"Putting the Fun in Fundamentals" How corny is that title? Worse than a can of Green Giant Niblets? Probably, but it’s a principle we live by at Sum It Up Lacrosse.
Swax Lax/Sum It Up Lacrosse founder, Laura Gump, has used this “corny” principle to develop a program for her camps and clinics that engages young players, gives them confidence, and keeps them wanting to continue to play lacrosse. Because of this success, Laura has been asked to speak at the US Lacrosse National Convention in Baltimore this January (#LaxCon). It’s kind of a big deal.
Laura has asked me to co-present with her and I am still considering the offer. Just kidding, of course I accepted. We have already had a number of meetings about what we will be presenting.
We have some great drills and games that we will be sharing with the convention attendees who are smart enough to come hear us speak. For each drill that introduces a skill, we have a corresponding game that our young campers love playing. These games allow the kids to practice a skill in a fun, competitive way, without the tedium of rote repetition. Some of the games might not look like they have much to do with the game of lacrosse, but they each require the kids to practice a necessary lacrosse skill. As Mary Poppins used to say “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."
Looking for a better way to engage our campers also led Laura to create the Swax Lax lacrosse training ball. This simple but ingenious training aid allows players to develop their skills with confidence while reducing their fear of getting hit with a hard rubber ball. It is remarkable how much more confident and relaxed our young players are when they are using Swax Lax balls.
The bottom line is, lacrosse is fun. Practicing lacrosse should be fun as well. If it seems like a chore or the kids are anxious about it, something is not right. Sum It Up uses the idea of “Fun in Fundamentals” to build a love for the game while developing essential skills.
Yes, it does sound corny, but golly gee wilikers, it works.
About the Author
For the past 27 years, Kevin Meany has coached lacrosse at the youth, high school, and college levels. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the New Jersey Chapter of US Lacrosse and in 2014 he was named High School Assistant Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Chapter of US Lacrosse. He recorded more than 100 victories as head coach at Millburn High School in New Jersey and was Head Coach at both Alvernia University in Reading, PA and Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. Meany played lacrosse at Providence College and the Delbarton School in the early 80s.