Cobras Lacrosse is a registered non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. We turn no child away for their inability to pay league fees. We are moving toward a nominal fee for participation with sponsorships, grants and donations as the main source of sustenance for the club. If you are interested in learning more please contact us!
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Cobra Field and Zona Box Lacrosse Update 070220
Cobra Field and Zona Box Lacrosse Update 070220
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
I hope this update finds you holding tight and focused on the future as we celebrate our nations 244th birthday!
We sent out our last update a little more than two weeks ago, yet it seems much longer considering the rapid change we are seeing here in AZ.
Getting right to the point we will continue the pause in training set on June 10 until at least July 17 in line with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA, noting Arizona is still holding at Phase 1 of statewide reopening), Peoria Unified School District, Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and US Lacrosse Return to Play guidance.
On 7/1 Governor Ducey delayed the start of in-person schooling. In response, the AIA delayed the start date of fall sports and indicated plans to create alternative sports schedules.
Our club will continue to provide updates and resume activities when safe to do so.
While we remain focused on preparing and competing our Cobras and Team Zona players in tournaments the reality is that as noted above, Arizona remains in Phase 1 of reopening (gyms closed, small group activities of 10 or less, and physical distancing), making it very difficult to plan and accomplish team practices. In addition all tournament facilities and fields are closed for competitive play with no planned opening dates in California, Colorado, Texas, Nevada, and Utah - all states in which we considered tournament play. This means in all likelihood the tournaments will be moved to later date or cancelled altogether.
Know that tournaments are considered Stage 5 (larger group gatherings of more than 50 with full competition resumption and multiple teams from varied geographic areas, highest risk). At this stage, according to the CDC, there is evidence of isolated cases or limited community transmission, case investigations underway, no evidence of exposure in large communal setting, e.g., healthcare facility, school, mass gathering. None of the tournaments considered are near or headed for this stage.
Therefore we will forgo summer tournaments look to the late fall opportunities such as;
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
As one of my program director counterparts wrote me “its difficult operating in the unknown.” Over the past few weeks I’ve found this comment spot on . . .
As of today per capita COVID-19 cases for Maricopa County are 1 in 220. So it’s a good bet most of you know someone, or at least are within a degree of separation from a person who tested positive. My only hope is that anyone you know is recovered or has/had mild symptoms.
Cobra Field and Zona Box Lacrosse – Where are we now?
Our plan is to follow US Lacrosse, CDC, state, local and school guidelines to slowly and gradually return to play with training (Stage 2) followed by medium group modified intra-squad scrimmages/practices and limited contact games (3x), Stage 3. This was to be June and into July.
While we are aware of organizations holding lacrosse practices with 100 or more players on the field, and even box lacrosse games with full contact (Stages 4-5), our state is clearly holding at the Stage 2 level of US Lacrosse guidance. While I will withhold further comment on outside groups my priority remains the protection of players, coaches, officials and volunteers, as well as their families and friends based on medically informed guidance.
Out of an abundance of caution we suspended small group training as of Wednesday, June 10. A family member of one of our athletes tested positive for COVID-19 and we immediately communicated and shutdown operations. Prior to that 25 athletes (separated in groups of 5 for 90 minute increments) took part in speed, agility, advanced wall ball, shooting and defensive drills all guided by US Lacrosse, CDC and school district directives. It was an outstanding 7 days and I loved every minute of working with players again. Fortunately as of this writing our athlete is healthy and showing no symptoms.
It is our hope to resume small group training as of July 6th. We will maintain the groups of 5-6 players. With this very limited space available
. Groups are set by age, skill level and position. Note – This is serious training. All ages and skill levels are invited but only if you are willing to work outside your comfort zone.
Best-case scenario is a continuation toward a Cobra fall field program at Cactus HS for September.
Team Zona Box Update
As noted above full contact begins at Stage 4 with LOCAL, small sided events. Stage 5 is tournament play with multiple teams and varied geographic areas. Currently there is currently no evidence or guidance on how to hold large-scale events safely. With this knowledge I cannot ethically schedule players to begin preparing for tournament play that in all likelihood will not take place.
Therefore we will plan toward the late fall Vegas Box Invitational
Below is the latest information from the box lacrosse tournaments we’ve attended annually since 2015:
Battle in the Box – Facilities will not allow the tournament to be held in July. The director is looking in possibilities including moving to another state (!) or hosting in August
USBOXLA Nationals – “USBOXLA officials are hopeful that the state will have reached the final phases of reopening by September, allowing for youth tournaments like Nationals to take place.” Tentatively moved to Labor Day weekend, Sept 5-7 in San Jose, California (Not Huntington Beach)
Vegas Box invitational – On as scheduled December 18-20, 2020
In closing I wish I had better news. I try to be positive but I truly miss coaching, I miss the kids, and my wife wants me out of the house . . .
