When we started the girls' Lightning program our goal was to and still is to provide excellent training and leagues that develop and support a girl's programs in western Pennsylvania. We had no intention of having travel teams. After we held our first training we started to hear the same thing from parents over and over. Please start a training program that includes summer teams. After a lot of discussions and feedback from parents, we decided to give it a go and provide training and summer teams for the 2019 season.
Again we started in 2019 at the request of parents and to provide a positive learning environment. Teams that focus not just on lacrosse, but an atmosphere that develops self-confidence, self-esteem, and resilience in girls. What parents continually tell us is they don't want to feel like a source of a check only, they want the girls to succeed and have fun. Our goal is to bring fun and affordability into the programs. Our coaches are dedicated to teaching the game and life lessons to players.
The Recruitment Marketing Game.
Some programs dangle the proverbial carrot and claim they have a magic system or way to be recruited to families. Flashy emails and big highlight video packages. They target athletes in 7th through 10th grade that tie into this dream. Statistics continue to show that about 12% of high school girls lacrosse players continue playing in college. With those playing in the NCAA about half of them play DIII. So our program is based on playing the game, getting better and having fun. If an athlete wants to be part of the 12% we can help them with realistic expectations and a focus on academics for the future. So realistically most of those girls can easily find a home at a program. The DIII programs are always looking for talent and some great club programs exist in our area. A nice college program will have around 20-40 players. It creates competitive practices. Remember the DIII schools depends on athletics to bolster enrollment.
We have shaped our program into three pods. Fall Training, Winter Training, Summer Season.
Fall Training will focus purely on that. Lacrosse Training to build skill and fundamentals. It is designed to work on all aspects of the game and build a positive atmosphere. Mid-September through October. We will have a tournament option in early November.
Winter training will focus on stick skills and self-improvement.
Summer Season We will travel to two tournaments, participate in weekly training, and participate in the Lighting Summer League.
How will we build teams?
We will build teams through parent contacts, training attendance and invites. We will not hold tryouts. Most Try-Outs are another away for a program to pad the wallets. Typically all the girls who attend are offered spots on a team. Unless a program is truly an all-star team why would they turn down the revenue? We are looking for players that want to work hard, be pushed and understand we do this for the love of the game. The selections are a two-way street. We want those types of players, but also supportive parents. Ones that understand and support the girls through successes and failures. We do not want the parents who are negative, put down their child and enjoying screaming from the sidelines. If you feel that you want to be part of this type of atmosphere for your family reach out.
For 2019/2020 we are building U18, U16 and 7/8th grade and 5/6th grade teams
Costs for 2019/2020 season will be determined soon.