLG Lacrosse what I can do to help?

Community Service-Lets Help Others!

 
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FLG Internship Opportunities – Fall, Spring, Summer

A little over a year ago, I started an internship program at FLG for High School, Collegiate, and post-graduate students. This internship works with young professionals who are looking to gain valuable work experience, contribute to a thriving company, and work with people who are extremely passionate in what they do. Below you will find a video blog on 2 different types of internships we are offering here at FLG Lacrosse, as well as quotes from some of the past rock-stars that interned with FLG.

Please note, you can apply for our internship programs by emailing me at cwinkoff@flglacrosse.com – Please include your resume, linked in profile (if you have one), and make note of which internship opportunity (Creative Media or Marketing) & season (Fall, Spring, Summer) you are looking to apply for.

When people think FLG, well at least when I heard the word FLG I thought “another summer travel lacrosse program” but after my experience of coaching and working as an intern in the office this summer, I have realized it is way more than that. It is a program that is run all year long consisting of various types of events and teams. I have learned so much through out my time here, not even just work wise, but life lessons to. -Kaitlyn (Adelphi University, Sports Management Major)

One of my favorite elements of my summer internship was the opportunity to utilize my creative abilities. I have had some experience with graphic design in the past and FLG allowed me to showcase my skills in creating several marketing campaigns to promote the company. These were all sent out via email or shared through FLG’s social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. -Ryan (Stevens Tech, Business & Technology Major)

Every day was a different challenge and we all were able to be creative and open in solving them and producing an end product that we were all proud of. -Sarah (UMASS, Health & Sciences Major)

The FLG intern program was a great experience that has better prepared me for what lies ahead once I graduate from Siena College. The skills I have acquired have made me a better leader and with that, I would like to say thank you to the staff here at FLG. I still have much to learn, but the FLG intern experience has steered me in a direction where I know I can and will be successful. -Devin (Siena College, Environmental Science Undergraduate & Pre-Med @ Hofstra University)

Working for FLG this past summer has exceeded every expectation I had for my first internship. The work I had done was much more than filing documents and typing notes during meetings. The assignments my directors gave me were important to the outcome of whatever program or task we were trying to complete.I am extremely thankful for all that FLG has offered me these past four months and I will always remember not only the skills and lessons I have learned, but the memories I have made as well. -Alexa (UMASS School for Sports Management)

By far, this summer has been one of the best summers I have ever had thanks to FLG. Interning at FLG has given me the opportunity to meet new people/make connections and learn what it takes to run a leading company in the competitive lacrosse sports industry. FLG is a family business so you can see and feel the passion, love, dedication and commitment that is poured into work here everyday but make no mistake, it is also a company that is professional, innovative, and provides state of the art service to its clients. -Julie (UMASS School for Sports Management)

 
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The Inner You

Starting at a young age it is extremely important to have the right mindset and work ethic about everything you do. I am lucky enough to have 2 parents who constantly preach it so I am consistent with it. Growing up there was a kid I played with who was good enough to be the #1 recruit and go to play anywhere he wanted. He would always dominate everyone else and it started getting easy for him. The problem was his head started getting filled by everyone telling him how good he was and he stopped working hard. There started to be a slow decline in his performance. While all this was happening there were many other kids like myself who didn’t get the attention he did. The people with higher work ethics have a higher ceiling than those with lower work ethics even though they might have more talent than you. The best thing to do is use it as motivation and outwork the other kid. With the right attitude and work ethic, anything is possible. Don’t cheat yourself and practice all the time and good things will happen. My Dad always told me to treat everything you do like you are a horse running in a race. They all wear blinders so they don’t get distracted. In life block out all of the noise, keep working hard and good things will come.

 
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26 v. 100

The moment a child picks up a lacrosse stick, he or she is entering a marathon, not a 100 meter sprint.

A lacrosse stick should be used to bring joy, happiness, life lessons, history, confidence, respect, and opportunity to children. It shouldn’t be used to bring pain, fear, arrogance, and a lack of personal growth.

When parents and coaches alike approach children’s lacrosse careers as if it’s a sprint, nobody wins. Players lose interest in the game, grow to resent the sport, lack a sense of accomplishment, and constantly feel a fear of missing out.

The days of competing for championships, 3 hour practices, 2-a-days will eventually come. But, not if children are exposed to this mentally at such an early age. Their High School and/or college coaches will demand a tremendous amount of time and energy. But, not if that childhood prospect is completely burned out from the sport by the time they make it to HS. Top coaches and trainers will push players to the limits in order to achieve competitive greatness. Sacrifices will be made. Lessons learned. But, not if children are pushed too far too early in their lives.

It’s our duty as parents and youth coaches to know this is a long road. If playing at the highest level in lacrosse is something your child wants, approach it with the big picture in mind. Let your child learn different aspects of the game one step at a time. Don’t cut corners and your child will get the best possible opportunity to decide if achieving competitive greatness is something they truly want. Ultimately, It’s their decision. Parents and coaches just need to guide, support, teach, and keep things in perspective.

 
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Play’s’ Make Players

Ever made a bad move?

Committed a flagrant foul?

Missed the game winning shot?

Dropped the ball?

Tripped over your own two feet?

Those are bad plays, but that doesn’t mean they have to define you as a player.

Your legacy as a player is an accumulation of your play while you train, practice, and compete. Don’t let one bad play define you. Don’t let someone else define you. 

Make your legacy one built around the positive, the tough, the effort plays. Be the player you wish to become. Work towards it each day. Work at it, hard. 

 
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Unfold, don’t Mold.

Children aren’t meant to be molded, but unfolded.

Inside each of us is an individual waiting to express oneself. Children need to be given an opportunity to give more of themselves, an opportunity to gain the confidence to be who they are, and given the freedom to develop their own perceptions of the world.

The focus shouldn’t be on shaping children to become a specific thing. Instead, energy and effort from teachers, parents, coaches, and mentors should be spent on giving children a chance to unfold their true selves. Unfold, don’t mold.

 

 
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Mistakes

Some see mistakes as tragedies, others as opportunities.

Some think mistakes are strenuous and make you tenuous, others see mistakes a time to be constructive, strong, and generous.

Some see mistakes as par for the course, others as an eagle on the number 18 handicap fourth.

Some see mistakes as a time to hide, others as one to collide and apologize.

Some see mistakes as a chance to point fingers, others as a chance to take ownership, step-up, and deliver.

Some think mistakes are okay, to them I say, “Hey, don’t accept a life below your highest level of play.”

 

 
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Kids: Speak For Yourself

Check out an article I wrote for iSport360. Enjoy!

Kids: Speak For Yourself

To learn what iSport360 is all about, click here!

 
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The Why?

 

Coach: It’s important to move the ball up the field.

Player: Why move upfield?

Coach: It brings the ball and your team closer to your opponent’s goal.

Player: Why get closer to your opponent’s goal?

Coach: Getting closer to your opponent’s goal gives your team a better chance to score.

 

I encourage players and coaches to ask the question, why?

But, why ask why?

Asking why makes you think more about the purpose of your actions.

The why brings you closer to clearly defining your goals.

Knowing the why can foster positive habits.

The why turn these positive habits into steady development.

Development brings you one step closer to a complete understanding of your goals or what it takes to become great.

The why makes coaches and athletes dig deeper, think harder, and make connections quicker.

Promote the question, why? Don’t shy away from it. After all, what’s the worst that can happen, you have to answer, “I don’t know?” In this case, work together, ask Google, figure out the why?

 

 

 
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