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- High School Lacrosse: McDonogh Girls Lacrosse (MD) Finishes Season As "2013 Nike/US Lacrosse #1 Ranked Team In Nation" With 22-0 Record… 7 hours ago
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- St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Discusses "Playing Time" And The Important Role Of Seniors On A High School Lacrosse… 10 hours ago
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- Major League Lacrosse: Denver Outlaws Rookie Attacker Eric Law (Denver ’13) Remains A “Perfect 9-For-9″ Shooting In First Two MLL Games
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- T. Lynch on St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Talks About The Limitations Of Lacrosse Specialization, And The Importance Of Multiple Sports’ Skill Sets, Great Coaching And Mentors
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Major League Lacrosse: Denver Outlaws (7-0) Stay Unbeaten With 13-9 Win Over Chesapeake Bayhawks On June 15; Eric Law Scores 5 Goals
St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Talks About The Limitations Of Lacrosse Specialization, And The Importance Of Multiple Sports’ Skill Sets, Great Coaching And Mentors
In part three of his interview with LaxBuzz, Glen Miles, head coach of the Nike/US Lacrosse West Region #4 Ranked St. Margaret’s Episcopal Boys Lacrosse program, discusses how important it is for high school lacrosse players to attempt to play multiple sports and benefit from developing multiple skill sets and experience quality coaching.
LaxBuzz: Should high school lacrosse players play on multiple club teams, amounting to essentially a year-round dedication to lacrosse? Should these players be encouraged to play other sports and/or taking periodic breaks from playing lacrosse?
Glen Miles: “Great question. It is critical for our young players who want to compete at a very high level to be well coached. The parity and shear numbers of players at all levels of lacrosse have made it extremely important for our kids to “know how to play.” Every roster spot is important to a college lacrosse program and they are not going to just give roster spots away. Everyone on the roster has a role to play.”
“That’s a loaded statement. “Know how to play”—there is so much to this including athletically, offensively and defensively. With sports specialization, kids are not being exposed to many very basic athletic concepts of space, advantage/disadvantage and risk/reward.”
“I am a huge advocate for kids to play multiple sports and expose themselves to a variety of skill sets that other sports beside lacrosse offer. Additionally, there are a lot of great coaches in our area that don’t teach lacrosse. We need to expose our kids to those coaches too.”
“If character and leadership training are as important as I think they and there is a great mentor out there coaching a different sport why not play that game and learn from the great ones. Let’s not lock ourselves into one sport especially at the youth level because we can learn critical team skills from a variety of people.”
“From my recent coaching experience over the past 5 years, many High School coaches are starting to understand this dynamic, especially the football guys. I have had a blessed life, but as lacrosse guy, a High School quarterback and a basketball point guard, I loved my High School sports experience more than many of the other experiences in my life.”
“Specialization is taking that away, and I think it is a terrible shame. The reality of a college scholarship is rare and to sacrifice all of the benefits of multiple sports for that goal is foolish to me.”
“Obviously, my assumption is that the kids like the other sports too. Don’t just play another sport to play it, but if you love 2-3 sports then play them and have fun. Here is where the coaching comes in. If we as coaches are not making it fun to be coached by us, then the kids will choose fun.”
“One of my mentor’s asks: “What does it feel like to be coached by me?”
“That simple question has changed me dramatically as a person and as a coach. What does it feel like to my daughter? What does it feel like to be my wife? Scary huh? That’s how we are trying to approach every aspect of our daily interactions with the kids.”
St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Discusses The Importance Of Recruiting And Supporting Experienced Coaches To Maintain The Growth Of Western High School Lacrosse Programs
In the second part of an interview, Glen Miles, head coach of 2013 CIF-Southern Section Lacrosse Champion St. Margaret’s Episcopal Boys Lacrosse program, talks about the importance of “experienced and dedicated” coaching in Western High School Lacrosse.
LaxBuzz: University of Denver Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Bill Tierney has stated that it is critical for the continued growth and success of Western Lacrosse to have ”high quality, experienced and dedicated coaches” (i.e. East Coast experience) to continue to take up positions with club teams and high school programs. Many top Division I players have been traveling back and landing at Western programs, but they lack the experience in coaching at top collegiate programs.
How do you see experienced ”East Coast coaches” being lured to coming out west? Is it possible for top boys coaches to play MCLA or Div II or III college lacrosse at western programs and become top-level coaches?
Glen Miles: “Coach Tierney is 100% correct. He has great interest in the California Lacrosse market. Many of our highly skilled players will be attracted to Denver University for a variety of reasons.”
“First, he is a great coach, leader and mentor and he runs a great program. Second, it is the closest DI program and if our players want to shoot for the highest level, it is a great place to go to school.”
“High quality coaching is very important. Because we live in California and have arguably the most desirable climate on the planet, attracting great young lacrosse guys to California will not be too difficult.”
“What will be difficult is keeping these coaches coaching High School Lacrosse. It will not be difficult to keep them in California, but regrettably they seem to migrate toward club lacrosse and away from High School programs.”
“The reason for this is simple: the average High School coaching stipend is around $3000. The job as it is structured right now is difficult for the little bit of money that they receive. They are doing it for the love of the game and the love of the kids. We can’t add additional stress to the job description.”
