Editor’s Note: Please welcome Jamie Plunkett back to LAS! Jamie is living in Germany, and runs the Deutschland Adler Lacrosse Club. He has also been selected as a coach for the Polish National team, and was in Poland last week to help select their final team for Denver 2014. Check out Jamie’s update on Poland Lacrosse below! Photo Credit: Kamila Stefek
Recently I was hired along with Hill Cardwell to help coach the Polish National team as they push towards the next World Field Lacrosse Championships in Denver 2014. We were brought in to support the coaching staff already in place, who currently reside in the USA.
This past weekend the Polish national hopefuls headed to Wroclaw for a two day and evaluation camp. Much to my surprise the skill level was high. Knowing a handful of Polish players before going into the weekend really made for a smooth introduction. Guys like Muchal Bucki and Jan Rydzak, who I have both known from the ELL and the Aleš Hřebeský Memorial, made it easy on me.
Day 1 started out with some nerves which is much to be expected, for a lot of these players this is the first time they have had the opportunity to be coached by a non-player/coach. Joining Hill and I at the camp were 5 others coaches: Sean Chamberlain, Kyle Plumey, Gavin Chamberlain, Colin Jesien and Christian Dzwilewski. This allowed for a lot of 1-on-1 time with each player. The first half of the day we spent a lot of time working on the fundamentals, working in traffic, ground balls, etc. After about a 2 hour practice, guys were split into two teams for a Red vs White intersquad game.
During the break between sessions I joined the players at a local cafeteria-style restaurant where I dabbled in some Polish cuisine: Schnitzel, mashed potatoes, and a cream soup that also had a big scoop of mashed potatoes and a hard-boiled egg placed on top. It may seem strange, but it was very good.
The second session started at around 5, and we were a little delayed by a very heated soccer game before hand, which saw the expulsion of 2 players and several older fans enjoying their vodka on a cool Saturday night.
The boys were put through there paces in the evening, and all or most drills focused on unsettled situations, so we did a lot of 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 5-4, and 6-5’s, starting in various locations on the field. With the high intensity practice nearing the end we split into the second of 3 Red-White Intersquad games.
After the game it was the goalies time step up, and we placed two nets in one end with the goalies rotating taking shots from the coaches. All 3 goalies looked fantastic in this drill, making the decision very difficult for the coaching staff.
After a night of rest and a couple of bottles of Tyskie, the boys were back on the field looking to impress the coaches one last time. This practice was similar the Saturday evening one, as we did a lot of drills from unsettled situations and of course the key fundamentals so the players can take this basic yet effective drills to their respective clubs. We followed the practice with a controlled scrimmage, and set up different situations to see what the players could get out of both on offence and defence.
After the practice the USA coaches had to catch a flight back, but it wasn’t before they handed out the much coveted helmet award, which was a nice brand new Cascade Pro 7! Since there was such a battle all weekend we added a second award. Congrats to our winners, Jan Rydzak and Dawid Zajac. Great hustle and dedication all weekend!
With some of the coaches gone, and Hill over working with the Wroclaw girls club for the afternoon, we slowed things down a little with a lot of shooting, scramble drills, and full field breakout drills to end the day and the camp.
On behalf of myself and the other coaches, I would like to thank all the players who attended the camp this weekend. I know I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to December when we host Israel, Latvia, and Slovakia.
Below you can find the 23 man roster.
Goalies: Kacper Andrzejczak, Dawid Zajac Defenders: Daniel Wegrzyk, Radek Zelazny, Aleksander Podolak, Adrian Marcinkowski, Milosz Pellowski, Daniel Smaza, Jaroslaw Swierkot Midfielders: Jan Rydzak,Luke Stypulkowski, Remigiusz Hryniewicki, Szymon Kowalewski, Michal Bucki, Maciej Kawka, Joachim Pernal, Patryk Piekos, Dominik Wrona Attack: Pawel Hamrol, Jedrzej Baginski, Piotr Cyrkowicz, Wojciech Filipek, Blazej Rokicki