Athlete development champions are innovative programs, people, industry leaders, products and events that are real-life examples of the core values of the athlete development model in action. In their own unique way each entity featured here is putting players first and helping them learn the sport better, love it more, and play it longer.

CHAMPION PROGRAMS

San Ramon Raptors, San Ramon California, Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association

Raptor Lacrosse (San Ramon) implemented LADM principles starting with requiring every coach and assistant coach attend an LADM stations-based practice clinic in early 2017. Many of the teams in the same age division are practicing at least one day a week with the each other and maximizing their field time utilizing stations.Through this methodology the Raptors have been able to have up to 5 teams on the field at one time, both boys and girls, and still have productive practices.

They also support multi-sport athletes and work with the schedules of those athletes that are finishing up one sport at the beginning of the season and transitioning into lacrosse. They have instituted a 6U program where the primary focus is FUN and physical literacy. They want kids to be athletes and love the game first.

 

Marblehead Girls Lacrosse

Marblehead began implementing a "Phase I" of the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model in 2017. It is their goal to infuse the LADM philosophies and curriculum into their high school and youth programs. In doing this, they hope to maximize retention levels in their program and allow their players to have a lifetime engagement with lacrosse. As a first step towards infusing LADM in Marblehead, high school coaches will present curriculum and stages of athlete development at a preseason youth league meeting. Tools and resources will be shared to help youth coaches plan for their seasons. Through the LADM and education they help coaches create a successful and positive experience for all players. At the high school level, small sided games and developmentally appropriate drills will be modeled into practice. This will give players more touches and allow for creativity. In addition, Marblehead will host three youth clinics (two in the spring, one in the summer) based on the LADM curriculum. Current high school, college, and alumni players will serve as mentor coaches to create fun and kid-centered drills and games for youth players.

McLean Youth, Falls Church Youth and Annandale Youth Lacrosse

The youth lacrosse programs in McLean, Falls Church and Annandale, all located in Northern Virginia, are introducing an 8U Girls 4v4 Program in 2017. They hope this change of approach instills more excitement about playing lacrosse while better developing every child’s fundamental movement skills and fundamental lax skills. Each town plans to run its own 8U station-based practices one day a week for 60 minutes. On Sunday mornings, all town teams will come together at one or two locations for "game day." The competition rules support the new USL guidelines by encouraging team play and maximum "touches" of the ball in a small sided 4v4 game format.

Queen City Rising Stars / South Park Girls Lacrosse

At South Park Youth Association and the Rising Stars program at QCS, the number one rule is to have fun. They believe sport at its core is an opportunity to teach young ladies how to succeed and give them the tools to navigate life. This is how they approach their entire program and the ADM model supports their mission perfectly. At SPYA & QCS, they are fully rolling out ADM because they want to keep more girls in the game and offer the right lacrosse at the right time. They have been aligned with much of the ADM model for a few seasons and have always focused on station-based practices but will start to incorporate more physical literacy movement as well as additional time for free play. They will also implement small-sided play at the youth levels in competition as well as player segmentation to the best of their ability. In order to allow parents to understand what they do, they will host a “bring your parents to practice” event so they can see how the program runs. In order to continue growing the sport throughout Charlotte and in N.C., they have shared their plans with other programs to recommend the LADM model. They hope to host US Lacrosse clinics in the area to increase the number of trained and certified coaches in the region.

Bergey’s Lacrosse/Team Money

Bergey's Lacrosse/Team Money is involved with the most inexperienced young players to highly competitive travel lacrosse. In 15 years of experience working with young players, one thing they have never strayed from is the focus on creating and facilitating the best possible lacrosse experience for kids. Many of their existing principles and philosophies aligned so closely with the LADM model that it was a no-brainer to officially adopt the LADM core values and philosophies when they first heard about it. Their youth coaching philosophies have always been "keep it simple, fun and moving" with lots of touches and tons of smiles. Success isn't measured in wins for a coach or a program (even though they've had a lot of those too!) What they are most proud of is their player return rate. The program continues to expand and grow. Why? Because they offer 'the right lacrosse at the right time!'

