Big Dog Lacrosse is Stark County and Ohio's premier year round youth lacrosse club in Canton, Oh, for boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse providing beginner lacrosse, intermediate lacrosse, and advanced lacrosse players. The premier Stark county youth lacros
I was very fortunate to be participating as a coach in the 3d Blue Chip training and recruiting camp series. This one of a kind lacrosse recruiting event takes place on 5 separate weekends; one in Phoenix, AZ and four in Orlando, FL. The camp is a training tryout of the top lacrosse players in the country. During the 4 weekends that I worked as a coach, I was able to coach top athletes from the Mid-West, South, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions compete for a spot in Jake Reed’s Nike Blue Chip Camp.The Nike Blue Chip Lacrosse Camp is where the nation’s elite high school lacrosse players get the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of nearly every NCAA Division I coach in the nation. With over 90% of our players earning a spot on an NCAA Division I team, Nike Blue Chip Lacrosse is the number one way to reach the pinnacle of college lacrosse. Competition among those personally invited by Camp Director Jake Reed ensures the highest caliber of play throughout the camp, and the ideal chance for players to see how they stack up against the nation’s best.
This truly was a one of a kind experience, even for me as a coach.
For any athlete participating at such as high level event, there is an opportunity for competition, learning and reflection. Luckily, these 3 things also applied to me as a coach.
When I was first asked to coach at 3d Blue Chip, I was admittedly thrilled. The ability to go to Florida in the middle of winter to coach some of the best lacrosse players in the nation seemed like a no brainer. To be honest, 70 degrees and sunny while watching kids play games at a high level throughout the weekend seemed like a dream come true. Little did I know, 3d Blue Chip would be that and so much more.
In the weeks leading up to 3d Blue Chip, I realized quickly that this recruiting camp was going to be much more than just a showcase with endless games. Jamie Munro (founder of 3d lacrosse) and his staff made it very clear that these kids were not only going to be competing at a high level, but were going to experience some of the best lacrosse instruction around.
Whether it was through e-mails or conference calls, the 3d lacrosse staff educated the coaches on the curriculum that was in place for the 3 day camp. The curriculum consisted primarily of the unique Box/Hybrid methodology that 3d Lacrosse uses throughout all of its lacrosse programs. This methodology worked very well for Coach Munro at Denver and is being seen more and more as box lacrosse is becoming popular throughout the U.S. It is centered on advanced stick skill development, quicker decision making and motion-oriented offense.
3d Blue Chip began every Friday with a position-specific session for each of the players. During these sessions, it was evident that players were exposed to a higher level of individual instruction than they had ever seen before. They were forced out of their comfort zone into a heavy lacrosse IQ firestorm. The positional sessions always began with fundamentals and then progressed into higher level skills such as the rip, MJ move, lever feeds, reverse fade and more.
In the two sessions that followed, players broke out into their respective teams and went through a series of small group and situational drills that led to both half and full field play. Many of the drills emphasized quick decision making in small confines which led to a very fast paced style of play.
In addition to the quality of the instruction given out during those 3 sessions, the sheer number of hours spent on instruction more than doubled the amount of time spent playing games! For someone who has seen a variety of different recruiting style events, I have to say that this is a rarity in itself. Combine the instructional skill sessions with a highly informative recruiting seminar and the amount of value at this camp is as good as it gets.
However, the campers were not the only ones who benefited from 3d Blue Chip. I knew this from day one, but I can easily say that I became a better coach throughout my time in Florida. I learned new skills, a whole host of new drills and even learned more about what college coaches are looking for when it comes to skill sets for specific positions. There were even certain fundamentals that a coach taught or worded a little bit differently than I do, which now gives me options when I need to communicate to my players what I am looking for on a particular skill or drill.
Each of these different areas will not only benefit me as a coach, but all of the kids in the Big Dog Lacrosse program. I am excited to take what I learned throughout those weekends at 3d Blue Chip and immediately apply it to the boys in our program. It will undoubtedly be a difference maker this year and for years to come!