Lax Factory : Coaches Blog

Monday, May 14

Coach Funk and the Lax Factory staff will be blogging and posting different items as it pertains to lacrosse, training, and everyday life.

  “What should I sign up for this summer?”

Summer is fast approaching and the spring lacrosse season has just come to a close. Whether you are a newbie to the sport of lacrosse or experienced and looking to improve your skill set, there are about a million different options for a lacrosse player to do during the summer months. Summer camps, clinics and teams can all be great options for any player who is looking to take their skill level up a few notches. However, there are also a lot of options out there that may not be the best fit for your young laxer! It is our goal to break down a variety of different options out there to ensure that you make the best choice for you, which will depend highly on your age and skill level. Here is the breakdown of what the best options are:

Elementary and Middle School Age Player

            At this age, a fun and engaging environment should be priority # 1. This is the usual age where a child’s interest is sparked and their fundamental skill development at this age is critical for future success. I can’t tell you how many kids I have seen who end up developing bad habits because of a lack of attention to detail when it comes to instruction at this particular age.

           For the kids in this bracket, I would pick from these 3 options; private lessons, group skill sessions and a local camp emphasizing a low camper: staff ratio.

            Private lessons will ensure that your child gets individualized attention necessary to make sure that they learn the fundamentals properly. 1 on 1 sessions will make sure that your child is being given a proper assessment of their skill along with proper progressions to allow them to improve at their own pace.

             Group skill sessions will provide a more competitive environment while also maintaining a high level of individualized instruction. These group sessions should prioritize specific aspects of the game (shooting, face-off, etc.) to build upon areas where your child may need more work. The group setting may also be more appealing for the younger lacrosse player who may be a little shy or intimidated by working with someone much older than them.

              A local camp that features a low camper: staff ratio is hard to come by but you should be able to find one with enough effort. The camp environment is a great experience for any young person and will give them the feeling that they are “growing up” while still offering them a high level of instruction and attention. We may be a bit biased but this sure sounds like the Lax Factory Summer Camps!!! www.FunkLax.com

             **I almost never recommend going to a “University” camp because they typically have a low level of instruction and involve organized pick-up games throughout the majority of camp. They also feature college players who typically are helping out at camp because of the nightlife at the university and not to teach your child. (I know this because I have been there before!)**

High School Player with College Aspirations

              This is the age where the commitment to skill level, finding a competitive environment and college coach exposure become priorities. For this type of athlete, there are 3 options that immediately come to mind.

               Any athlete with college aspirations should prioritize a high level recruiting camp. This would consist of camps like Blue Chip, Top 205 and Top Star, to name a few. These camps are somewhat of a “meat market”, with college coaches in rows of chairs along the field, but there is no better place to “show what you got” in front of hundreds of college coaches over a couple day period. This environment is highly recommended for lacrosse players with exceptional athleticism and 1 on 1 skill due to the fact that most of the games at these camps turn into a 1 man show. If you pass the ball away at a recruiting camp, you may never get it back!

              This type of player should also be on a competitive club team that attends summer tournaments with a known presence of college coaches. The benefit of participating with a club team is that you are familiar with your teammates and that tends to lead to you thriving in a more “team oriented” showcase. This type of setting also caters to the lacrosse player who may not thrive in the 1 on 1 environment that recruiting camps typically offer.

             A positive-specific “Challenge Camp” should be a priority for any athlete looking to become an advanced level player at their particular position. These camps fall under the name Attack-Defense Challenge Camp or Goalie Camp, to name a few. Challenge camps offer an expert level of instruction targeted at the athlete’s position of choice and are typically highly competitive. They also tend to feature low camper: staff ratio’s which I think is critical at any camp.

              The last thing that would be a HUGE bonus would be to get invited to a big name event such as the Under Armour All-America tryouts. These events are largely attended by just about every D1 college and provide great exposure to the athlete in addition to being exceptionally well run.

             Any athlete who falls under this category and needs guidance through the recruiting process should e-mail us at LaxFactoryRecruiting@gmail.com.

Summer Camp Summary

              We hope that this gave you a brief overview of what you should be prioritizing with the summer season right around the corner. Young players should be looking for opportunities that offer quality instruction with low camper: staff ratios in order to give them the fundamentals necessary to develop into an elite level player. The elite level player with college aspirations should then prioritize a competitive environment where they will play in front of as many coaches as possible, in addition to becoming an “Expert” in their particular position. If you have any questions about specific summer options, please e-mail us at LaxFactoryTeam@gmail.com!

Coach Funks' 3 part series- Movement Assessments for Lacrosse

Part 1:

It’s the end of March and the season is already halfway over for college players and the high school and youth players aren’t too far behind. This is the time of year when players are either hitting their peak physically or breaking down and ending up hurt. The player’s performance and durability throughout the season is usually highly dependent on what they were doing in the off-season to prepare for the grueling 4-5 months of practices and games. Now is the time where you’ll find out if the athlete was training hard and training smart on a daily basis, or doing biceps curl and playing Call of Doodee....     Continue Reading Here

Part 2:

After introducing you all to the importance of movement screening and its implications for both injury prevention and lacrosse performance, it is time to dive into part 2 of this series on Movement Assessments for Lacrosse. If you missed part 1, I highly suggest you check that out HERE before reading any further!

In part 2, we are going to go over my general movement screens for the lower extremities and some follow up assessments that are used when things don’t look up to par. The general movement screens (“top tier” movements) consist of 3 movements that look at the lower extremities in a symmetrical stance, split stance and single leg stance position. These top tier movements are non-specific to a particular joint and look at the combined mobility and stability of the athlete’s body in each stance.... Continue Reading Here

Part 3:

The 3rd and final section of Movement Screening for Lacrosse is here and it may be the most important read of the bunch.  In this section, I will break down 3 movements that I look at for the upper half of the body and their relation to performance and injury risk in lacrosse. If you are tuning into this blog series for the 1st time, I highly suggest you take a rewind back to part 1 and part 2 before reading any further.

In these next 3 screens, I will break down the athlete’s posture, scapular stability and mobility through key areas of the body.  While the lower body is the foundation for any sport and is highly important, these 3 movements expose “chinks in the armor” of many lacrosse players that I have worked with to date..... Continue Reading Here.