The beliefs of all the Lightning coaches are very simple. We feel that lacrosse is the greatest game, and we all love the game. We want to share that love and experience of the game with athletes. We believe this is accomplished through positive reinforcement and a caring atmosphere. We do not believe in yelling and screaming. We do not believe in making athletes run as punishment. We want this game to be fun, build enduring relationships, and have athletes who want to give back to the game what is given to them. We believe that coaches and players are students of the game and are always evolving and learning.
When we started the Girls' Lightning program, our goal was to and still is to provide excellent training and leagues that develop and support girls in western Pennsylvania. We had no intention of having travel teams. After we held our first training, we started to hear the same thing from parents over and over. Please start a training program that includes summer teams. After many discussions and feedback from parents, we decided to give it a go and provide training and summer teams for the 2019 season.
The Recruitment Marketing Game.
Some programs dangle the proverbial carrot and claim they have a magic system or way to be recruited families. Flashy emails and big highlight video packages. They target athletes from 7th through 10th grade that tie into this dream. Statistics show that about 12% of high school girls' lacrosse players continue playing in college. Of those playing in the NCAA, about half of them play DIII. So our program is based on playing the game, getting better, and having fun. If an athlete wants to be part of the 12%, we can help them with realistic expectations and a focus on academics for the future. So realistically, most girls can easily find a home in a program. The DIII programs are always looking for talent; some great college club programs exist in our area. A nice college program will have around 20-40 players. It creates competitive practices. Remember, the DIII schools depend on athletics to bolster enrollment.
We have shaped our program into four pods. Fall Training, Winter Training, Winter league, Summer Season.
Fall Training will focus purely on that. Lacrosse Training to build skills. It is designed to work on all aspects of the game and build a positive atmosphere. Mid-September through October. We will have a tournament option in late October.
Winter League games will be played for six weeks, from November to before Christmas.
Winter training will focus on stick skills and self-improvement in January and February.
Summer Season We will travel to two tournaments, participate in weekly training, and participate in the Lighting Summer League.
How will we build teams?
We will build teams through parent contacts, training attendance, and invites. We will not hold tryouts. We are looking for players that want to work hard, be pushed, and understand we do this for the love of the game. The selections are a two-way street. We want those types of players but also supportive parents. Ones that understand and support the girls through successes and failures. We do not want parents who are negative, put down their children, and enjoy screaming from the sidelines. If you want to be part of this supportive atmosphere for your family, reach out.