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Rhino Lacrosse Camp: Flagstaff, Day 2

The morning session of Day 2 was awesome. Campers shook out the cobwebs from a late night before and the sun was out, shining for what appeared to be a beautiful day. Notice how I said appeared, because around 11:30, a very ominous dark cloud coasted above Flagstaff and soon after, this happened.

The lightning sounded like it was next door.

Luckily 11:30 was right about lunchtime, so we called it just a couple minutes early as the thunder rolled in and headed back to the dorms. During lunch some insane lightning and thunder broke out – a couple of us coaches are positive one of the bolts hit a nearby car.

The storm let up around 2pm, just in time for the afternoon session and for us to head down to the field. We were ready for anything though, and still are considering the weather forecast for this week. There are some nearby classrooms we can make use of to study some film and go over some other lax stuff. As soon as we got down to the field we had to turn around and come right back, thanks lightning. So we headed for the aforementioned classrooms and did a little “Meet the Coaches” session and a great chalk talk on Fast breaks.

Chalk talk time!

There will be no lollygagging for these campers. As usual though with these camps, the campers came out today ready to go and prepared to push themselves to become better. It’s a great sight to see, I truly think the passion and love that the coaches have for this game rubs off on the campers.

During our “Meet the Coaches” session, it was pretty evident that these are a great bunch of coaches. Even just outside of the game and their individual talents, every coach reiterated a couple main points on how to reach the next level that weren’t even related to lacrosse.

Coach Fritts stressed the importance of grades and being a great student first, definitely a must when trying to apply to schools. He worked his butt off both on and off the field in high school to go to a Top-10 D3 school and become Valedictorian of his class. That’s dedication!

Coach Gaebel talked a little about the recruiting process and what NCAA coaches look for other than just skill. One of those things was character, the other was academics. Sound familiar? Another great point that Coach Gaebel made was how he would rather have 45 hard working players with decent skills than just 1 great player. Coaches don’t want someone who will bring down the team, no matter how great they are. You can see that on great teams throughout college lacrosse today. Teams win championships, not individual players.

Coach Cost shared a lot of stories with the campers today, it was really special to hear actually. As someone who has compiled a record of 158-5 since middle school, he is definitely someone you want to listen to, take notes from even. His talk was a lot about having the right mindset. First and foremost, you have to buy into the system. Being a coachable player is a huge attribute to have in any sport. Second, to be the best, you have to play the best. Both Cost and Gaebel grew up playing guys like Matt Danowski, the Powells, Ian Dingman and Jason Coffman. His last point was a great one, if you think you are going to lose, get off the field. Pure and simple, I don’t think that one needs any explanation.

Coach Powell made a lot of great points throughout the talk, as he always does, when he talks you really need to make sure you are listening in. Today it was to play for the name on the front of your jersey, not the back. That is a great motto to play by. If you want to stick out on a team, stick out for the right reasons.

After a little supper, the campers got right back into in, a little rain wouldn’t stop us from being productive. Word of the night, passion. Going off what I said earlier, passion is key in this game, in any game really. If you are passionate about what you do and are 100% ready as soon as you step on the field, you will do great things.

In the night session we got right into it, we weren’t sure if the weather would hold up so we worked to get the campers through as many drills and as many touches as we could. Luckily for us, the weather DID hold up and Coach Cost brought in a new drill for the campers. It was a blast! Everyone got into which then led to the coaches getting excited for it to.

A ton of back and forth action.

In the drill there are two teams lined up on either sideline. The teams face their coaches to start and go when the ref (Coach Cost) blows the whistle. There is a bit of strategy to the game though. Each coach has to use the numbers 1-6 once before starting over. The corresponding number that the coach chooses, that many players go out. So there could be a 3v4, a 2v5, or even a 1v6. After the whistle is blown, the players race to the ball and the first one to score gets the point for that round.

It was intense, the first two games ended in a 3-3 tie, leading to a braveheart after each one. Each team won one of the bravehearts. At the end of the last game though, the blue team pulled out the ‘W’ with some nice ball movement and some stellar saves from the goalkeeper. Check out some of the highlights from the drill.

The end of yet another successful day.

What’s up with the sock collection from all these young laxers? Pugs, city skylines, and now these…

“Catch me lucky charms!”