Shortly after completing the previous blog entry, I was off to McVey Elementary School in East Meadow, for the first of three, weekly PAL Lacrosse Clinics. Walking out onto that field brought back many fond coaching memories. We were not sure how many players would be in attendance, but thought we would have enough Coaches. There ended up begin at least 50 girls ranging from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade! So, we probably could have used a few more Coaches! Despite the less than ideal Player to Coach Ratio, my groundball station ran remarkably well. For a cold evening (many of the kids were underdressed) on a school day, the kids were focused and took instruction very well. The challenge of having so many kids at once, really tested our organizational and coaching skills (I hope we did okay). We lost daylight before we were supposed to end at 6:30pm, and the kids did not want it to be over, so that was a good sign.
When we finally did finish, I ran into Frank and Matt Caramante (father and son) who had been working with the Boys at the other end of the fields (I have no idea how their clinic went. They had a lot of kids, too. I am sure ours was better). It has been years since I had seen either of them. Frank and I once coached Diana and Matt together in Flag Football (we had a good team!) and I have know him for about twenty years. It was great catching up with them. After a pretty long bull session it was time to go home. I was proud of young coaches, Amanda Reyes and Sara Russo, who both really stepped up to help give the girls lots of instruction and encouragement. Overall, I felt really good about how it went, it was challenging but equally rewarding.
Tuesday evening it was time for our third Fall Lacrosse Clinic for the Hempstead Girls. It has been going pretty well. We had at least 12 Girls at the first two clinics and each time, have had at least a couple of new players. These Girls have also been very focused, motivated and showing real improvement. Earlier in the day one of the Coaches, Bernard Williams emailed me, saying that a friend of his, Rodney Dumpson, who was a very good lacrosse player at Syracuse, was going to come down to our Clinic with some sticks for the Girls! I was really taken back by this and was envisioning a dozen or so sticks, which would have been great! When they arrived, and Rodney opened the back of his car, I was blown away by what they brought – Large Gear Bags filled with high quality equipment! I am finding it difficult to express, just how moving this was.
I was in and out of the actual instruction going on at the clinic, as I was helping with the Gear and setting up for some photos. We had thirteen players in attendance, at one point I turned around to see how it was going and could not have been more pleased. All of the young coaches (Erica Fonseca, India Ford, Faith Williams and Amanda Reyes!) had the Girls fully engaged and enthusiastically participating. We have two more sessions left this fall. Hopefully, we can keep all of that good MOJO going.