Current 7th and 8th graders participate in our Elite Development Program. The main goals of the program are to make significant gains to the individual and team development of our players while preparing them to enter High School and later for the recruiting process. Our curriculum for our Elite Development Program includes standard practice techniques as well as integrated games and competitions to foster a healthy, fun, and competitive environment where players can improve their skills at the highest level.
Our 2028/U13 and 2027 Teams are coached by Current/Former MLL/NLL Professional Lacrosse Players, High School Coaches, and guest coaches. An Eclipse coach will be assigned to a team for the entire year. In addition to their full-time coach, each Eclipse team will have guest coaches to increase the exposure each player has to multiple coaching styles. Elite Development Teams will have clinics in the Fall, Winter, and Summer. Players will not only participate in clinics; they will have team specific practices as well. Each team will attend 4 tournaments in the Summer. Our U13 Team will have additional tournaments and practices based on their preparation schedule leading up to the World Series of Youth Lacrosse Qualifier and the World Series of Youth Lacrosse Tournament.
September & October Clinics
Grade wide clinics with a focus on individual skill development. Clinics include team and guest coaches.
December, January & February Clinics
Grade wide clinics in box field and box lacrosse to increase our players touches during the winter season.
June & July Team Practices + Tournaments
Team practices with team coaches and four tournaments.
Curriculm & Culture
One of the most important aspects of the game of lacrosse is learned at this age - “executing in uneven situations”. During a lacrosse game, “uneven situations” (2 v 1, 3 v 2, 4 v 3, 5 v 4, 6 v 5) occur constantly. Although we introduce drills with our younger players that involve uneven situations, at this age, our players are taught how best to compete in these situations. Most important, in our curriculum, we make sure our coaches consistently reinforce the appropriate fundamentals regarding each situation. For example: Offensive players have been taught to 1) Always be a threat to score; 2) Figure out who has the “best shot” (you or your teammate); 3) Read how the defense is playing the situation; 4) How best to fake / be deceptive / be creative to produce the highest percentage shot; 5) Learn how to “get covered” to improve offensive efficiency. For Defensive players, we are making sure they are taking pride in 1) being in proper passing lanes; 2) having their stick in the right position to knock down balls; 3) making sure to communicate with their teammates; 4) learn to be a disruptive force.
Our other main focus at this age is coaching “game recognition”. During drills that simulate game-like situations or internal scrimmages (half-field or full-field), all our coaches will pause live action to explain situations. For example: For offensive players we have stressed the importance of a dodge towards the goal, if a player has a great shot, take it. If a slide is drawn, make sure to move it. Another key concept we like our players to understand is how to get out of “double teams” and find open teammates. On the flip side, we have explained how best to execute a double team on defense. Lastly, our Coaches are making sure we talk about best practices when it comes to “sliding”: 1) slide to where the ball carrier is going, not to where he is; 2) breakdown and make sure not to lunge at a player dodging; 3) focus less on a player’s stick and make sure contact is made to the body of the dodging player. These are just a few examples of how we make our players better in game situations.
Lastly, in addition to the continuation of improving the players skill level, we augment “special situation” training in our clinics. What does this mean? One of the most important things our Directors and Coaches learned from their Coaches in college was the importance of being prepared for every situation in a lacrosse game. Examples: The last two minutes of a game being up 1 goal or down 1 goal; End of Quarter / End of Half clock management; understanding pace of play/momentum shifts in games; how best to execute flag down situations, etc. Being able to execute correctly in these types of situations will often be the difference in winning close games. Our players will be able to work on these situations in a variety of drills in the fall and winter. Prior to the team summer tournaments, both teams will practice these situations in scrimmages and high school / college practice formats.