Today we’re sitting down with Brian Karalunas of Xcelerate Lacrosse, to learn more about their company, what services they offer, what it’s like to work there!
Xcelerate Lacrosse is a proud sponsor of LAS. When considering a camp or training company, it’s always good to know about that company’s connection to the game and their view on the great sport of lacrosse.
Please introduce us to Xcelerate Lacrosse! When was the company founded, where, and by whom? Where does Xcelerate currently operate?
Xcelerate Lacrosse was founded in 2003 by brothers Steve Anderson and Jay Jalbert, both former University of Virginia players. The Xcelerate home office is currently located in Cleveland, OH. Grow the Game!
What are the driving principles behind Xcelerate Lacrosse? What is the program’s overall philosophy?
Our focus is to provide the best coaching possible through positive reinforcement, encouragement, and commitment. Lacrosse is supposed to be fun, and we pride ourselves on finding new and innovative ways to help our players reach their full potential.
How does Xcelerate differentiate themselves from other training groups?
We truly believe that we provide the best coaching in the country. All of our camps have an 8:1 player to coach ratio and all of our coaches are professional players, collegiate coaches, or high school coaches, with collegiate players serving as junior counselors.
We spend A TON of time interviewing and selecting our coaches, to ensure that our entire staff shares the knowledge and passion for the game that Xcelerate was founded on.
Do you craft your instructional work for where the game will be down the road? Or do you focus on dealing with the way lacrosse is being played right now?
As an instructional organization, it is very important for us to adapt to both how lacrosse is being played right now, and where the game is headed. The current trend seems to be the hybrid indoor-outdoor style offenses, which emphasize off-ball movement and inside stick work. For this summer’s camps, we’ve included more demonstrations and drills that emphasize these skills.
How do you prep a player to be good now, and able to adapt in the future?
The core fundamentals of lacrosse transcend any particular “trends,” so our emphasis will always be in that area, and on producing complete players, who can excel in any system.
Please describe a typical day in the Xcelerate office! Where does your time go?
On a typical day, we arrive at work and hit the weight room that’s next to our office (there aren’t many better ways to kick off a day than with a little iron). After that, it’s time to get down to work. We spend much of our day developing fun, innovative drills, planning camp itineraries, and reaching out to other coaches and instructors. We usually find time at lunch to throw the ball around and practice some shooting. Once 5:00 hits, it’s time to go coach!
Since you teach the “now” and the future, what are your thoughts on where the game is headed in a more general sense?
There is an explosion in youth lacrosse enrollment across the country right now. We’re already experiencing some results of this in forms such as increased media exposure for the game, the first ever lacrosse-based major motion picture, etc. Also, the game continues to expand at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.
In the next decade, we should see even further growth. It is an awesome time to be a player and/or fan of lacrosse!
If you could give ONE piece of advice to a current HS player looking to play in college, what would it be?
Play as much as possible!
How do your coaches use their experience with the game, and in life, to better prepare their players?
We select our coaches not only based on playing ability, but on a proven commitment to teaching and on upstanding character. One of the lessons we really try to stress is that whether it be lacrosse or life, success comes through hard work. So NEVER be afraid to dive in and give something your best shot!
To learn more about Xcelerate Lacrosse, check out their website!