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Florida Youth Lacrosse (FLYLAX) Development Program

What do you want from your sport experience?

At the youth level, some kids (and their parents) know exactly what they want to achieve from sport participation while some don't have an inkling except maybe they want their child to get some exercise and play with friends. But don't lose faith because this kind of uncertainty is acceptable - even appropriate - IF the youth athlete is exposed to the right program.

FLYLAX is designed to ensure that kids can experience sport in a way that keeps future possibilities "on the table". Does your child want to play for fun? FLYLAX is a blast! Maybe they have aspirations to play in college? Our LTAD-based program improves the chances that lead to growth, development, college recruitment and possibly even scholarships. What if they aren't sure and want to try other sports too? FLYLAX is structured to encourage multi-sport sampling. As a parent, you do not (and should not) feel FOMO pressured to make ridiculous financial investments prematurely and unnecessarily.

The Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model gives each individual kid the chance and the choice at each stage of growth all the way up through high school and beyond. If this approach captures your interest, then continue to read further, then look for FLYLAX  opportunities in your community right in your backyard.

The Florida Youth Lacrosse (FLYLAX) Development Program was initiated by a group of expert lacrosse officials across Florida in response to an emergent need to provide an alternative to a system (so-called "elite" sport) that is showing signs of ineffectiveness and obsolescence. Supported by the USA Lacrosse North Florida Chapter, the program offers a variety of opportunities for athletes interested in the comprehensive development of their athletic and lacrosse-specific skills. Based on the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Model, participation is synchronized with the scientific stages of athletic development to ensure that each individual player receives training that fits their profile, capabilities, and aspirations - from youth development to high school competition, and college-level advancement, up to a lifetime of adult sports participation. 

State-wide Collaboration

Collaborating with youth recreation programs, and other committed stakeholders around the state, FLYLax provides a fun, exciting learning and development environment that expands physical literacy/athleticism, emotional, psychological, skill and sport IQ. FLYLax offers leagues, camps and clinics, tournaments, and an Annual Festival for youth athletes locally and around the State of Florida, making it an extremely convenient and accessible experience for all interested lacrosse athletes.

From Youth to Team USA and Beyond

An exciting feature unique to North Florida Chapter as a sponsored and sanctioned program, the state-wide FLYLax program offers a natural first-stage introduction to Team USA and the National Team Development Program (NTDP). Team USA players, coaches and officials will be invited to participate in FLYLax program activities including both the training and competition segments of the Annual Festival. 

How are we different?

We are the ONLY lacrosse training and development program managed and resourced by USA Lacrosse and its' state-wide Chapter. We do not exclude youth athletes regardless of preliminary skills, goals, or resources. Unlike "elite" programs, we believe every child should have an opportunity to participate in sport at their own determined level.


Research suggests that the Elite/Pro Model just might be failing parents and their children. And there are reasonable concerns that force fitting youth athletes into professional-type training may be the least effective approach to developing youth for a lifetime of successful sport involvement. Of course, on its face, it sounds like a grand idea -  treat kids like they're pros and watch them build the same skill set as their professional idols. But, closer examination reveals a deeper understanding of the real impact and dynamics of such an approach.

What are the Basic Principles in our curriculum?

  • The program is athlete-centric and is structured to address physical, technical, mental, and emotional maturation and development;
  • Every component of the program (training, competition, and recovery) is evidence-based, extracting and applying best practices based on current research in design and delivery;
  • Training concepts adhere to sequential and progressive stages of development and implementation;
  • Education and communication in all aspects of athletic development is a fundamental precept of the program for coaches, parents, and athletes;

Where is FLYLax Located?

All FLYLax programs and activities are offered at convenient, local sites around the State of Florida. Presently, events will be held regularly in the following geographic locations:

  • Jacksonville;
  • Orlando/Pensacola;
  • Gulf Coast (Tampa, Sarasota/Bradenton, Naples);

What do we offer?

FLYLAX delivers camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments, and festivals that are convenient, low-cost, technically superior, individualized and fun. Kids and their families should experience lacrosse in a manner that minimizes stress and anxiety and maximizes the hopes, dreams and aspirations of each child and FLYLAX delivers these activities.