“Booster clubs, steering committees and the like must be patient and be willing to accept some mistake as a young coach grows. The guys that want to do this job understand that they must have a “real job” to make ends meet. Sometimes their real job is lacrosse and sometimes it is not.”
“I think there are plenty of great coaching role models currently at MCLA, DII and DIII. The issue of whether a young coach continues to grow is a factor of how committed we are to help him grow.”
Ohio State Men’s Lacrosse 2013 Highlight Video.
Top Western U.S. High School Lacrosse Coaches: 2013 CIF-Southern Section Champion St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Interview
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Boys Lacrosse first-year head coach Glen Miles led the third-seeded Tartans to a championship game victory over top-ranked Coronal del Mar in the CIF-Southern Section South Division playoffs and then captured the 2013 Southern Section Lacrosse Title against Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood on May 11. They finished the year #4 in the Nike/US Lacrosse West Region rankings. Coach Miles previously coached the San Clemente Boys Varsity Lacrosse team for 5 years, having established the program in 2008.
A native of Timonium, Md., Coach Miles was a three-sport standout at Dulaney High School, lettering in football, basketball and lacrosse. He was a midfielder and attacker for the US Naval Academy (1983-86) and is considered one of the premier players of his time. A three-time All-American and winner of the 1986 Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s top Midfielder, he helped the Midshipmen advance to the NCAA Quarter Finals in 1986. He was inducted into the United States Naval Academy’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1986 and was an alternate for the U.S. World team that same year. Four years later he was a member of the U.S. team that won the 1990 World Lacrosse Championship.
Coach Miles went on to enjoy a successful career in the United States Marine Corps where he served as an F-18 pilot. He graduated from Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in 1996 and served as an Air Combat Tactics Instructor throughout the rest of his military career. He a founder of San Juan Capistrano, CA-based Victory Lacrosse, the premier lacrosse and leadership development organization in the United States.
The following is the first of a four-part interview that Coach Miles granted to LaxBuzz on the importance of “high quality, experienced and dedicated high school coaches” for the continued growth of western lacrosse.
LaxBuzz: Hello, Glen. Congratulations on your team’s success in 2013, your first at St. Margaret’s. You are from Baltimore, MD and played lacrosse at the Naval Academy, both located on the East Coast where lacrosse has been focused and dominated for over 100 years. What brought you and kept you out west to coach Youth and High School Lacrosse since 1990?
Glen Miles: “Thank you. It was quite a fun year with a very special group of players and coaches. After graduating from the Naval Academy, I went to Marine Corps Basic School and then off to flight school. When I got my wings, I was assigned F-18s and transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. I began coaching in Orange County in 1990 and I was fortunate to work with a a great lacrosse enthusiast and great man—Mitch Fenton. Mitch and I coached at Trabuco Hills HS in the early 90’s. We had a lot of fun back then and that group was a blast.”
LaxBuzz: How important is teaching character, responsibility, and honor to young lacrosse players? How does a coach accomplish this and attain success on the field?
Glen Miles: ”We believe that character, responsibility and honor are extremely important for all of the youth in America and specifically where we invest our time and energy with young lacrosse players. At Victory we have added a few more values as well. Dignity, Integrity and Grace. We feel youth sports is the most effective way to teach these values. Sometimes this is a difficult task in our sometimes “win at all costs” culture. However that is no excuse. As coaches, we have the power, position and platform to teach these values and many others. Additionally, we feel very strongly about relationships and we try to teach the value of relationships in the context of a team community. We take that job very seriously.”
“This is how we define success. Winning is merely a byproduct of that success. We define success as how these boys turn out as men, brothers, husbands and fathers. If we teach our players to love each other and teach them how to accept love or be loved, everything else starts to take care of itself. Regardless of what event, tragedy, or success occurs, when you lead through the various events from an underpinning of authentic love, you can’t go wrong. And that’s when all people, young and old, want to work together for the greater good. Not implying this is simple. If it were simple, we wouldn’t have all the issues we have in the world, but when you keep after it and fall back to this value, more good than bad surrounds the organization. Coaches must care deeply about the players and the players must selflessly care deeply about each other.”
High School Lacrosse: Torrey Pines Boys Lacrosse Attacker Lucas Gradinger Awarded “Nike/US Lacrosse 2013 West Region Player Of The Year”
Lucas Gradinger, Torrey Pines (Calif.)
Gradinger has established himself as one of the top players on the West Coast and one of the most highly-touted recruits to come out of California.
He capped his stellar career by winning the San Diego Section Open Division championship, finishing with a goal and three assists in a 7-5 victory over La Costa Canyon (Calif.). Torrey Pines has won six section titles in the past 12 years.
Gradinger finished the season with 42 assists and 37 goals in addition to grabbing 72 ground balls. He was named the San Diego CIF Player of the Year and US Lacrosse All-American. Gradinger also captured the Torrey Pines High School Most Outstanding Athlete Award.
Gradinger has also been a long-time player of the Adrenaline lacrosse program and has played for the West Coast Starz and Adrenaline Tropics.
He was recruited by numerous Division I programs and ultimately decided to sign with Maryland.