Editor’s note: It’s not everyday one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time chooses to share a few things he would change about his favorite game. In the spirit of high school season starting up across North America, we’re pleased to revisit this thought-provoking piece by Ryan Powell.
I recently heard from a LaxAllStars reader who posed a loaded question to me.
“If you could change anything about the game of lacrosse, on each level (youth through pro), what would the change or changes be?”
– Derek Fongemie, Maine
If I had the ability to change our sport, here is what I would do…
At the youth level, I feel like it there is too much game play and not enough instruction. I have said this for a while now, but I really think that youth players today should spend their time and resources getting instruction, playing the game with buddies, having fun and enjoying the sport. There are a lot of kids that will not reach their maximum potential because they are pushed a competitive direction too early. Just one man’s opinion.
High School Change
There’s too much focus on recruiting! OMG, play lacrosse and have fun already! Showcase after showcase, recruiting films in 8th grade, etc, etc. Players and parents, think about how many scholarships there are available out there, think about how many roster spots each college team has (MCLA, Div 3,2,1), and then think about how many high school & youth players are playing this game.
My high school lacrosse career included playing for my high school, playing in the Empire Games for a few years, and going to 1-3 instructional camps each summer. Oh yeah, forget to mention the most important part of my training for success: playing a ton of lacrosse with my brothers and friends in the back yard at the Powell house or the Coffman house. Does anyone do that anymore?
Expand the amount of teams in the tournament to 32! It’s only one more game for teams, so players certainly won’t mind, and it gives the opportunity for more colleges to be recognized in the national spotlight. I think that it would be great for the sport! Plus, I would love to see a few 1st round upsets – wouldn’t you? How cool is March Madness?
SUPPORT! I think that the MLL is a great league and extremely well run. I can say the same for the NLL. These are our professional leagues and as lacrosse players or fans, young and old, we need to support these leagues. How do you think you do that? Check out the social media for both leagues, go to their games (and get a few first time friends to go with you), and if you can’t watch them live, watch a game on TV. Spread the love – let’s go lacrosse, as LaxAllStars.com likes to say “Grow The Game!”
What you YOU change about the game? Sound off in the comments section and let me know!