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Westfield Girls Lacrosse Spring Program

 

Introduction

 

The goal of the girl's lacrosse program is to match the expectations and abilities of the players with the expectations and goals of each team, allowing everyone a chance to play at an appropriate level and learn to play the game of lacrosse.

Team Designation:
We are revising our team designation for 5th – 8th grade to align with our league, JGLA (Jersey Girls Lacrosse Association). US Lacrosse has mandated taht all girl leagues move from grade based teams to age based teams. We have made the following changes:


2017 GIRLS SPRING TEAMS:

U15 Select White (8th graders) - registration for those notified by WLC

U15 Select White (7th graders) - registration for those notified by WLC
U15 Travel (7th graders) - open to all 7th grade girls

U13 Travel (6th Graders)  open to all 5/6 grade girls 

U13 Travel (5 & 6 graders) -  registration for those notified by WLC

U11 – open to all girls in 3rd and 4th grade

K-2 Soft Toss – open to all girls in Kindergarten – 2nd grade


 

1. Select Program
This program is intended for girls who desire to compete at the highest levels. The goal of the Select program is to train committed, highly skilled players to compete with the best teams in NJ, PA, and CT by playing
in competitive tournaments and JGLA "Select" full checking competitive teams. The girls will be learning a common curriculum and set of game strategies, we hope to continuously improve the quality of players entering our high school programs.
 
2. Travel program

This is our traditional travel lacrosse program, which is intended to allow average skilled girl's to learn the game, develop their skills, and compete in 10-12 games per season against other JGLA member towns and in 2 to 3 tournaments a year.  There will be a common curriculum among Select and Travel teams. 

3. Inter-County program

 

Inter-County is our recreational lacrosse program for girls only. This is a good option for girls who are involved in many other activities in the spring, are just getting started with lacrosse, or desire a more recreational experience. Games are played either among Westfield players and/or neighboring towns such as Fanwood/Scotch Plains, Clark, Cranford, etc.

This program is open to all 5th to 6th grade Westfield girls to play in-town or within the county.   IC will typically practice one to two days a week, play one day a week either an intra-squad game or against another town.

Inter County Program Goals:

  • Focus on improving and beginning to compete

  • Teach players good individual skills

  • Learn a basic offense set

  • Learn good 8 meter defense with simple slides

  • Play multiple positions Introduce draws, transition play


Management Philosophy

  • All teams at grade levels 5/6 and 7/8 have a similarly structured system of play that is coordinated in a way that players entering the Westfield High School program have learned a style of play that will help them succeed. The club works in cooperation with the WHS coaches to develop and enhance this curriculum. Coaches at all levels within our programs follow this curriculum, albeit at different levels of rigor and intensity depending on the grade and level of the program.
     
  • The WLC subscribes to the teachings of the Positive Coaching Alliance and organizes coaching clinics and training for Westfield coaches. We are also affiliated with US Lacrosse and encourage our coaches to become level 1 certified.
     
  • The range of programs described above is designed to support the range of attitudes and values on fun and competition. The meaning of “fun” for some girls is a strong social experience and bonding with friends; for others it’s a hard won victory over a top ranked competitor. We appreciate parent efforts to understand what their daughter values and guide her to the program in which she can have the most fun.
     
  • We recognize that children develop at different rates and levels and their values change over time. We expect movement between the above programs from year to year. A girl who played Intercounty in 6th grade might play Travel in 7th grade, and vice versa.
     
  • We would like to send as many girls into the high school lacrosse program as possible and recognize that the best way to do that is ensure that they are having fun while learning and getting better.
     
  • Tryouts and player evaluations are conducted by independent professional trainers. The WLC seeks to minimize the potential for parent-coach bias and cronyism in the team selection process.
     
  • Regarding playing time our guidance to coaches is:
    • “AAA”: Players who demonstrate their love of the game and commitment to the team through Attendance in practice, their Attitude (hustle, player coach-ability, respecting everyone), and Ability (developed on and off the practice field), earn their minutes of playing time in games and tournaments.
    • Each player may expect a minimum of one quarter playing time in a regular season game.
    • At the recreational level, coaches are encouraged to keep playing time as balanced and equal as possible.
       
  • Schedule games against reasonably matched competitors to avoid blow-outs in either direction.
     
  • Leverage professional trainers and experienced coaches to continuously improve the quality of training and management we can deliver.

All structure is subject to change based on registration and player evaluation.

U11  3rd Grade, 4th

Grade

WLC offers a single instructional program for girls in 3rd and 4th grade. The focus of this program is on teaching the fundamentals of scooping, throwing and catching and the basics of the game.

Fundamental of the 3rd and 4th grade levels:

  • There are no try-outs or cuts at this level – it is open to all. We want as many girls as possible giving lacrosse a try at this age to see if they like it. Girls should get exposure to playing all positions – no specialization.
  • 3rd grade practices separately from 4th grade
  • Primary emphasis on stick work and fun activities that maximize the number of touches and skill advancement of the players. Focus on combining learning of skills and having fun on the field.
  • Teach girls to pick up the ball, hold onto it while moving, and pass and catch.
  • Coaches utilize a progression of skills to be learned and a catalog of age appropriate drills effective in teaching those skills.
  • Games are a combination of in town ‘pick-up’ style scrimmages and games versus other near-by towns such as Summit, Cranford and Scotch Plains/Fanwood.
  • One tournament / Play date per year. Possible second Tournament / play day for more advanced players.
  • At the end of the season, the 4th grade will participate in a development game versus a near-by town 5th & 6th grade rules.

