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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Wants to Go Camping?

To improve one's ability, one must generally work at it. In school, this is known as studying and in sports it is known as practicing. Most people are not naturally endowed with the ability to step into a classroom or onto a playing surface and dominate from the get go. While some have more natural gifts than others, skills develop over time. This is true for virtually anything one does in life.
One way to dramatically improve in the sports world is to attend a camp. Most Iowans are familiar with camps for football, wrestling, basketball, and even band camp (thanks American Pie!), so it should come as no surprise that lacrosse has its camps too. Primarily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, the sport's nationwide growth means that more and more camps are popping up all over the country (click here for a list of lacrosse camps).
So, why don't we have a camp in Des Moines this summer?
The simple answer is time. With this being Valley's first year of league play, time has been a limited and valuable commodity. I did not participate with the club until February of this year and had only know of its existence since last November. Still, there is a possibility that we may have a day long clinic if not a full blown camp at some point this summer. A clinic? Who will be involved?
At this point I cannot say for sure. I am trying to talk with players from MCLA programs in the state to set something up. There are experienced players at Iowa and Iowa State that are from the Des Moines area and others that are staying on campus this summer. Hopefully a few will be willing to help us out. I'm sure a reasonable fee will be involved to make it worth their time...>I heard rumors about the University of Denver coming to Des Moines for a lax camp this year. What happened with that?
The rumors do have some truth. I was contacted by an assistant coach at The University of Denver, Jon Torpey, a couple of weeks ago. Torpey has a lot of interest in Iowa because we are one of the newest areas for lacrosse in the US. Des Moines makes an ideal location because we are centrally located in the Midwest which allows Torpey to not only work with our players, but players from Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri with ease.
When I originally started speaking with Torpey about the possibility of a lax camp in Des Moines, I mentioned bringing in guys from the Nebraska League (where Valley plays) and also the fledgling Kansas league. At the time, they were the only email contacts I had. Should we go forward with the DU camp in 2010, we will extend invitations to surrounding states as well.So The Pioneers may come to Des Moines next year?
Hopefully. Once again time was our biggest hurdle this year. Torpey found this site by chance and contacted me immediately. I spoke with the Valley coaches and a few parents while I waited for cost and other information from Torpey. As soon as I had it, I sent it to our team's players and parents as well as the coaches (at least the ones I could find email addresses for) from teams in Nebraska and Kansas. Ultimately, it was the small window of available dates that hindered us. Because of the timeliness of the email, most kids in our region will be hitting football and marching band practices or attending camps for other sports and activities.
Rest assured that I am working on setting something up for the early summer in 2010. As soon as something develops, I will get it posted! In the meantime, let me know if you are interested in attending a lax camp in Des Moines next summer.
Although I cannot divulge cost information at this time, the Denver camps are very reasonable and a great alternative to traveling to the East Coast. Playing NCAA Division I gives DU an advantage over other camps in our region as most are run by lower levels of college lacrosse. DU plays with the best and Torpey knows how to teach new players to get to that level.
So would the Denver camp be open to adults?
Unfortunately no. The DU camp, like any camp run by an NCAA coach or program, will only be open to high school players. Camps like this serve two purposes. 1. They help the players learn how to perform at a higher level and become better at the game. 2. Coaches can get a flavor for local talent and use the camps as a recruiting tool.
However, we may consider making any CILA run clinics available to adult players. Since the clinics will be taught by current MCLA players and not affiliated with a school or program we will have the flexibility required. For the most part, this will come down to the interest level. We will most likely do it on a Saturday or Sunday depending on what works best for the player(s) putting on the clinic and the needs of the attendees. If you are interested in attending a lacrosse clinic put on by a local college club player, contact me.

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