Three members of the Valley coaching staff (including myself), a boys youth coach from Carlisle, and a youth girls coach from Johnston attended the US Lacrosse Level One Coaching Education course in Kansas City on Saturday. It was a good opportunity to discuss the evolution of both youth programs and how to integrate our programs effectively under the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association banner.
All five coaches are on the path to Level One certification.
The clinic was a great opportunity to meet other coaches from the region and learn about their development processes. There were quite a few Kansas City area attendees with absolutely no lacrosse experience, which was exiting to see. In order for lax to really take hold and grow in Des Moines – and throughout Iowa – the same thing will need to happen here. As the instructors pointed out several times, a playing background is not required to be an effective lacrosse coach; nor does a stellar playing career translate into coaching success.
As the year progresses, I will try to keep everybody up to date on clinics in our region. If you are interested in coaching either gender at the youth or high school level, why not take advantage of the US Lacrosse coaching education program? Unfortunately there are no plans to host a clinic in Des Moines in the near future…
Upcoming Level 1 Clinics
January 28 – Western Springs, IL
February 18 – St Paul, MN
March 3 – St. Louis, MO
Upcoming Level 2 Clinics
January 29 – Western Springs, IL
March 4 – St Louis, MO
Central Iowa is another step closer to finally having a certified boys lacrosse referee. Barry Von Ahsen has been serving as the head official in the 2012 Box Lacrosse League to gain experience. He has also been taking US Lacrosse referee training courses and working with Nebraska head referee Bob Hoffer. Von Ahsen will be cutting his teeth with JV games this spring.
The Central Iowa Lacrosse Association youth program (boys) was a heavy topic of discussion on the road to Kansas City this weekend. We are in the process of expanding the youth program into more of a league structure versus last year’s clinic set up. Among the plans are:
- Preseason clinic
- Assigned teams
- Weekly practice
- Weekly games
- All players outfitted in equipment and jersey
- Full goal games – no more Chumash
- Goalies across the board
- Close adherence to US Lacrosse Youth Rules
Although there has been some inquiry about allowing younger players, our intention is to expand by one grade this year to allow current fourth graders to participate. Once again, age groupings will be based on the current school year (2011-12). The younger group will be grades 4, 5, and 6; the older group will be grades 7 and 8. Each team will have a Valley coach and/or varsity player, along with (hopefully) a parent or two. Ultimately, our goal is to increase both the player pool and the coaching pool in the metro.
One local organization has already offered some assistance with the expansion. We are meeting with another organization at the end of the month. The first is already somewhat involved with local lacrosse and is interested in expanding their involvement. The latter is new to the sport and wants to help the sport grow. Both are non profit organizations.
The Central Iowa Lacrosse Association and Valley Tigers Lacrosse Club finally have proper website domain names. After years of existing under super long, supplied domains, they move to www.centraliowalacrosse.com and www.wdmvalleylax.com respectively. This change is designed to make it easier to find us online.