They appreciate the work US Lacrosse does to ensure a happy and healthy future for the sport in their area and throughout the country.

Intermountain Lacrosse

Intermountain Lacrosse (IMLAX) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Salt Lake City, dedicated to the promotion, development and administration of boys and girls lacrosse in Utah & Southern Idaho. IMLAX offers a variety of lacrosse opportunities (High School, Adult, and Masters league administration), but is primarily focused on youth leagues. With a one of the largest youth league regions in the United States (spanning over 300 miles from Southern Idaho to south of Provo, Utah), IMLax is projected to serve more than 4,500 boys and girls participants between kindergarten and the eighth grade in the 2017 spring youth season. Their motto is “Grow the player. Grow the league. Grow the game.” Naturally, IMLAX places significant emphasis on providing youth players the experiences that foster life-long lacrosse participation. The 2017 spring season culminates a year-long “golden seal” initiative to implement LADM.

St. Louis Youth Lacrosse Association

SLYLA will incorporate the LADM this season in several of ways. On a largest scale, the Gold Stick youth league SLYLA (St Louis Youth Lacrosse Association) in St Louis is playing by the small-sided youth rules from 10U and below on the boys side and 12U and below on the girls side starting this spring. By doing so, the league will be following 95%+ of the US Lacrosse 2017 youth rules.

Irish Banshees Girls Lacrosse

Irish Banshees Lacrosse Club was founded by a group of coaches who believe that teaching children the fundamentals of lacrosse in a way that appropriately takes into account a child's mental and physical development based on age. We are here to build the fundamentally strongest female lacrosse players in the State of Michigan. Our training methodology is not proprietary to us, we use the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model created over several years by US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse has spent tens of thousands of dollars to create an Athlete Development Model which takes into account a players age to teach the sport of lacrosse in a format that is compatible to a child's physiological and mental ability.

River City Lacrosse

At River City, our mission is to use lacrosse as a tool to develop young athletes as leaders in the community, and as teammates who are consistently being held accountable to one another. We empower our athletes to enhance their individual strengths in order to face and overcome challenges in pursuit of success both on and off the field. We want each of our River City athletes to leave here knowing that success is the ability to go from one challenge to another without loss of enthusiasm

 

CHAMPION PRODUCTS

Brine has been rooted in the game of Lacrosse since 1950. The successor to the original W.H. Brine Company founded in 1922, Brine was a pioneer in creating a more durable, powerful stick for the masses. Brine prides itself on being a brand dedicated to commitment, hard work and most importantly – the game of Lacrosse. For over 60 years, Brine has been innovating and improving the game of Lacrosse. Stick by stick. Head by head. Victory by victory.

Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Warrior Sports is recognized as one of the sporting goods industry’s premier manufacturer of innovative, high performance, cutting-edge equipment, footwear and apparel for lacrosse athletes of all ages and abilities.

Shoot n Scoop is a training device for girls and boys ages 2 to 20 used to develop shooting and scooping skills in an intuitive and fun way. The founders grew up with the game, are surrounded by it and are thrilled to watch the rapid adoption of the Shoot n Scoop by kids of all ages!

The complete Jr stick is one of the first sticks specifically designed for the youth player. It features the right size, proportions, and balance for aspiring young lacrosse players, as well as a slightly wider face to help make catching a easier.

STX manufacturers full lines of age and size appropriate equipment for youth boys and girls players. Youth specific products include the Stallion 50 and Lilly sticks, the Rookie youth goggle, the Stallion 50 youth protective equipment pieces and the Stallion 100 youth lacrosse helmet.

Rage Cage designs and manufactures high quality, durable lacrosse goals of all sizes, in alignment with the US Lacrosse Youth Rules.

Bownet designs and manufactures a variety of high quality, portable, and durable lacrosse field products, making implementation of the US Lacrosse Youth Rules a breeze.

