Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Youth Lacrosse Coaching Strategies

Me and other volunteer coaches at halftime Croton-on-Hudson, New York  Spring 2010
Related links below

Coaching Series:
Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives by Joe Ehrmann, Gregory Jordan and Paula Ehrmann: [Watch 4 min 7 sec]
Book: Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives by Joe Ehrmann, Gregory Jordan and Paula Ehrmann

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Midfielder Vinnie Sombrotto

Vinnie Sombrotto right with little brother Steven and Hofstra University teammate Joe Ferraro. Like Vinnie I played club ball with brother Steven who also had a long lacrosse career. Photo from
Former Syracuse lacrosse player Fred Opie reflects on the 4 x US National Team Player Vinnie Sombrotto as the U19 Men's National Team begans its quest for a world championship over in Europe this week

Saturday, March 21, 2015

“It’s about changing your lifestyle” : Staying Fit Then And Now

Chicago Bear and National Football Hall Fame Running Back Walter Payton and His Notorious Hill that ran during the off season 

Almost 20 years ago, I developed the habit of working out as a Syracuse University (SU) lacrosse player  and under the guidance of then SU strength coach Mike Woicik. Mike is now with the Dallas Cowboys. I've seen my share of former college and pro athletes that have lost the battle of the bulge and let themselves go. Similarly Mike has told me how he has run into former college and pro athletes that he had worked with who had become so out of shape that he did not recognize them! Lots of us have been on both sides of that embarrassing experience.  Mike explained, “It’s about changing your lifestyle.” I gained weight after knee surgery and hours sitting at a desk as a writer. Last year around this time, I read a book that has made a big difference--Move a Little, Lose A Lot. The book has made me become intentional about reading and writing in a standing position whenever possible. For example, I am writing this in a standing position and at a fit desk (see the link below). Working while moving is also great for people like me who have severe ADHD. During the summer months I also returned to what I did when I was a college player about to return to school for the start of my senior year with the goal of earning a starting position during fall ball and winning a national championship in the spring.


Move a Little, Lose A Lot:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Starting Lacrosse Program, Don Daubney

Lacrosse  at Lakeland Middle School, 1976
I am taking a look at my lacrosse career through the lens of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. It argues that success is a combination of opportunities, timing, and people in one's life. I talked about Elliot stark starting lacrosse in Croton-on-Harmon just before my family moved to Croton in the late 1960s. Without Elliot Stark there might not have been lacrosse in my town and in my life. Next there was Croton Harmon middle school physical education teacher, Don Daubney, a University of Rhode Island grad, who taught a soft stick and soft ball lacrosse unit to my eighth grade class. That rare exposure to the lacrosse in Westchester County at the time was crucial in my career. I would guess that less than half of the county’s public schools had lacrosse as part of their physical education curriculum and my tiny public school system was one of them. Thereafter Daubney ran a boys 8th grade summer recreation program that lasted about three or four weeks. We learned the basics and once we had them down, the summer program culminated with a game against the Lakeland/Walter Panas recreation program. Like Elliot Stark, Daubney gave me a rare opportunity to play the game of lacrosse.

Excerpts from Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, The Story of Success:

Interview with Malcom Gladwell on Outliers: [Listen Now 4 min 31 sec]

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Starting Lacrosse Programs, Elliot Stark

NYU lacrosse 1930. Elliot Stark played for NYU and Rutgers University back during the Depression
Across the country volunteer coaches develop, grow, and maintain vibrant youth lacrosse programs. In my case Elliot Stark did the heavy lifting in my home town of Croton-on-Hudson back in about the late 1960s early 1970s. A Brooklyn native, Stark played lacrosse at Rutgers University and later at New York University (NYU) in the early 1930s. The NYU lacrosse program argues that it has the oldest collegiate-level lacrosse program in the country with the first game played against Manhattan College in 1877. Until the 1970s, just about all the city universities had lacrosse teams. Stark would later go on to play and promote professional indoor lacrosse throughout New York City (NYC). For example, Stark organized a game between members of the Onondaga Nation (near Syracuse University) and the “New York City All-Stars” for the 1939 World’s Fair held that year in NYC. Mike Poster served as another early contributor to lacrosse in Croton. A gap exist in what we know about lacrosse biography and when he arrived in Croton. We welcome you to call in and share your lacrosse starters, pioneers, and planters stories @ 781-239-5611. We will share your stories with our followers. Please leave your name and phone number followed by your story.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Coach Dave Urick on Ed Howard

Buffalo natives,  Hobart African American defensemen Mac Nelson (Timon High School) and Ed Howard (Canisius High School). Nelson, a football player who walked on and made the varsity, persuaded Howard, a former basketball player at the college, to walk on to the Hobart Lacrosse team in 1977. Photo circa 1978. Howard died on June 16, 2012.
Back when Ed Howard played lacrosse Coach Dave Urick served as the defensive coordinator of Hobart’s lacrosse program under head coach Jerry Schimdt (John Hopkins, National Lacrosse Hall Fame). Schimdt is the only lacrosse player to ever appear on the cover of Sport Illustrate during his playing days at the Hop. Ed Howard represented one of a host of Hobart lacrosse players that started for the Statesmen who never played the game before arriving in Geneva, N.Y. “We made a living out of kids like Eddie,” African Americans Marion “Mac” Nelson, Greg Williams (Henniger) and many other great athletes that we taught how to play the game of lacrosse,” says Coach Urick. “Hank Janczyk, the head coach at Gettysburg College, and Frank Fedorjaka, the head coach at Bucknell University were guys just like Ed,” good freshmen athletes who never played the game but learned it under Urick and Schimdt. Howard came to Hobart from Canisius High School in Buffalo, a prestigious Jesuit school where he excelled in the classroom and earned awards playing football, basketball and track and field. Ed held a sectional high jump record in track and excelled on the basketball court playing small forward in high school. Hobart’s basketball coach recruited Ed to play basketball but soon after the basketball season started his freshmen year at Hobart Ed did not see eye to eye with the head coach or his system and left the team. “I quit the team and left frustrated at winter break ready to transfer” says Howard. Just then Mac Nelson, a wide receiver on the football team and lacrosse walk on approached him. Nelson, a sophomore at the time told Howard “that the coaches had been following my situation on the basketball team and they wanted to meet with me,” recalls Ed; more tomorrow.

My Series on Hobart All American Ed Howard: