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Our Philosophy
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Over the past several years, I have witnessed dramatic growth and development of lacrosse in the Newport Beach area. It has gone from a struggling club sport in the area high schools, to a flourishing youth sport with hundreds of participants and a CIF-sanctioned sport at Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools, all culminating with CDM winning it's first CIF championship in 2012.

At this point in the development of lacrosse in our area, I still believe participation is far more important than competition at the youth level. The Surf Dawg program invites everyone to come out and give it a try. As we continue to seek a respected place among area sports and activities, the more players, the greater our voice. Strength in numbers is critical to the process of securing fields and facilities for our youth and high school programs. So, in part, our role is to continue to promote the growth and development of lacrosse through active participation by the kids in our community.

With the recent ascension of CDM and Newport Harbor's programs to CIF status, we have an additional role to play. We also have the responsibility of actively developing talented players who will go on to successfully compete at the high school level.

At the higher levels, lacrosse is a very demanding sport, requiring participants to possess courage, strength, speed, agility, and deft stickwork. Thus, we must also begin the process of identifying these types of kids within our program and helping them to improve their skills so they might develop into top level high school players.

In order to participate in various leagues throughout the year, we sometimes will have to divide the pack into a number of teams at each level (U9-2nd/3rd Grade, U11-4th/5th Grade, U13-6th/7th Grade, U15-8th Grade). Within the U11 and U13 grade levels, we may also need to divide our kids into "A & B" levels. This division is designed to create a higher level of competition for those who warrant it, and a more appropriate level of competition for beginners and players with less experience.

The Surf Dawgs will continue to offer an all-inclusive introduction to the sport, with high-level instruction and games serving to reinforce the skills learned in practice. We will also have to begin to pursue our responsibility of developing the more talented and competitive players for the rigors of high school competition.

To these ends, we have a plan. It is a progressive one that teaches the game in stages of fundamentals. Each practice is carefully planned and each coach is well-informed on how and what to be teaching the kids. During our early season practices, we do not focus on too many of the game's more intricate skills. That comes as our plan progresses. Most of the drills we run and skills we teach are taken in whole or in part from college practices, so the level of teaching is more than adequate and no one ever seems to be wanting or needing more than we currently offer.

Our plan for the games at the U9, U11, and U13 levels is to utilize a formula we have used in the past that allows for equal participation through systematic substitutions. The kids will get the opportunity to play all of the positions: attack, defense and midfield each game. The only variables with regard to playing time we cannot control will be the natural flow of the game delaying our substitution opportunities or frequent absences from practices. At the U13 "Blue" and U15 levels, playing time will be determined by additional, more competitive factors.

Lastly, under the Surf Dawg umbrella, we also offer certain players the opportunity to participate on a variety of travel teams which compete throughout the year. These opportunities are limited and governed by the competitive rules of the competitions in which we choose to participate.

Most members of the Surf Dawg staff are as competitive as anyone you will meet, but for the good of the game and the good of these kids, we are willing to put much of that aside to teach all who want to learn. We cannot predict the outcome of the games, nor are we concerned about it enough to give it any thought, but we can assure you the kids will all improve. They will learn more about lacrosse and sportsmanship than one can imagine.

Thanks again for your support and effort to make our lacrosse program a great opportunity for all the kids.

 

G.W. Mix