Let me start by saying that Lacrosse Evolution has added another boys camp to the schedule, August 8th-12th in Sea Isle, NJ! Once again Coach Slate, Ryan Cranston, and myself will be there, along with other D1 players and pros. For full info click HERE and when registering make sure you say “Jimmy Ciccone recommended you” in the comments section (just a way to show my advertising is being effective!).
I arrived early at the field excited for another great Lax Evo Camp. In front of me was the wide open field and right behind me the entrance to the beach. This is why I love South Jersey.
I then met two of my co-counselors, Coach Joe (UNC commit) and coach Sandro (Fairfield commit). Once Coach Slate arrived we helped him unload his car. Amongst the items to unload? A box full of Maverik Vision heads, one for each of the campers. Lax Evo knows how to hook up their campers. Once the campers arrived and checked in, I noticed it was a smaller turn out than Ocean City.
It was certainly not because of a lack in advertisements, it’s because Stone Harbor is close to Cape May (the southern most point of New Jersey) and although there are some schools in the area with lacrosse, it’s just not as popular down there. But that’s why we were there, to continue to teach and grow the game in the area! Some say its not about quantity but quality and this was evident amongst our laxers.
After we did our introductions and all that jazz, the campers took a lap and then went straight into line drills and that’s where I realized these kids had skill. Most could throw both lefty and righty as well as catch with both hands, and the majority were younger kids. I believe we had one or two kids in high school. The rest were middle school age or younger… very encouraging to see the game growing in our area.
We also had campers from near and far which was pretty cool to see. We had one laxer from Kentucky and another laxer from Georgia by the name of John, who will have a very successful high school career as long as he keeps working hard… he’s definitely got the size advantage.
Coach Slate and Coach Sankey talked a bit about the importance of changing planes when shooting and what to look for in a goalie’s movement when choosing where to go. (You can see some good footage of this on our highlight video at the end of the post).
Campers then got a chance to do some shooting on the run, while the younger guys got to play some mini lax. Coach Slate decided to pay a visit to the young guns and make things a bit more exciting. He made a line a few yards away from the net and said whoever could take a shot and score on him would win a brand new Maverik head. In the end it was Tommy who made the only goal on a nice bounce shot. The younger kids then moved on to dodging/shooting on the run while the older guys did positional drills and so concluded Day 1. Day 1 was full of the basics which were essential to a fun and successful week.
We started off the day the same as every day. The guys did a lap, went into line drills and then did our stretch. While stretching me and my fellow counselors were chatting about some things involving conditioning and someone brought up planks. Well, one kid heard us and yelled I can do a plank for 5 minutes. Not very confident in the young man, we permitted him to attempt it while the rest of us continued our normal stretches.
As the minutes passed by, the camper was still doing the plank just fine and as the time ticked away it turned from disbelief to confidence. Sure enough the kid pulled it off. All of us were very impressed and it inspired us to do a bunch of plank exercises the next day during stretches, which the kids hated us for. After stretches we moved on to dodging which seemed necessary from the day before. The kids showed a huge improvement.
Side note: yesterday Coach Slate and I gave out LAS stickers and Lax Evo stickers, and the kids came back the next day ready to show off their newest addition to their helmets.
At the end of the day, the little guys got to play some mini brave heart with the Loonatics taking it all. There were plenty of saves before anyone could get the game winner in. The older guys finished off the day with a scrimmage, which was fun for all but what they had coming for the next day would add to the excitement.
Day started once again the same as everyday (going through our warm up routine), but what rolls up full of sick gear and two MLL pros?
Who was inside do you ask? Drew Adams of the Long Island Lizards and Billy “Benz” Bitter of the Denver Outlaws.
We had Drew Adams discuss the toughest shots for a goalie to save and he gave these lil laxers a whole new way to look at how they take shots. (You can see some of the talk on our highlight video.)
The overcast skies didn’t stay that way for long. Shortly after Drew’s talk, it started to rain a bit so we had a quick autograph session where Coach Slate, Billy and Drew signed autographs and chatted with the campers a bit.
Drew also had a bunch of gear to show off to the campers. He showed off some sick custom Maverik Maybach Gloves and even showed off the new Rome Glove. The Maybachs were a huge suprise to me, personally – I never was a fan of how they looked, but I threw them on and now I’m a huge fan! I kind of wish we had another pair of LAS Rocket Pops to pick up!
After Drew’s talk, Billy Bitter took over and gave the campers some dodging tips from behind the net and how to finish that play. Coach Slate played the role of the dpole who gets burned by Bitter, but then again that’s nothing new to Slate… ;) Check out the footage in the highlight video!
When I showed up on Day 4, a bunch of little guys were huddled around our kid from Kentucky…why? This is why.
Once again we dropped tons of lax knowledge and drills on these little laxers, but we also had something special planned for the end of the day: Beach Lax. I mean, how could we not take advantage of that beach being right there.
The last day! My time with everyone had to be cut short because I had to head to Wildwood to check in my team for the Beach Lax Tournament. So, I only got to stay until 7 and in that time I just wanted to focus on getting some video and enjoy my last few hours with everyone. We still had tons of stuff to giveaway so we had a trick shot contest, followed by a faceoff contest. The winners of each age group were rewarded with prizes… everything from shirts and hoodies to free Maverik Lacrosse heads.
I was bummed I had to leave early because once again, I had an absolute blast with everyone at the camp. I’m really looking forward to my next two camps with Lax Evo. Next up is the Pinnacle Camp at the Valley Forge Military Academy (July 30th-August 2nd) and the Sea Isle Camp (August 8th-12th). There’s still time to register, so if you’re interested please click on the camp names above which straight to the registration page.
(PLEASE NOTE: the link for the Pinnacle Camp will bring you to the “offensive camp.” All positional camps are on the same days at the same location, so please make sure you register under your position, whether that be offensive, defensive or goalie. Please also make sure that you put “Recommended by Jimmy Ciccone” in the comments sections of the registration page. Thank you!)
Thanks again for reading! Sound off in the comments about the highlight video!