U13 5th/6th Grade Travel Programs

As described in the introduction, girls in 5th and 6th grade have two levels of play: an Travel Team and an Intercounty team.


Fundamentals of the 5th and 6th grade levels:

  • Continued emphasis on fundamentals of the game
  • Introduction of higher level skills and game play tactics
  • Begin to specialize into primary and secondary positions
 

U13 5/6 Travel Teams

As a result of the fall tryout and selection process, the 40 most accomplished girls (20 per grade) are invited to commit (click to see sample commitment letter) to the Travel team. The U13 5/6  program participates at the “A” Division” level in competitive tournaments and play other strong travel teams and U13 5/6 Select teams.  The commitment is that these players commit to practice/games 3 times a week with additional practices added as needed. The travel level will comprise of two equally balanced teams.


U13 5/6 Travel Program goals:
  • Focus on being competitive and improvement at tournaments
  • Build on skills already in place, raise level of play
  • Standard curriculum, trained coaches
  • Run an offense with a set and roles
  • Learn good 8 meter defense with slides
  • Push tempo on transitions
  • Practice special situations
  • Play primary and secondary positions
Registration for this program is restricted to the players in 5th/6th graders who tried out for these positions in the Fall and were invited to play at this level.  Please do not register for this program unless you were notified to do so by Jen Hazard or Ann Gretsky.  Thank you.
(This is a working plan, subject to change depending on registration numbers).
 
U13 5/6 Inter-County teams (IC)
 
Build on skills already in place, raise level of play
  • Standard curriculum,  with trained coaches
  • Run an offense with a set and roles
  • Teach good 8 meter defense with slides
  • Push tempo on transitions, practice draws
  • Play multiple positions
  • No tryouts
Registration is open to all 5/6 and girls.  The inter-county team(s) will play either an intra-squad game one day a week or play another nearby town.  Practice will be 1 to 2 days a week depending on field availability and emphasis will be on skill building.  IC will play in 1 to 2 tournaments a season.

U 15 7th and 8th Grade Travel Programs


The U15 7/8 grade travel program has two levels of play, including Select Teams and a Travel team. Players on the Select Team will play other Select Teams in the JGLA League and in tournaments. Select and Travel players are invited to commit to these programs as a result of try outs conducted in the fall.  Players will sign a commitment letter.
 
Fundamentals at the 7/8 levels:

 

  • Teach the team to play as a team, focus on primary position, then secondary.
  • Teach creating space and opportunities on offense, teach both pressure and 8 meter defense, and teach transitional play and checking.

U15 7th & 8th Select Team
As a result of the fall tryout and selection process, two U15 7th & 8th grade select team will be formed. Each team will consist of 18-20 girls including a goalie. Games are scheduled against JGLA “Select teams” and other top teams across the state. The schedule typically includes 10 – 12 games per season, plus 2 – 4 tournaments, and 3 practices per week.  Playing time is based on skill, attendance and attitude and is not necessarily equal for all players.
 
Select Program goals:

 

 

  • Focus on being competitive and improvement
  • Build on skills already in place, raises level
  • Standard curriculum, trained coaches
  • Know,and run an offense with a set and roles
  • Know and run a good 8 meter defense with slides
  • Push tempo on transitions
  • Practice special situations
  • Play primary positions until we establish a comfortable lead then try rotation to secondary positions

 

Registration for this program is restricted to the players in 7th and 8th graders who tried out for these positions in the Fall and were invited to play at this level.  Please do not register for this program unless you were notified to do so by Jen Hazard or Hugh McGuire.  Thank you.
 

 

 

 

 

 

U15 - 7/8 Travel Team
Registration for this program is open to all 7th/8th grade girls who are not on the Select teams. Practices are three times per week. Each girl will play in approximately ten games a season. If we anticipate having a single larger team (~30 players) we will extend the schedule with a player rotation plan. At the coach’s discretion, girls may participate in a “B” division 2 - 4 tournament during the season.
 

7/8 Travel Team goals:

  • Focus on improving
  • Teach players good individual skills
  • Standard curriculum, trained coaches
  • Know and run a basic offense set
  • Know and run good 8 meter defense with simple slides
  • Learn structured transitions
  • Primary and secondary position
  • Introduce special situations




Try -outs


Assessments for players in 5th – 8th grade are held in late October/early November. Check our website home page for details. Registration and a nominal assessment fee ($25) are required to cover the costs of independent trainer/evaluators.

Assessment

Player evaluations are conducted using a combination of countable/timed events as well as observation in mini-game play situations. Girls may prepare for the countable/timed events by conditioning and practicing their fundamental skills. Following is a list of the typical events that are measured.

 

Mini-Games

General game play: Set up small sided or 7v7 situation and evaluate. Players are ranked on scale from 1 – 5:
  • Overall game
  • play
  • Defense-ability
  • Dodging
  • Cutting
  • Field
  • sense/awareness