Stay tuned for a Spring 2016 Update!!
This first message is very long, because we try to answer lots of questions early.
NSYLA - Lacrosse Practice begins on March 14th 2015!
We ask the parents to stay for the first 15 minutes of the initial practice so that the coaches may introduce themselves and you can hear how we run the program, this is important even for returning families!
Lacrosse is starting so spring must be upon us. First let me welcome you all to our program. NSYLA was founded in 1999, and this will be our thirteenth season of play. Our philosophy is wrapped around the simple premise of the kids having fun. In the process we will endeavor to teach them about the sport of lacrosse, with an emphasis on sportsmanship. We expect and encourage the Players, Parents and Coaches to work together to abide by the Positive Coaching Association principles and to Honor the Game.
This Saturday March 10th will be the first practices for the three older groups at the Cage at St. Mark’s School. Dress warmly as the cage is not heated. Please drive carefully and observe speed limits, especially on the St. Mark’s campus as we are guests and want to be invited back!
The indoor practices at St. Mark's Cage are on School Street in Southborough. DIRECTIONS: From the corner of Rt. 30 and Rt. 85 in Southborough, continue on Rt. 30 East to School Street (your first left). Stay on School Street for 0.4 of a mile. Take a left into the parking lot for the Cage and the ice rink.
The Cage is the large brick building on your immediate left (with small windows about 20 feet up) and the entrance faces School Street. Come dressed and ready to play!
Don’t forget your water bottle.
The first U9 (second graders) practice will be Saturday March 28th (weather and fields permitting), more details about that will come out from us in about two weeks.
The March schedule is completely at the mercy of the weather, so please check the website (www.nsyla.org) often for updates. While we will post practices at 911 Field, McAfee Ellsworth Field and ARHS, we cannot start practicing on them until the two towns actually open the fields. We work hard to get Cage time and Gym time to get the sticks in the boy’s hands so we are ready when we hit the fields.
The cage schedule is at the kindness of St. Mark’s. As soon as the fields open up we will go to our regular practice schedule.
We follow the Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse philosophy (www.mbyll.org) of teaching the game, equal playing time for all boys and no standings kept. This does not mean we are not competitive, but it is foremost about the kids having fun. The MBYLL model is being copied around the country for its success and sound principles.
We do feel that lacrosse is a difficult game to learn and master, which means that attendance is important. We do take attendance and that is the only factor that would affect playing time.
The big questions we always get are when and how do we split or choose the teams? The coaches will spend about two weeks evaluating the boys so that we can split the teams evenly (there are no A and B levels in lacrosse, the teams are always split to be even). We split evenly by grade plus by town plus by size and skill plus by lefties etc.
The teams in each age group will practice together all season, so there is no need to request specific teammates or coaches, as those requests will not be granted.
We will be fielding three teams at the U15 level, three teams at U13 and three teams at U11, plus three teams at U9.
I expect the uniforms in any day now and will email everyone when they arrive.
The season begins with our first games April 12th, and will conclude at the Jamboree on June 21st. The lacrosse Jamboree is the single largest youth sporting event in the world, with over 10,000 boys participating over the four day event. All of our teams will play all our Jamboree games on the same day.
Like other sports, we rely on volunteers to help make our program run smoothly. There is no mandatory requirement to volunteer, however we do hope that you will step up and volunteer to do something, such as run the clocks or the horn or supply bananas or oranges or be a team parent, as we think you will have fun helping in any capacity.
You need ALL of your protective equipment (except for cleats) for the first practice. We wear sneakers until we get outdoors.
Equipment is very important. If you have not gotten equipment for your son please do so this week. We suggest that you go to Brine Sporting Goods on Route 20 in Sudbury or ComLax in Berlin. Both of these stores have knowledgeable lacrosse people and have always taken extra good care of our program (tell them you play for Northborough-Southborough). Our website has a section on what you need, and those two stores also know. A few points, we wear maroon helmets which both stores carry in stock, you will need cleats (sneakers when in the gym or St Marks Cage), you must wear a protective cup, and you must wear a mouthguard. We are very strict on equipment, if a boy shows up and does not have ALL his protective gear on he will sit out the entire time, no exceptions.
Another question we hear is can the boys wear equipment from other sports, such as a hockey helmet? The answer is no, you must wear lacrosse equipment.
For all players, and especially new players, when you choose your stick there are lots to choose from. The most expensive stick is not the best choice. You should ask for a stick with a soft mesh pocket. Any other kind of pocket is like starting with a baseball glove which has not been broken in yet, making it harder to learn how to catch.
Please arrive at practice about 10 minutes early so that you can have your equipment on and be ready to start on-time. We will be asking for some parent volunteers to help with various activities shortly.
Coach Axline will be setting up his special printer this weekend at the cage to create those custom bag tags he did at last year’s pizza party. If you missed your chance you have another shot. He sells them for $5 each and donates 100% of that directly to the program. I plan to buy several more.
We will also have some Spirit Wear for sale at the cage. All the profits from spirit wear also go directly into the program.
Finally, we have locked in the date for our 12th annual Northborough-Southborough Night at the Cannons. Last year we had 300 people from our program at the game, and that was with only half the families from our program participating. Our goal this year is to get over 300 tickets again. This is a very family friendly event held at Harvard Stadium, and the good news is that all of our U11 players will play a game inside Harvard Stadium prior to the Cannons game, and they will get to form the tunnel that the pro’s run through as they get introduced before the game starts. The game will be in May or June, on a Saturday, at 7PM. Our program will do a huge tailgate before the game. Our U11 game will be played at 2:30PM. Tickets will be available on our website store along with Spirit Wear.
Any questions or concerns please contact your team coaches or me.