CHAMPION EVENTS AND PLAY

DYLA JR Schoen LaxJam

Darien Youth Lacrosse Association’s annual JR Schoen LaxJam 3v3 Tournament is a champion event for its focus on fun for kids (check out the costumes!) and its use of small-sided competition to create an experience where everyone has a blast playing small for a big cause—all proceeds from the event go to the JR Schoen Memorial Foundation in honor of his memory (JR was 9 when he lost his battle with a brain tumor in 2008) and to provide funding for research and other deserving causes.

Speed Lacrosse

Speed Lacrosse is a game format that embraces small-sided play for all ages, skill, experience and genders by offering a fast, 3v3 pick-up style of play that can be recreational or can augment training programs for serious players. Its smaller format and focus on fun makes it a great option for anyone.

CHAMPION PEOPLE

Kyle Harrison- Team USA, STX Pro, MLL Ohio Machine - Charlotte, NC Kyle has dominated the game at the collegiate, professional and international level. Currently, Kyle is a member of Team STX of the LXM Pro Tour and the Ohio Machine of the MLL. An 11 year member of Team USA, Kyle embodies the characteristics and qualities of a world class athlete. A Johns Hopkins 3 time All-American, 2005 Division 1 National Champion, and Tewaaraton Trophy winner, Harrison is undoubtedly one of the greatest to play the game. More importantly Kyle has always had a passion for giving back to the game and working with the next generation of athletes.
"The LADM reminds me of exactly why I loved my experience playing youth lacrosse. I played multiple sports (baseball, lacrosse and soccer). I loved the "pin ball" games I used to play on smaller fields, and I loved any and every competition. Making sure kids who are getting into our sport are enjoying that process is important for keeping them in the sport. The LADM built on fun and competition, which hopefully, last through out their entire lacrosse career."

Erik Hove – San Ramon Raptors, Director of Coaching; San Ramon, CA
Erik has been a youth sports coach for 7 years and learned of the value of the ADM through its implementation by USA Hockey. Since implementing many of the LADM principles into their practices, the Raptors are already seeing results in the form of higher player satisfaction, kids having more fun in practice and greater skill development.They are maximizing their valuable field time by having several teams of the same age group practicing together. On his 14U A boys team, they love the games and competition in each practice while developing their skills in game like conditions.

Annie Madden – Marblehead High School Girls Lacrosse, Marblehead, MA
"As a coach and teacher in Marblehead, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to watch my athletes grow into successful young women, both on and off the lacrosse field. As an educator, it’s what makes the long days worth it. When I listen to players speak about what Marblehead Lacrosse has meant to them, I know that we have something special. This is a culture that has been fostered from the moment each girl stepped onto a youth field, through their high school experience and beyond, and it’s a culture that I hope will foster a lifetime of engagement with our sport."

Josh Bergey – Mechanicsburg, PA
Josh is involved in coaching lacrosse at all levels and is the Bergey’s Lacrosse Co-Director in central PA. Josh was a 2x All-American at Salisbury University, NCAA DIII National Champion, Team MVP, National Attackman of the Year, National Player of the Year, and CAC Player of the Year. Josh was also a top pick for both the MLL and NLL. With Josh’s extensive resume in both the field and box games, he knows what it takes to be able to play there, and has been a proponent of the LADM since it was first tested at one of his youth practices in 2015. “Getting kids more opportunities to participate in meaningful ways just makes sense. Kids can’t get better if they’re not playing, and the values of the LADM absolutely create the right environment for skill development. In addition to that, the LADM environment is fun for kids and when they’re having fun, they’re going to stick with it, work harder, and ultimately be more successful.”

