Phillylacrosse.con, Posted 1/17/16
It was a day off of school today because of the celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, but a large group of hungry lacrosse players were happy to wake up early and attend a 3-hour clinic at Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn.
The event featured elite instruction from six Major League Lacrosse pros – four from Philly. Players had instruction in all aspects of the game from attack coaches Joey Sankey (Penn Charter grad, Charlotte Hounds) and Rob Pannell (NY Lizards, 2016 MLL Offensive Player of the Year), midfield coaches Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep, Atlanta Blaze), face-off coach Chris Mattes (Florida Launch), defensive coach PT Ricci (Conestoga, Florida Launch) and goalie coach Austin Kaut (Springfield-Delco, Florida Launch).
The coaches gave these comments on the event:
Joey Sankey: “My main message was about being coachable. We had three hours to break it down and work on the fundamentals and and getting out of your comfort zone. Kids are usually happy to do the status quo; we want them to try new things to become a better player. At the end we talked about always trying to find a player of similar stature or style in the college or pro game to emulate. For me is was Mikey Powell, a small, quick guy. We also talked about their lacrosse IQ and studying the game.”
Matt Mackrides: “We preached a lot about taking advantage of this unbelievable opportunity to learn from these players. We are fortunate that a few of us are local and that Rob and Chris (joined us). It was a great opportunity for the kids to take advantage of a day off and they were all eager to learn. That’s what you want in a player.”
PT Ricci: “We harped on the fundamentals – whether the guys were preparing for high school tryouts, middle school or club they have to work on their footwork and getting them ready for the season. I think we were giving them the same message that their high school coaches are giving them, but it was coming from a different voice of guys they can see on TV. Some of the kids were star struck, but they got comfortable pretty quickly and were willing to work hard.”
Austin Kaut: “It was good to see those guys on their day off from school. They came out and get better instead of playing video games. I hope to see them using the techniques they learned on attack and at midfield and defense. It was a great group of kids.”
Chris Mattes: “I wanted them to develop their whole game of lacrosse, not just on the face-off. You have to work on shooting and groundballs and all parts of the game. I also want to see them play multiple sports; a fifth-grader should not give up all sports to play lacrosse.”
Rob Pannell: “It was a great group of kids that came out and worked hard. I credited them all on being out there this morning while their friends and teammates were sleeping. The key is putting in the extra work on their stick skills. You can’t control how big or fast or strong you’ll be but you can control your stick skills so to take advantage of a day like this will help you when you get older and that speed and strength does come.”