FCA’s Year-Round Training Enhances Competitiveness and Fosters Relationship-Building
For the 300+ athletes who participate annually in FCA Upstate Lacrosse Program, the time-commitment is not insignificant. In a 52-week year, the coaches and staff are in contact with the players for at least 33 of those weeks.
“Our FCA program is invested in coaching our athletes throughout the year. With a goal of supporting our kids at every level of lacrosse both scholastic and club,” said Sol Bliss, boys program director.
Bliss cites several benefits to the program’s schedule. “With our year-round program we have a consistent, on-going relationship with the kids, and we aren’t always having to restart. There is an entire process set up for the 33 weeks we are with them where our coaches reinforce all of the strategies we implement and continue to build on them from week to week.”
“If we didn’t have that amount of time with them, we would have to concentrate more on just preparing our teams for the tournaments when we’re together, but this structure allows us to focus on the development of each individual player,” Bliss said.
Paula Mitchell, girls program director, stated, “We understand that performance on the field is often impacted by relationships being nurtured off the field. Having time to grow as a team during the “off-season” is critical to building team trust and comradery.”
Another unique part of the FCA Lacrosse teams is our Training Camp at the beginning of our summer season. This training camp is a three day overnight camp with intense instruction and training. Watch the highlight video from this past year.
According to Tony Rorick, whose son Chase plays defense for the Northeast 2020 team, one of the positives of FCA’s year-round lacrosse program is the development of strong bonds among the players. “FCA is a family, a brotherhood for each team and for the program as a whole. The players lovingly accept new talent to their teams and play together during many seasons together as a bonded unit, which naturally helps strengthen their skill as teammates as well as their friendships. Our son wants to return to his team, to FCA, to his ‘brothers,’ year after year,” Rorick said.
Shannon Smith, whose son Hunter is a defenseman for Rochester Navy 2022 team, is also a fan of the year-round training philosophy: “From a competitive standpoint, year-round opportunities are absolutely critical. The bonding of players, and having consistent coaching points centered on basic offensive/defensive schemes, will lead to individual and team success.”
For Scott Barnard who has been the head men’s lacrosse coach at Hamilton College for the past decade and has been involved with FCA as both player and a coach, stresses the value of consistency in having the kids for 33 weeks of the year. “With this schedule, the others coaches and I have the opportunity to watch them grow as we are involved with them on a regular basis. FCA’s program has a pretty similar message across the board that stresses character, attitude and perseverance. And the kids are all hearing the same message from multiple people week in and week out, as they learn that they are not just representing themselves, but the whole organization and God,” Barnard said.
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Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.