Miller Lacrosse M|11

Friday, January 24, 2014


Excellent read on the role competitive sports and how it plays on life and learning to become resilient off the field.

Blog of Trevor Tierney
Posted: 20 Jan 2014 08:08 PM PST
“And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” - Batman Begins

Don’t get me wrong here. I love all of the players, parents and families that I get to work with in sports. I would not want to be doing anything else with my life! But lately, I have been bewildered by a phenomena that seems to be growing in youth athletics. There is a constant search amongst parents and players to be on the “best team” that wins the most games and tournaments. It is no longer enough for our children to play on a local youth or high school team and enjoy the experience of playing sports. Furthermore, it is no longer even enough for our children to play on a good club travel team that plays well together, is competitive with other great teams from around the country and has top-notch coaching. Rather, there is a “grass is greener” mentality amongst parents and young athletes who are on the constant lookout for the absolute best team to be a part of.

There are a lot of factors driving all of this. It is partly due to the parent’s misconception that the better their child’s team, the better their chances for recruitment and success down the road (by the way, college coaches do not even know the scores of the games that they are scouting high school games—they only know notice who is 6’4”, 225 and runs like a gazelle in the Serengeti). I believe that this mentality runs deeper than that though and we have simply lost touch of what sports are all about. You know when you watch the people on a reality show like Honey Boo Boo or Swamp People and you say, “man…those people are nuts!”? Well, I hate to tell you. That is all of us in sports right now! We are the crazy people. And for the past few years, this perception of making sure our children win all the time and at all costs has become utterly mind-boggling. Every single game in sports, one team wins and one team loses. That’s just the way it works. It is completely narcissistic for us to think that we ourselves (or our child) should never lose. What fun would sports be if we knew that we were going to win every time anyway?

Every great athlete and coach that I know has had their fair share of ups and downs. Even though my claim to lacrosse fame is that I won two NCAA National Championships, a MLL Championship and a FIL World Championship with Team USA, I also got my butt kicked a whole lot along the way! My youth teams were disgraceful, my high school team had some serious rough patches, I can’t even count how many goals Syracuse scored on me at Princeton over the years and I was on the only USA team that lost in the World Championships since 1978 for goodness sake! Even Michael Jordan (who I apologize for even mentioning in the same paragraph as my athletic career) admitted in a commercial, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” The point is, that no matter what an athlete does in their career, they will have some wins and they will have some losses. Trying to control that is not going to change anything. Furthermore, there is actually something about the pursuit of always winning that is detrimental to our children’s development as athletes and as people.

As I have pondered this mindset that we are witnessing in youth sports for the past few years, I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know how to explain it, other than sounding like a grumpy old curmudgeon. However, there is scientific evidence that shows why we should actually want our children to lose! Again, as I have written time and again, I am not saying that athletes should not care about trying to win and just act like it does not matter. And I am certainly not an advocate for the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. Our young athletes should care deeply about trying to win and be their best. And when they go into competition and want nothing more than to win that game, it will be absolutely fantastic for them when they lose! Before you think I have been hit in the head with too many lacrosse balls (which is completely factual), let me explain further…

In the past month, I have been fortunate enough to study under one of our country’s leading researchers on human resilience at Harvard, Dr. Shelly Carson. As soon as I sat in our first lecture this January, the lightbulb flashed on! I started to realize that when we want our child to play on the most dominant team, we are completely missing the boat on how sports build resilience for young men and women. This is not just me blabbing about it either. There is decades of research being compiled by people much smarter than me (surprising I know) that explains how we all develop resilience and how this leads to overall happiness, well-being and success. And isn’t that what we really want for our children?

I am starting to understand how sports are actually the perfect set up for resilience training as losses are very stressful and a challenging adversity for young athletes to face. When you see it from this perspective though, you realize that no one is going to die, get seriously injured, get cancer, lose a family member, get dumped by their girlfriend (and if so, good riddance I say), lose their home, get thrown in jail, fail out of school, or face anything truly tragic from losing a game. And while I might be acting contrite here, the fact is that all of us will face one or several of these things at some point in our life. Nobody’s existence on this earth is perfect. We all face some serious adversity whether we like it or not. With that being the case, don’t we want our kids to learn how to deal with it in a skillful manner?

In the field of psychology, resiliency has been defined by Luthar (2000) as, “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change . . . a positive adaptation within the context of significant adversity,” (as cited in Carson lecture, 2014). So, not only do the skills of resiliency allow people to overcome and recover from tragic experiences in their lives, but resilient people also flourish, grow and experience tremendous well-being and success in their lives. And that is exactly what we want for our children. I will take that over any win, any tournament championship and any trophy. The best aspect of athletics, in my mind, is that it teaches us resiliency, the ability to endure, overcome and find greatness in our lives. The best part is as coaches and parents, all we have to do is be positive and supportive of our children no matter if they win or lose. We just have to be there for them as they learn to get back up and keep moving on with their heads held high. That is how we learn to deal with life on life’s terms on their own as strong individuals. What a great gift that is to bring our children and I cannot think of a more powerful way to do it than through athletics.

