Xcelerate Lacrosse Camp: Olympia, Day 2

Zarchin working the goalies.
Zarchin working the goalies.

Day 2 started out pretty solid for the campers at Xcelerate Lacrosse camp in Olympia, Washington. We had a great demo on dodging and 1v1 defense from Coach O’Neill and Coach Grace and some special time for the goalies with Coach Zarchin.

The main idea today: less is more. Pick one solid dodge and get as much speed as you can, or even as Coach O’neill said, “the best dodge is no dodge.” Too many kids now-a-days run straight into their defenders and try to dodge around them, instead of just running right passed their defender.

To end the first session, the coaches gave the campers a little dose of fun with a nice game of Ultimate Lacrosse – Pretty much the same rules as Ultimate Frisbee, just as lacrosse. It was enjoyable to watch and the campers began to move the ball around as the game progressed and really worked to find the open guy.

After a short break for lunch and some pool time for the campers, we went over off-ball movements and picks. Going over the Pick-and-Roll, Pick-and-Slip and Pick-and-Pop were all very beneficial for the guys, and this was noticeable as we moved through to continuous 3v2’s and a scrimmage to end the afternoon session.

Everyone loves continuous 3v2’s.

In the evening session, we broke down into teams and got everyone into games; giving players a chance to really test their mettle and try some of the things they’ve learned at camp so far. You could definitely see a great amount of improvement starting to show through as kids moved the ball around more fluidly and tried new checks or picks they may not have thought of before.

Quality learning for this long pole.

As I was saying earlier, Xcelerate has had Max Zarchin on staff all summer long. He has been working with the goalies quite a bit at camp here in Olympia, providing some great one-on-one time. Today he was laid a great base of knowledge down for the goalies, ensuring that they’ll all be on the same page throughout the week.

During the evening session, I pulled Coach Zarchin aside to get a quick interview with him about his playing career, his experience with Xcelerate and the growth of the game out West. Max is a great guy, and very humble about his accomplishments. And since he won’t tell you how great he is, allow me to:

– 2x All-American Goalie Salisbury University (2006 & 2007)
– 2x NCAA D3 National Champion (2005 & 2007)
– NCAA career: 63 wins – 1 loss (2 undefeated seasons)
– NCAA record holder for most goalie wins in single season (23)
– 2x Conference All-Star & 1 x Conference Goalie of Year
– Conference Record for Goals Against Average single season (5.4)

Impressive right? Definitely someone worth listening to!

Make sure to come back tomorrow for Day 3 – there will be plenty more to check out!