Katie Bergey – Mechanicsburg, PA
Katie is Bergey's Lacrosse Director, Team Money Director & Coach, and Little Laxers Founder. She also coaches at all levels and is the US Lacrosse Central PA Chapter-Communications Chair. "I believe in offering boys and girls EXCEPTIONAL coaching that focuses on BUILDING the lacrosse player's skills and character. Our mission is to promote and honor the sport of lacrosse in Central PA by encouraging a love of the sport through a positive environment. Our coaches, players and parents are required to exhibit the utmost character, integrity and sportsmanship, both on and off the field. Being a mother and coach to 4 children between the ages of 12 and 6 who all play lacrosse as well as other I wanted to create opportunity to help form a strong, positive base for their lacrosse experiences. The LADM give us the tools and philosophies to make that a reality."

Ted Chase – Trumbull Youth Lacrosse, President; Trumbull, CT

Keith Brisotti – St. Alban Roe Lacrosse; St. Louis, MO
Keith's program, St. Alban Roe, will be adopting a station-based practice format during at least 1 of their 2 weekly practices this season. "We believe that by implementing the values of the LADM, we are creating not only a better learning environment for our athletes, but also a place where they will enjoy coming. At the end of the day, players who are having fun work harder, stick with it longer, and develop more."

Colin Madsen – Inter Mountain Lacrosse, Boys Program Coordinator; Salt Lake City, UT

Tom Welsh - W.A.L.L. Ball; About the Kids; Boise Idaho
Tom is a Men’s CEP Level III certified US Lacrosse and USA Hockey coach. "I am fortunate to have the benefit of a significant amount of coaching education and training, especially in the area of the LADM. In 2016, our lacrosse foundation, About the Kids, formed a new youth league in Meridian, ID, one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Located west of Boise, the West Ada Lacrosse League (WALL Ball) is 100% LADM. We offer U7 through U11 divisions. Games are in line with the small sided guidelines provided by US Lacrosse. There is no doubt this model will develop our lacrosse players and coaches in a manner that is more in line with their age, experience, and ability. Lacrosse in Idaho is still in the infancy stage. Using the “small ball” model, it is far easier to establish teams in the broader market outside of Boise. And it is more fun. When kids and coaches have fun, they learn. When they learn, they improve. I cannot say enough good things about the LADM and how it has benefitted the ever emerging Idaho lacrosse community."

Eleanor Tydings Gollob “Coach El" - Princeton 1990, Volunteer Commissioner/Coach, McLean Youth Girls Lacrosse, Founder/Exec.Director/Coach, Pride Girls Lacrosse Club
Coach El grew up in Monkton, MD and started playing field hockey and lacrosse in 7th grade. In high school, she added ice hockey and played all three sports for four years at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA while wearing neon pink socks AND two braids in her hair. She captained the ice hockey and lacrosse teams in her senior year at Princeton and was the Daily Princetonian's "Athlete of the Year" in 1990. Her top priority for all the girls she coaches is to instill a deep love of lacrosse AND a total belief in themselves. Coach El fully supports the LADM for the following reasons (in her words): 1) It is ATHLETE FOCUSED - it gives the game back to the child. 2) Small sided games give young laxers much more opportunity to actually play lacrosse and there is SO MUCH LESS standing around! 3) It promotes/prioritizes development of physical literacy which is critical as PE programs around the nation are eliminated. 4) It supports multi-sport involvement which typically leads to the development of lacrosse players with fewer injuries and much higher game IQs. 5) It has the potential to greatly reduce overuse injury rates in girls' lacrosse by ending the practice of having our little, growing girls play the "big girl" game on a giant full field.

Joe Hezlep – Scarborough High School Boys Lacrosse, Head Coach; President Maine Youth Lacrosse

Joe Hezlep has served over 10 years as the head coach at Scarborough High School. During his tenure as head coach, Scarborough has won six Maine Class A State Championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016). He is also president of the Maine Lacrosse Coaches Association, president of the Maine Chapter of US Lacrosse, is on the Maine Underclassman Showcase Game Committee, Chairman of the Rules Committee for Maine Youth Lacrosse, and member of the 2017 Athlete Development Model (ADM) cohort program. Joe also runs LaxPros Lacrosse League which plays 3v3 or 4v4 small field lacrosse for players in grades 4-12. Coach Hezlep lives in Portland with his wife, Megan, his French bulldog, Duchess, and works as director of operations at Landing Real Estate in Portland's Old Port district.