Safe Return to Play Status of Cobra Field / Team Zona Box Lacrosse
We canceled our outdoor box program scheduled to start June 6th at the Arizona Sports Complex as of May 19.
In accordance with the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, Arizona is currently in Phase 1 with physical distancing and other restrictions making contact sports out of the question. Further, no national authority (USL, USBOXLA, NFHS) or governing body (AIA) backs a safe return to play at this time.
Lacrosse is considered a “high risk” sport and US Lacrosse nor any other insurer, covers contact sports presently. I am in communication with US Lacrosse weekly and they require programs follow the CDC, state, local, and USL guidance to remain covered by USL Insurance. This week USL is expected to release a Safe Return to Play white paper that should offer more direction.
On May 19 NFHS released a 3-phased guidance document with a staged approach to assist high school associations and other activity programs throughout the nation as they reintroduce sports. Lacrosse, along with football and wrestling were placed in the Higher Risk category. Unfortunately the NFHS guidance stopped at Moderate Risk (basketball, volleyball, baseball) in Phase 3, leaving no plan for an assumed Phase 4 to include lacrosse.
Also on May 19 the CDC released “Considerations for Youth Sports,” which featured six categories: guiding principles, assessing risk, reduce spread, healthy environments, healthy operations and when someone gets sick.
What does all this mean?
While it is clear that some lacrosse programs in Arizona are planning to play in June, we will take a slow and safe path and continue to monitor the situation in our state while following the guidance offered by the governing bodies respectfully.
We will run limited outdoor small group training in June and film our drills for all to use at home. If things continue to progress we will open the training up to increased numbers for July. There is no way anyone can forecast out more than a few weeks so we will adjust accordingly and keep everyone advised.
Preparation for summer field or box travel tournaments are on hold until further notice.
The score at the end of a game commonly determines a “winning” and “losing” team, but what does winning mean after all? Does winning mean having the better score in a U9 league game? Does winning mean a team that goes unbeaten in Division 1 in their U11 group?
I submit that “winning” is a long-term proposition. Too often we look for short-term gain and therefore miss the opportunity to reach the higher goal. In our case that means more time spent developing ALL players with a well thought out LTAD approach, ensuring that we have avenues for new players to learn, recreational players to enjoy this great game, and finally training and travel programs for those that wish to reach their highest potential.
Although “winning over development” survives to this day, the keepers of the flame are losing steam based on solid research. We know that by the age of 13, 70% of kids involved in organized sports drop out of the game. The main reason for this is kids aren’t “having fun anymore” and they’ve lost interest. By maintaining the short-term “win at all costs” mentality, many youth players are lost in the fight to win meaningless games. Far too often over my years I’ve heard comment that youth players have to “win” or they will be upset, or even depressed. This is simply not true.
In fact in a study conducted in 2014 by George Washington University found, when kids were asked why they participate in sports over 90 percent of children responded that they did so because it was fun. Fun, however, means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. The children were asked to describe what fun meant for them, and 81 different explanations arose throughout the study. 81 different explanations for what fun means, ranked in order of most important as a response.
Winning ended up 48th on the list.
The top fun factors were; Being a good sport, Trying hard, Positive coaching, Learning and improving, Game time support, Games, Practices, Team friendships, Mental bonuses, Team rituals, and Swag.
Trying your best is essentially the idea of giving 100%. It’s that winning mentality, and if we can continue to foster it, we are one step ahead of the game in helping to create “winners.” Kids generally forget about results soon after the game is over. The game is really won or lost, however, in the car ride home. As Project Play explains, kids often forget about the result ten minutes after a game is over, but are often reminded of it constantly in the car-ride home and at dinner that day.
Winning is important, but development is more important. Develop the winning mentality, see kids take ownership of their own technical development, understanding that one hour of practice a week is not enough, and watch the results come, eventually. Eventually is the key word here. Don’t expect this to happen over the course of a week, a season, maybe even a year. Development is not a straight line. Ups will come with downs, and development does not mean constant, unchecked progression.
So this is great but how do we develop skills in youth players and keep them playing sports?
I will summerize here, but encourage you to read the a complete solution, and our model, from The Aspen Institutes Project Play here;