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. Read coverage from Day 1.
Busy, busy day 2 at the IMLCA Convention. James arrived this morning at 2 AM, but was energized to get to work. We split up for most of the day today so we could maximize the number of presentations we were able to attend and today was a great day for learning. My morning began with a presentation on transition offense to defense from Cornell Coach Ben DeLuca.
My notes are still a bit all over the place, but some of the highlights were learning the “4 R’s” and learning a few new practice drills. The main message was hustle; hustle prevents transition on defense and hustle creates transition on offense. Coach Pyke attended a 6 v 6 Offense presentation with Coach Meade from Navy for his morning session. Highlights included learning to “EDIP” (Educate, demonstrate, imitate, and practice), which emphasized giving constant feedback during practice, and a few shooting drills and a drill designed to beat a double team. Judging by Navy’s 6 v 6 productivity, I’m sure the session was extremely productive.
During the morning break we had some much needed coffee, but also had a bit of time to chat with IMLCA vendors. Being a gear junky, it’s always cool to check out lax gear and it was great to see vendors like Headstrong making such a good impression on the lax community.
My late morning presentation was on “Developing Individual Defenseman” with Drexel Head Coach Brian Voelker. Overall, this was my least favorite presentation of the weekend (possibly because I already knew basically all the information presented), but there were still a few nuggets to take away. One of those was the new recruiting stress, which focuses on smarter, quicker defenders instead of the traditional “meat head” longpoles. Coach Pyke’s late morning presentation was titled “Coaches Never Lose” and was headed up by Union College Coach Paul Wehrum. James took away a few good quotes, including: “It’s not about the X’s and O’s, it’s about the whys” and “the harder you work, the harder it is to lose.” Overall, James felt like this was a very inspirational and emotional presentation, noting that Coach Wehrum was even brought to tears during his speech. This was one I was sorry to miss, but still probably good that we split up and covered more ground.
For lunch, we were treated to a fabulous meal at a local Italian deli, DiPasquale’s. This was recommended by Coach Robinette from Fort Lewis College, who is a Baltimore native and was our driver for lunch. We had a great group, which also included Dr. Jason Stockton (PNCLL President and former Pacific Lutheran Coach) and Coach Ben Clark from the University of New Hampshire. Great sandwiches, some good football talk, and I was impressed to see Jason take down his meatball sub… the thing was HUGE!
After lunch it was back to the Convention for the afternoon presenters. My after lunch presentation was “Problem Solving Drills for Goaltenders” from Coach John Brazel of Sacred Heart. I thought this presentation was awesome. I hardly knew anything about goaltending going into the thing, but I learned A TON during my short hour with Coach Brazel. I’m not going to go into much detail, but to get an idea about how good a presentation this was, I can tell you that even Coach Pietramala from Johns Hopkins had questions. I can also tell you that Rian (and every other varsity goalie to come) will benefit greatly from the knowledge I received and we’re really looking forward to strengthening our defense and our team this season. Coach Pyke also had a great afternoon presentation, as he headed to “Shooting Drills for Developing Offensive Players” with Coach Chernotti from Loyola. He thought the speaker covered lots of great drills that we will adapt for our team and we’re really looking forward to developing some better shooters on our teams this spring.
There was a short break following the early afternoon presenters, but then it was back to the grind. James and I stayed together for our last presenter of the day, as we headed to “Maximizing Practice Time: Drills Designed for Developing Full Field Play” with the VMI Coaching staff. The VMI guys made a solid presentation, but James and I noted that we already run most of the drills that were presented… in any event, it was a good refresher and nice way to end our day of learning.
Now we’re in the room watching the Griz take on App. State in football. Gonna unwind a bit before heading out tonight to check out some of the Baltimore night life. We’ve got three more presentations tomorrow that we are really looking forward to, so stay tuned for more coverage of the IMLCA Convention on missoulaelite.com. Go Griz!
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.