Two short weekends ago, Copenhagen Lacrosse hosted the 2nd annual Copenhagen Lacrosse Camp in sunny Copenhagen, Denmark. The Copenhagen Lacrosse Camp is an open ages lacrosse camp, with sections for men and women, of all abilities and experience levels. It’s about teaching, and growing the game, while having fun as a community.
Last year’s camp was a huge success and we were really excited to see if we could duplicate that same camp success for a 2nd year running. There are very few lacrosse players in our region of the world, even fewer people coaching lacrosse, and even fewer lacrosse camps providing good instruction that suits the European standard of lacrosse. We were extremely lucky to lock in Kate Clark and Fabienne Johnson to coach the women’s section of the camp and Brian Potter to coach the men’s section. The weekend was prime for lacrosse with participants coming from a range of different countries gathering in Copenhagen to learn a thing or two and get better.
I’ll now leave Kate Clark to fill you in on the weekend in Copenhagen for the
2018 Copenhagen Lacrosse Camp!
Kate Clark: In late February I was contacted about coaching the women’s section of Copenhagen Lacrosse Camp. I didn’t know too much about Danish Lacrosse apart from what I had seen online but I couldn’t turn up the opportunity to travel to Denmark to check it out, so I set off with my game face on and a carry on bag for the flight. First of all, let me say that this was from the offset the most organized camp I’ve worked on. From the air b&b to the pub crawl schedule, everything was sorted. I was sharing a flat just a walk away from our fields in Varby with my assistant coach Fab and the Men’s coach Brian.
We were up bright and early on the first day for a start at 9, grabbing a coffee on our walk down. The women’s side of the camp was made up of 35 players mostly from Scandinavia and Germany and all of varying abilities but of equal enthusiasm. We spent the morning running through some basics to find a base line and then proceeded to throw as much as we could at them. We were blessed with a group made up of 2 great goalies and players all with reliable stick skills and game sense. This meant that we could get through drills with minimum breakdown, maximum fun and loads of space to progress the drill. We aimed to give as much range in our coaching to provide examples that players could take back to their own developing national and club programmes.
Each day I was given an hour to talk about rules. It’s something we often take for granted if we learned in lacrosse environments with coaches and umpires, everyone knew the rules. Taking the time to go over the details of shooting space, three seconds, legal checking and good defence practice allowed us to provide some solid foundations to build practices around. It also gave me a chance to try and poach some players for team zebra!
With the luxury of having two coaches we were able to split the day into different game elements (defence, attack, shooting, crease rolls, ground balls etc) and the field between us to run two drills at a time. This way we kept everyone engaged and moving, and covered a lot of material. Two days went so fast and as the time went on more players brought up things they would like to focus on, from draw control to side arm shooting, we could have filled another week. We were so lucky with the weather, two dry days, lunch was delivered, and the girls trumped the boys for pub crawl turn out. I couldn’t have asked for more.
I spent my last day in Denmark exploring Copenhagen before heading home. I can’t think of a better way to spend my free time than travelling to new places and talking about lacrosse. Being part of developing lacrosse across Europe, be it as a player coach or umpire, is such a privilege and if you get a chance I highly recommend it. No matter where you end up you can find a bed to stay in and someone to have a beer with through the lacrosse network. Overwhelmingly these small programmes are being driven by passionate individuals who have jobs or studies and still find time to forge the foundations of their national lacrosse set ups. Getting hold of equipment, translating rule books and lining pitches are all things they have to figure out.
Denmark has some exciting times ahead. Copenhagen business school is in the beginning stages of setting up the country’s first university team and it’s all up from there. I’m so excited to see how they grow and I am ready to go and train some umpires when the time is right! Every new team is another step towards making this awesome sport truly global. Programmes are starting up across the Europe, Africa, South America and Asia all looking for equipment, coaching and support and you should considering supporting the growth of our game internationally as well as locally.
Copenhagen Lacrosse Camp will be on again in 2019.