ABOUT AMITY YOUTH LACROSSE (AYL)
AYL strives to teach and support the game of lacrosse in an environment of safety, respect and FUN. The Program supports boys in grades 1st thru 8th living in Bethany, Orange & Woodbridge CT. The season runs in the Spring from mid March to mid June. AYL is a member of the Connecticut-New York Lacrosse Association (CONNY), an organizing body for youth lacrosse in Connecticut & NY.
Questions about the program? Email John Coughlin, President, at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Coughlin, President,
Jim O'Connor, Vice President,
Drew Blanchette, Treasurer,
Matt Aronin, Secretary,
David Pretlove, Co-VP, Referees & Games,
Justin Grande, Program Coordinator,
PROGRAM OVERVIEW & EXPECTATIONS
Welcome to the Amity Youth Lacrosse ("AYL") organization! AYL is committed to providing a positive developmental lacrosse experience for youth boys throughout the Amity community. Clear expectations, goals, and communication are necessary in order to achieve this experience. The "Program Overview & Expectations" provides a clear framework of expectations for all members of the AYL family.
Our AYL organization is committed to delivering a well organized, spring season that focuses on player development, simplified program-wide practice logistics, detailed practice plans & development progressions, and effective communication on all levels. In order to maximize player development, the AYL-wide focus (officers, coaches, players, and parents) must start with practice, NOT games. We all love to play games--and we will!--but in order to properly develop our boys, individually and within a team, a great deal of planning, effort and energy will go into our practices.
Our entire organization (excluding our Little Bantams Instructional Program) will practice together on the same nights, at the same times, and at the same location. Detailed practice plans will be implemented that will provide our players with many facets of development--individual stick skills, position-specific instruction & concepts, specialist training (goalies & face off specialists), and team.
AYL will not have "A" and "B" teams within the U9, U11, U13, & U15 formats. In-line with many youth sports organizations and leagues, and with the support of CONNY, AYL is simplifying our teams structure. AYL will have teams at each grade level. It is very simple to understand-- if a boy is in 4th grade, that boy will be assigned to the 4th grade team. (See attachment for specific teams, and their respective coaches for the upcoming season). Within this structure, players--in specific circumstances--will be allowed to "play up" on an older team if that player is considered advanced (provided the program director, coaches and parents of that player are in agreement). Players may not "play down."
Play Time in Games
The amount of time a player receives in games will be the direct result of their performance at practice. The performance at practice will be based on the "Student-Athlete Expectations Pyramid." CLICK HERE FOR PYRAMID The Expectations Pyramid is built on specific components that can be controlled by every player, regardless of athletic ability. Notice "All Star" of "Best" Skills or "Most Athletic Players" are NOT listed. If every player in the AYL family focuses on "the Pyramid," each player, each team, and the entire organization will be on a path to success! Our coaches will be evaluating each player based on "the Pyramid." In addition to the Pyramid, the best way to explain our philosophy on specific play time in games is that our coaches will do their best to play kids evenly over the course of a season, but not necessarily at each and every game. Sometimes we may clearly be a much better team than our opponent, and sometimes we might be physically overmatched from the start. In both cases, we ask the coach to use his discretion to keep the game safe for all participants, to treat the players from both teams with respect and concern, and to give our players the opportunity to develop in a safe and fun environment. This is never an easy job, but they have our full support in reaching this goal. To be clear: specific play time in individual games may not be equitable for every player based on "the Pyramid," as well as safety and competitiveness concerns.
Managing Roster Sizes on Game Day
AYL will adopt the platoon system when team rosters exceed the optimal number of players. For example, if a team has 24 players, that team will be broken into three (3) platoons. The coaching staff will assign two platoons for each game. This will provide our coaches with a more effective "game day" player management system, and ensure a higher quality experience for our players.
The 24-Hour Rule
Parents will undoubtedly have questions about their child's development. AYL encourages an active dialogue between coaches, players and parents. It is important for our coaches to be informed about specific pertinent information that may be impacting their players' emotions and performance. That said, a PARENT SHOULD NEVER ADDRESS A COACH WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE CONCLUSION OF A GAME TO DISCUSS THEIR CHILD'S PLAY TIME, POSITION PLAYED OR ANY OTHER POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE ISSUE. If an issue needs to be addressed, wait the 24 hours, then contact the coach to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet or speak.
Handling Questions & Concerns
We encourage our parents and coaches to develop open and honest lines of communication. If a question or concern arises, parents are encouraged to schedule a time to speak with their son's respective coach. If an adequate answer or resolution is not achieved, then a discussion with the AYL Program Director should be scheduled. AYL Program Directors are Justin Grande (Little Bantams-5th Grade Teams) and Sean Flaherty (6th-8th Grades). If a resolution is still not achieved, parents are encouraged to contact Jim O'Connor (Vice President) and/ or John Coughlin (President).
Coaching during Practices & Games
Please allow our coaches to do the on-field coaching at all practices and games. If you feel the need to coach your child, please do it in the privacy of your car, your house and/ or in an area where it will not take away from the coach and the instruction he may be offering to the team. PLEASE DO NOT COACH YOUR CHILD OR ANY OTHER PLAYER FROM THE SIDELINES. It is incredibly distracting--and often, conflicting--to our players and coaches. Any parent or spectator coaching from the sidelines will be addressed.
"What position do you play?" Our answer to this is simple. The older the team, the less room there is for changing positions and moving around. With our younger teams, our players should and will learn to play ALL positions on the field over the course of the season (with the exception of goalie maybe)...as they cannot be sure where they are going to succeed as their career advances. Many kids who try defense for a quarter or two find out that they love it. Many players who play attack find that midfield is a similar position and enjoy that as well. Within the younger teams, our players will learn to play all positions at practice. The older teams, will focus less on "learning all positions" and more on "position-specific development." In the games, our coaches have full discretion in playing our kids where they believe best suits the team.
Last, and certainly not least, is the issue of sportsmanship. Please make a conscious effort to make all support for our teams positive and respectful. Remember, referees are going to miss calls, our players will be pushed from behind and slashed. It is going to happen. Our boys will also be the offenders (hopefully not often)… so please leave any discussions with the referees or an opposing team to our coaches. AYL will adopt a simple sportsmanship protocol that easily solves this issue: Players, parents and other AYL spectators should never directly address a member of an opposing team or referee unless it is in a positive manner. Any infraction of this kind will be addressed by the AYL officers. We need to focus on our boys and our program, never on a competitor or on another program. Our coaches know that the safety of our kids is paramount every time we step on the field. Let the kids play, let the coaches coach, and let the parents enjoy some great lacrosse.
Full Investment in Your Child: Our staff is fully invested in the development and growth of each member of our program. As the season progresses, we always welcome the opportunity to discuss your child’s growth as a lacrosse player, as well as any other areas you feel relevant to their development.