Brittany Philip – South Park Youth Association, Girls Lacrosse Program Coordinator; Charlotte,NC
Brittany played high School lacrosse at Corning East in Upstate NY and at Queens University of Charlotte. While at Queens, Brittany was a captain her junior and senior year and earned lacrosse accolades, including Conference Carolinas Player of the Year in 2012, IWLCA All-American Second Team, and IWLCA All-Region First Team, as well as representing the Queens University as the NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. She finished her career as the all-time team leader in goals, draw controls and single season goals. Brittany currently works at GMR on the P&G Olympic Games account and is director of the South Park Youth Association Girls' Lacrosse program, director of Youth Rising Stars at Queen City Stars, and co-director of the Charlotte Women’s Lacrosse Club. Brittany coaches while overseeing the program by rotating through all team practices and games. Brittany is also a US Lacrosse CDP certified trainer and member of the 2017 Athlete Development Model (ADM) cohort program.

Sean Kelly - Owner/Founder of Sean Kelly's Lacrosse Training in Wyckoff, NJ
Since opening in October of 2014, Sean has become the go to expert on how the human body functions in relation to the skills needed to excel in Lacrosse, coaching countless all-American, all-State and College athletes.
What sets Sean apart from all others is his philosophy which focuses on improving the player’s skill and technique needed to be successful at Lacrosse by addressing each athlete's physical deficiency.
Sean is able to identify the deficiencies in each athlete’s body that prohibit them from executing Lacrosse skills properly. Then he addresses the movement/strength deficiency, while simultaneously improving the Lacrosse skill.
In addition to coaching athletes in his facility, Sean has coached two nationally prominent High School Lacrosse programs, Ridgewood and Don Bosco Prep.
As a two sport Division I athlete Sean graduated Cum Laude from Fairfield University in 2000. After college, Sean spent twelve successful years on Wall Street and was the head of a very successful sales trading desk.

Chip Carlson
Chip started playing lacrosse in the 6th grade and through out high school at Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Mi. He played club lacrosse for both Indiana University and the University of Michigan. For the past 4 years, Chip has been a board member for the Michigan Chapter of US Lacrosse and is in his second term as President of the chapter. In addition, Chip founded and runs the Irish Banshee Lacrosse Club, the first LADM Model Program in the US. His top priority is providing age appropriate lacrosse education to girls ages 4-18 utilizing the LADM Model 100%. Additionally, Chip is an assistant high school varsity coach and junior varsity coach. He has achieved his US Lacrosse Level 3 Coaches Certification in the Women’s Game. “I am a true believer in everything the LADM program promotes, this has been a long overdue tool for lacrosse programs countrywide”.

 

Do you align with the LADM? Do you embody one or more of its core values? Would your organization, company, product, or event like to be considered for presence on the Athlete Development Wall of Champions? We know you're out there! Please submit a detailed e-mail to [email protected] explaining how your organization, company, product, or event align with the LADM or clearly support one or more of its six core values. We're kind of picky so make your case thoroughly and make sure you've done your homework. Please allow up to three weeks for a response.

The fine print: Items featured on this page are selected at the discretion of US Lacrosse solely in recognition of their alignment in part or in full with the lacrosse athlete development model and values. This listing is not comprehensive. US Lacrosse does not bestow any special privileges or endorsements on entities selected for this page or accept anything, monetary or otherwise in exchange for page presence. US Lacrosse does not guarantee nor certify the quality or ultimate viability of those featured on this page outside of due diligence performed to establish qualification for presence on this page based on the aforementioned selection criteria. US Lacrosse encourages consumers to perform due diligence if pursuing further engagement with those featured as champions. US Lacrosse reserves the right to remove or adjust page content at will.​