Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/28/14
From Press Release
American Indoor Lacrosse Association founder Johnny Mouradain recently visited Japan and shared his knowledge and passion for lacrosse with players from Kyoto University. Johnny worked with Kyoto’s coaches and players over a four day period both on the field (see video below), reviewing video and meeting with the players and team captains.
“We rarely experience lacrosse abroad,” said Kyoto University Head Coach Kazuhisa Mirua. “Johnny’s coaching contains many new and fresh ideas. The attitudes of our players towards playing lacrosse seemed to change before our eyes as they began to better understand the new principles Johnny shared with us. It was a precious experience for all of us. We are going to blend what Johnny taught us with our own playing style and ultimately win a championship.” One week after Johnny’s visit Kyoto University defeated Dohisha University by a score of 8 to 1.
Most of the players at Japanese Universities have never picked up a stick until their first year of university. Kyoto University’s lacrosse program like all university sports are completely funded, managed and organized by the players and alumni. The sports programs are fully supported by the University with respect to providing facilities, meeting rooms, locker rooms and the sports are an integrate part of university life. Located in Kyoto, Japan, it is one of the highest ranked universities in Asia and one of Japan’s National Seven Universities. One of Asia’s leading research-oriented institutions, it is famed for producing world-class researchers, including eight Nobel Prize laureates, two Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize. The university has been consistently ranked the second best institute in Japan since 2008 in various independent university ranking schemes.
“It was really inspiring to witness the drive and determination the coaches and players exhibited and their passion to learn the game of lacrosse and the skills they have developed in a short period of time with starting lacrosse during their first year of university,” said Mouradian. “I was equally impressed with the organization of their program ran completely by the students headed up by their Manager Mari Kato, student support staff, the captains, players and alumni. Understanding the caliber of students attending Kyoto University one can see how well the lacrosse program functions.”
Kyoto University Captain, Takahiro “Zushi” Uragami commented, “Everything Johnny taught us was completely new. We really appreciated the skills Johnny taught us, but also for the interaction that he brought into our team. The communication among our teammates became more active, I observed more eye contacts, and our off-ball movement improved. Honestly saying, we have not yet digested all the principles completely, but yes, I see the amazing opportunity lying inside our brains. Our goal is to repay Johnny’s kindness by being the champion team in Japan this year.”
Kyoto player Sou Moriya added, “Since lacrosse has only been played in Japan for a short period of time, we players trust the unlimited potential of lacrosse. There is no structured routine of what we should do, and we learn something new through daily practice or NCAA/MLL/NLL videos on YouTube. That reality is, I think, where the reason Japanese college lacrosse players get into “LAX.” Johnny’s visit had a strong impact on us. Every single skill, technique, tactic and trick he taught us were fresh, simple and innovative. Johnny brought new life to our team and will be a key to our future success. I could see Johnny’s significant influence in every player’s shining eyes when they were listening to his advice. Although it was a 4-day short stay, Johnny’s visit will definitely hold a special place in the pages of Kyoto University Lacrosse Team’s history. There is no doubt everything Johnny shared with us is priceless. Now it is our turn to output what we input from him. With winning the National Championship, we will prove what he gave to us is not wrong.”
About AILA: American Indoor Lacrosse Association’s Integrated Programs provide In|Crosse education and training, AILA’s proprietary system that leverages the integration and convergence of the indoor version of lacrosse with the field game. AILA’s integrated programs contribute significantly to the building blocks of lacrosse literacy by teaching cutting bio-mechanics, principles, strategies and tactics of indoor lacrosse. AILA’s Programs take advantage of the several features – small goals (4’x 4’9), 30 second shot clock, five on five lacrosse, players learn to play offense and defense, to name a few. The In|Crosse Platform is the integration and convergence of the knowledge and skills to the field game. www.ailacrosse.net