With so many Club programs now in our region, we feel it is important for you to know what separates Laxachusetts from all the rest. Below is a detailed explanation of the Laxachusetts Program, Structure, Philosophy and History of program.
Laxachusetts is entering its 12th year as a program. The growth of the program during this time has been incredible, and has been matched only by the success that our players have consistently demonstrated. Laxachusetts competes against the top club programs in the country in EVERY grade we offer. Laxachusetts has also led the country in the total number of college recruits per class, averaging 60 players per graduating class in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 graduating classes!
Please click here to see our college placement per class
As staggering as these statistics are, our model is very simple although very unique.
The Evolution of Laxachusetts
Our club was first established during the 2005/2006 season, under the name Emass Minutemen. We became the 7th club program in Massachusetts (currently there are over 50 clubs in MA.). Prior to us entering the club scene, all of the clubs had one thing in common – they were primarily developed to build tournament all star teams. These clubs offered little to no off-season training. We decided that we our club to be governed by a different model and a different set of goals. We wanted to develop players! Our model was going to be skills-based and building lacrosse IQ with consistency throughout the off-season. We were not going to just offer “optional” skill sessions for a few weeks here and there. Our model was 16 weeks of intense skill training in the off-season from Nov 1st – March 1st in addition to the tournament practices and games.
Historically, Massachusetts has not been considered a hot bed of lacrosse, particularly as compared to Long Island, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The biggest reason for our fall off had been that our players traditionally did not have the stick skills or the lacrosse IQ level that the players in these other states possessed. With the development of Emass Minutemen, our goal was to improve our players’ skill level and lacrosse IQ so that we could close the performance gap between select MA players and those from these “hotbed” states. We not only wanted to win games, but we wanted to beat the best of the best.
After three successful seasons, we were fortunate enough to be considered the top club program in Massachusetts. WE gained this title by defeating the top club programs in the region. We attributed this success to our main focus being on skill development, to our players learning to play the game at a faster tempo, and to markedly improved skill and lacrosse IQ. With this success came an increased recognition by college coaches for our players’ athleticism and toughness. The best part was that our focus was not on winning games at all, but rather, on playing the game with a higher lacrosse IQ, with improved skills overall, and by outworking our opponents. Our motto was, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.
During the 2010/2011 season, Emass Minutemen (run by Dan Chouinard, Sean Morris, and Dave Evans) merged with Laxachusetts (run by Mike Connelly, Brendan Glass and Timmy Shea). There were many reasons for the merger but the biggest reason was to make a program that could provide the best opportunities to the top lacrosse players in MA. By merging, we were able to pool our resources and deliver a comprehensive and intensive program that would create the best offering available to athletes. We feel that the biggest benefits this merger afforded was – more coaches for our players (which allowed for more individualized instruction) as well as a College Recruiting Director and Grade based Directors.
Currently the Laxachusetts program has 65+ coaches on our staff. The schools and programs that our staff coaches include: Dean College, Babson College, Assumption College, Providence College, Milton Academy, Thayer Academy, Noble and Greenough, The Governor’s Academy, St Sebastian’s, Boston College HS, Catholic Memorial HS, Xaverian Bros HS, Arch Bishop Williams HS, Moses Brown, St Georges School, Medfield HS, Foxboro HS, Hull HS, Cohasset HS, Scituate HS, Concord Carlisle HS, Waltham HS, Billerica HS, Hingham Youth, Hull Youth, Norwell Youth, Duxbury Youth, Lincoln Sudbury Youth, Plymouth Youth, Cohasset Youth, Waltham Youth, Billerica Youth, Barnstable Youth, Foxboro Youth, Natick Youth, and Scituate Youth.
Not only is our staff incredibly talented but the connections that our staff have with college coaches is extensive and incredibly beneficial to our players. Our staff is connected because of their own past college coaching experiences, their own past college playing experiences, and/or their ongoing interaction with college coaches at tournaments, camps, etc. These relationships have given players access and exposure to coaches that is not possible through town programs, high school programs, and other club programs.
Our Program Offerings
As the club lacrosse scene around the country evolved, so too did our program. The offerings we now have at Laxachusetts are incredible. We have continued to push the skill development with our players and designed new programs to increase lacrosse IQ.
- We created positional nights in addition to our 16 weeks of skill training.
- We launched a Spring League / Skills Program where we are able to teach our players how to play the game in a very structured environment and with so much individual attention. This is where we really develop lacrosse IQ.