There are a lot of ways in which resiliency can be taught through sports, which I will go into some more detail down the road. One of the most effective ways is utilizing "problem-focused coping" which means taking an active approach towards finding a solution. To sum this all up, I will pass along what I tell my players and parents on our Denver Elite lacrosse teams. Instead of finding a better team to play on, find a way to make your team better. This is how you can truly learn to win something of lasting value through the sports.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mens Division I Lacrosse Scrimmages Dates & Times

Date Time Home Away Location
Jan. 18 1:00 PM Delaware Mercyhurst Newark, DE
12:00 PM Ohio State Hill Academy Columbus, OH
Jan. 23 TBA    Furman Limestone Greenville, SC
4:00 PM Georgetown Johns Hopkins Washington, DC
5:45 PM Penn State Lehigh University Park, PA
Jan. 25 11:00 AM Air Force Adams State Colorado Springs, CO
10:00 AM Army Manhattan West Point, NY
TBA    Bellarmine VMI Louisville, KY
TBA    Bellarmine Tusculum Louisville, KY
1:00 PM Boston University Merrimack Loudonville, NY
12:30 PM Bucknell Villanova College Park, MD
1:00 PM Delaware Colgate Newark, DE
12:00 PM High Point Marquette High Point, NC
10:00 AM Hofstra Le Moyne Syracuse, NY
TBA    Maryland Villanova College Park, MD
10:00 AM Maryland Bucknell College Park, MD
1:00 PM Massachusetts St. John's Amherst, MA
11:00 AM North Carolina Denver Chapel Hill, NC
12:00 PM Ohio State Navy Columbus, OH
3:00 PM Siena Merrimack Loudonville, NY
11:00 AM Siena Boston University Loudonville, NY
10:00 AM Syracuse Hofstra Syracuse, NY
10:00 AM Syracuse Le Moyne Syracuse, NY
TBA    VMI Tusculum Louisville, KY
Jan. 26 1:30 PM U.S. Team Blue U.S. Team White Lake Buena Vista, FL
Jan. 28 4:00 PM Fairfield Army Fairfield, CT
Feb. 1 12:00 PM Army Bryant West Point, NY
TBA    Denver Colorado State Denver, CO
TBA    Drexel Maryland Philadelphia, PA
TBA    Drexel Penn Philadelphia, PA
12:00 PM Hobart Rutgers Hempstead, NY
2:00 PM Hofstra Rutgers Hempstead, NY
10:00 AM Hofstra Hobart Hempstead, NY
1:00 PM Johns Hopkins Penn State Baltimore, MD
11:00 AM Loyola North Carolina Baltimore, MD
1:00 PM Manhattan Saint Joseph's Riverdale, NY
1:00 PM Michigan Marquette Ann Arbor, MI
12:00 PM Navy Virginia Annapolis, MD
2:00 PM Notre Dame Bellarmine South Bend, IN
12:00 PM Ohio State Robert Morris Columbus, OH
1:00 PM Penn Maryland Philadelphia, PA
1:00 PM Richmond Mount St. Mary's Richmond, VA
11:00 AM Sacred Heart Lafayette Fairfield, CT
11:00 AM Siena Massachusetts Loudonville, NY
10:00 AM St. John's Hartford Queens, NY
TBA    Stony Brook Villanova Stony Brook, NY
TBA    Stony Brook Monmouth Stony Brook, NY
12:00 PM Syracuse Bucknell Towson, MD
2:00 PM Towson Bucknell Towson, MD
TBA    Towson Syracuse Towson, MD
12:00 PM UMBC Georgetown Baltimore, MD
1:00 PM Vermont Saint Michael's Burlington, VT
TBA    Villanova Monmouth Stony Brook, NY
Feb. 2 1:00 PM Jacksonville Florida Southern Jacksonville, FL
12:00 PM Notre Dame Detroit South Bend, IN
Feb. 3 3:00 PM Boston University Marist Boston, MA
11:30 AM Boston University Dartmouth Boston, MA
1:15 PM Dartmouth Marist Boston, MA
TBA    Detroit Albion, Hill Academy Pontiac, MI
Feb. 8 TBA    Albany Penn Albany, NY
2:00 PM Brown Vermont Providence, RI
1:00 PM Dartmouth Quinnipiac Hanover, NH
1:00 PM Drexel UMBC Philadelphia, PA
TBA    Hobart Le Moyne Geneva, NY
1:00 PM Monmouth Sacred Heart West Long Branch, NJ
1:00 PM Saint Joseph's Lafayette Philadelphia, PA
1:00 PM Stony Brook Yale Stony Brook, NY
Feb. 9 1:00 PM Cornell Iroquois Nationals Ithaca, NY
1:00 PM Robert Morris Mercyhurst Moon Township, PA
Feb. 14 5:00 PM Cornell Cortland Ithaca, NY
Feb. 15 TBA    Harvard Providence Cambridge, MA
1:00 PM Penn Quinnipiac Philadelphia, PA
Feb. 16 12:00 PM Cornell RIT Ithaca, NY

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Alta Fitz Newest Avalanche Dog