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Recommendations open for new Ascension Lacrosse Academy, non-travel training and development program for boys (Grades 5 to 8)

Sunday, 7th October 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, Events, Training, Posted 10/7/18
Staff Report

Recommendations are being accepted for the ascension Lacrosse Academy, a non-travel club training and development program solely focused on player development for boys in Grades 5 through 8 being launched in November.

The program is purposely designed not to interfere with any club program in any way and the teams will not be traveling to tournaments but rather focus solely on intermittent training locally for top tier players in the Philadelphia area.

The program is designed to maximize player:coach ratios and so there are a very limited number of slots per position per grade. There will be 25 players (6A 6D 9M 2G 2LSM) per grade. The Academy has assembled an elite cast of coaches from the Philly region.

Entire program information can be found on the website:

Players must apply (free) at and once applications are reviewed over the next few weeks directors will send out registration email links and once position maximums are filled (limited slots) players will be notified of a waitlist.

Program Directors Matt DiRocco and longtime Haverford School coach John Nostrant  answered these questions about the program.

Why was this program created?
“Lacrosse has grown tremendously over the years and as a result a trend exists in the current model where players (at the critical Learn to Train and Train to Train ages) in many cases are competing 60-70% of the time and training only 30-40% of the time, yet the science of Long Term Athletic Development supports the reverse. The Academy aims to provide the Right training, at the Right ages, with the Right approach.”
Nostrant: “We feel individual skill work, position fundamentals and IQ are critical components of the game. Coaches hit on these facets but there is never enough time built into practices to work enough on these things because the ultimate goal is to prepare to win games. Our goal is to reinforce and in some cases introduce concepts that will allow the player to really focus on the technical and tactical parts of the game.”

What is the main goal of the program?
“The mission is to Ascend Player Development and our goals are accomplishing this through elite player skill development, enhanced athletic development, and fortified personal development. (

Why is this training unique from other clinics or training, or club lacrosse?
“Our programming is based on evidenced-based sports science, fortified with the experience, insights, and expertise of current and past professional players and coaches, certified professionals in athletic performance training (powered by C4 Performance Training decades of experience in organizational professional training and development. Our skill development curriculum is built upon a 3T progressive model with the aim of building proficiency and aiming toward mastery in the fundamentals of the Technical, Tactical and Team Situation Play aspects of the game.
Nostrant: “The amount of reps and touches will be a huge focus but also to be sure the reps are done meticulously well. During the last Friday of each Fall Academy Session we will host a USL officiated ‘Friday Night Lights’ game ( where players are coached by the Ascension Lacrosse Academy elite coaching staff, a memorable experience played by many of the Philadelphia area’s most upcoming young talented players. Lastly we provide access to professional certified age-appropriate personal development training in the core areas of goal setting, leadership and mental toughness; providing a strong foundation for players on and off the field. (

How did you assemble this coaching staff and what makes it special?
“It was easy to assemble a staff of instructors and advisers because we all share the same vision and passion for player development.”

Please explain the registration process?
“The Ascension Lacrosse Academy program and curriculum are built around effective coach to player ratios thus there are a limited and set number of available slots per position per grade to optimize player development during each Academy session. In order to maximize drill efficiency and effectiveness and ultimately player development, players must have a baseline proficiency in skill. Do they need recommendations from their coach? The Academy is club neutral and designed to provide development to support any and all local travel club and scholastic teams in the Philadelphia area. We ask for club coaches contact information in the player application to ensure we have not just great players but great character and coachable individuals as well.” ( Application is free and takes 30 seconds and registration links or waitlist notifications will be sent out the week of October 15th)

Academy Instructors
John Nostrant, Academy Director
Matt DiRocco, Academy Director
Marc Petrone, Curriculum Director
Drew Adams
Riley Hupfeldt
Joey Sankey
Brendan Dawson
Conor Kelly
Ryan Sankey
Mike Delgrande
Ron Garling
Ryan Kilpatrick
Travis Loving
Dennis Goldstein
Austin Pifani

Academy Advisors
Tony Resch
John McEvoy
Tom Slate
Neil Rock, The Rock Group Leadership Development & Goal Setting

C4 Sports Performance Training
Charan Chanda
Mike McGee
Sam Morison
Jack Nazarewycz


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