- An added bonus to our Spring League/Skills Program is that we have developed it so that we can compete against each other in our own in-house league throughout the Spring. Many people will ask, “Why don’t you have your teams play in a club league against other clubs?” First, within our club, we have some of the best players in the state so we are guaranteeing high level, competitive play each week. In addition, by playing against each other, we are able to teach more. We can control the tempo of the game and we can ensure that teachable moments are capitalized upon. We never have to sacrifice making the right play to ensure a win. In our model, everyone (coaches, players and parents) understands that developing stronger skills and an improved lacrosse IQ is more important than a win.
- We created a “Wall Ball Challenge” where our players needed to complete 6 timed exercises while hitting a target number of reps. If a player completed this, he earned himself a Custom Laxachusetts Cascade R Helmet. The purpose of this challenge is to teach players to create a habit of practicing at home and seeing the rewards of that work with increase in stick skills.
- We also added a “Shooting Night” to our 16 weeks of skills. Reason, our players needed to become better shooters and finishers offensively. One thing that almost every program does not have time to do in practice (youth and high school) is spend the time needed to practice shooting. We created a shooting night where our players would not only improve their shooting technique but would be afforded an opportunity to shoot 500-600 shots during the session.
- We also have 15 weeks of face off specialization (fogo) training
While we are committed to providing every opportunity for our players to improve all aspects of “their game,” we are also aware of and encourage students to be multi-sport athletes and to take advantage of other extracurricular opportunities. You may ask, “How is this possible?” We have consciously thought about how to support our multifaceted players with these opportunities. One of our decisions to support our players has been to offer our skill sessions on multiple nights at different locations throughout Massachusetts.
- Our skill sessions are currently offered in Danvers, Sudbury, Marlborough, Norfolk, Canton, Hingham, Hanover, and Pembroke. We are always searching for additional sites to help make the commuting easier on our families. As part of our program fee, our players can attend as many or as few skill, positional, and shooting nights as their schedule will allow. Our players are not punished or lose playing time if they miss sessions. We feel it is important for players to be multi -port athletes. All we ask from our players is that if they miss, they spend 10-15 minutes at home on the wall (after their homework is done first).
- Please Click here to see our skill session offerings for the 2015/16 season
Why do we travel out of State for Tournaments?
We have focused so much on skill development (16 weeks of skills, positional work, shooting etc..) so that we can become one of the top clubs in the country. All of this work has paid off and, as stated above, we have earned recognition as a top lacrosse club in the country. As an elite club, we pride ourselves on playing other elite clubs. We want to push our players to continuing growing as a lacrosse athlete but we also want our players to be recognized for their hard work and growth.
- In the summer when we attend tournaments – we attend only the besttournaments in the country. The High School events our teams attend attract the largest number of college coaches because we are playing the best club programs in the country. This goes for both our AA and A level teams.
- The Youth events we attend from 3rd grade to 8th grade are against the top programs in the country too. We feel the earlier our players see this level of competition, the better. We don’t want our players seeing the highest level of competition for the first time at a recruiting high school showcase.
National Lacrosse Federation
In 2015, The National Lacrosse Federation was formed which brought together 6 of the top club programs on the East Coast. Laxachusetts is proudly the only club from New England invited to this organization. The members are: Laxachusetts (MA), Long Island Express (NY), 91 Lacrosse (NY), Big 4 HHH (PA), Leading Edge (NJ) and Baltimore Crabs (MD)
By joining this alliance, it guarantees that our players compete against the best players/teams all year round – during fall events, winter events, spring events, and summer events.
It is exciting to see the many great club options for parents and players in our region at this time. Each program is very unique, and each has its own offerings. We realize that the intensity, level of play, and expectation for college play that Laxachusetts has is not for everyone. We realize that our skills-based model is more than some are hoping for. Laxachusetts is an elite club and we pride ourselves on having players that want to be challenged every time they step onto the field. Our model is a skill-based program that supports multi sport athletes. Our program was started with one thing in mind. To provide an unparalleled level of teaching and skill development which is not seen in most organizations.
A few important things to consider when you are thinking about trying out for Laxachusetts:
- We are looking for athletes that want to compete and train with and against the best players everyday.
- We are looking for players that are willing to make a commitment to excellence and understand that they need to work everyday to prove themselves.
- Our goal is to use this sport to gain acceptance to a College/University that your transcript alone would not support. We stress A’s and B’s in school (No C’s) to our players and we stress the importance of being a person of high character.
- Players that are committed to Laxachusetts get coaches that are committed to excellence.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the Laxachusetts Program.
Click here to see Tryout Dates for the 2016/2017 Season