Editor’s note: The following was written by Kevin Flynn, a founder of Missoula Elite Lacrosse and friend of Lax All Stars. Kevin traveled to Baltimore to attend the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) convention and was gracious enough to cover the event for us.
It’s really hard to describe how drastic a change it is to travel from Montana to Baltimore on lacrosse related business. On my way from the airport to the hotel, we passed Johns Hokpins, UMBC, and a number of noted high schools… needless to say, it feels good to be in “Lax Mecca” AKA B-more.
So after practice last night, a 5:30 AM trip to the airport this morning, and travel here today, I am officially beat. Fortunately, my flight from Salt Lake City arrived 40 minutes early, so I was able to check into my room at the Marriott before having to head to the convention today. Upon arriving, I was instantly struck by the magnitude of this event and in awe of all the amazing people involved in this game that are here. I passed Coach Breschi of UNC, Trevor Tierney, & Coach Moran from Navy on my way to today’s featured presentation, “The Syracuse Way,” which was presented by the Syracuse coaching staff. Coaches Desko, Rogers, Donohue, and Simmons made an hour presentation that highlighted some of the drills and planning that goes into making a championship season for the boys at ‘Cuse. I learned some nice warm up modifications and a few unsettled drills that show clearly how ‘Cuse can excel at the “run and gun” style. Overall, it was a nice presentation, mostly stuff I already knew, but always great to hear from the game’s best.
Following the ‘Cuse presentation, we were treated to a great talk by Col. John Rupp, USMC, who presented on “Developing Character in Your Team.” Col. Rupp did a great job highlighting three main areas; how to prepare as a head coach, how to prepare your team to be leaders on the field, and how to lead in the face of adversity. He encouraged me, and all the other coaches listening, to take a long look within before the new season and to do our best to clarify our intent. Col. Rupp drew some excellent comparisons to his time in military service and how that relates to lacrosse players. What struck me most, though, was a question he posed… which in turn I will pose to all of our players in Missoula Elite Lacrosse. As Col. Rupp pointed out, WE WILL BE CHALLENGED THIS SEASON. The question that remains is HOW WILL WE BE REMEMBERED?
I can tell you all now that I’m gearing up for a memorable season… Coach Pyke should be here in a few hours and we have another packed day tomorrow, so stay tuned for more coverage of the 2009 IMLCA Convention. I need some sleep now, but we’ll be back at it tomorrow.
About the Author: Kevin Flynn was a two time All-Conference selection in high school before moving to Missoula to play collegiately for the Griz. At Montana, Flynn was named Team President and Team Captain for 3 seasons. He was a two time All-Conference defender in college and helped lead the Griz to the 2007 MCLA D2 National Championship. Coach Flynn also spent two years on the sidelines coaching for Montana, compiling a 22-6 overall record and one conference championship. Flynn was named the PNCLL’s Coach of the Year in 2005. He graduated from The University of Montana with a degree in Native American Studies. Coach Flynn is a founder and coach for Northstars Selects Lacrosse, which exposes high school players in non-traditional lacrosse areas to the college recruitment process. He has been serving the Missoula lacrosse community for 7 years and is one of the founders of Missoula Elite Lacrosse. This will be his second year on the sidelines of the Men’s Varsity team.