How does FLYLAX succeed where others fail?

For the most part, "elite" programs overpromise and underdeliver. The reasons are many and include: a) obsession with early-stage developers/high performers at the exclusion of all other youth athletes; b) ripping these athletes from LTAD-based recreation programs designed to build youth skill, competency, and enjoyment; c) unyielding pressure to specialize in one sport by pushing questionable and unproven elite-level "advantages"; and d) coaches lacking the knowledge to develop youth athletes properly and contextually. Collectively, the "elite" system overpromises and underdelivers, and at great expense financially and opportunistically. 

How are our practices and curriculum designed?

  1. Representative design - we use structures and constraints in practice that look, feel, simulate and represent the game;
  2. Differential learning - we expose athletes to a variety of movement solutions in random manner to facilitate the development of movement patterns adaptable to novel situations. We consider movement variations as the basis of learning rather than movement repetitions. By constantly (and randomly) changing the technique used to execute a skill, the athlete will: a) discover what works best for themselves, and b) learn to perform the skill in a multitude of ways;
  3. Self-organized movement - we control the amount and frequency of explicit feedback to allow the athlete to learn from their effort;
  4. Manipulate constraints - we encourage new functional movement solutions;
  5. Infused movement disruptions - we introduce simulated “noise” as interference to develop game level solutions and capabilities. 

Who is our customer?

FLYLAX is player-centric, which means program design and delivery is focused on the athlete. Of course, we make sure that parents and coaches understand long-term athlete development so they can fully support their child's interests, ambitions and aspirations.

Where can you find us?

As a part of USA Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport of lacrosse, you can easily find us online, in your community, and the local fields in your neighborhood. No other lacrosse organization has the reach that we do, and we're always looking for you. You can be assured that when we meet, your child will "take flight".

FLYLAX Membership

FLYLAX has its benefits!  All of our programs, events, and activities are open to all youth athletes interested in developing their skills and capabilities. There are, however added benefits by becoming a FLYLAX Squadron member. When you join FLYLAX ($20/year), each athlete is entitled to:

  • Discounts off each FLYLAX event fees (leagues, camps/clinics, tournaments, etc)
  • Full access to the online Athlete Management System - an extensive platform to track and manage the athlete's progress and metrics
  • Discounts off equipment and apparel purchases
  • Click HERE to go to membership registration and join the Squadron! 


Parable of the Rose





When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless and stemless." We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

FLYLax Objectives

The FLYLax program is conceived, designed, organized and delivered to achieve the following objectives and ensure that youth athletes will "take flight":

  • Embrace the simple fact that sports participation, at any level and age, must always be fun first! 
  • Treat children as unique individuals capable of developing, designing, and determining their own sports athletic experience;
  • Encourage each individual youth athlete to: a) choose which sports they sample; b) select other activities that build their skills and athleticism; and c) participate in total freedom from undue pressure to choose a sport or interest ahead of their awareness and aptitudes;
  • Ensure that youth athletes (up to age 15) are served by coaches and organizations that are properly trained, informed and skilled in the various aspects and dimensions of long-term athlete development;
  • Optimize the spectrum of youth athletic activities to include a combination of a) personal, independent play; b) casual, unstructured play; and c) a variety of structured, team-oriented sports;
  • Reach far beyond competition as the only aspect of a sports training program and instead properly scale and balance a multi-dimensional sports development program which emphasizes tailored practices focused on physical literacy and technical movement skills and solutions;
  • Build character traits and values that promote compassion, hard work, persistence, altruism, humility, self-reliance, cheerfulness and constancy to friends;
  • Instill the importance of finding the right fit between each individual athlete and the various training programs, services, coaches, and activities from among which the athlete may choose.

study this to understand how we deliver youth training. Then compare....

  • Font size refers to importance;
  • Light blue = preadolescent periods of adaptation;
  • Dark blue = adolescent periods of adaptation;
  • FMS = fundamental movement skills;
  • MC = metabolic conditioning;
  • PHV = peak height velocity;
  • SSS = sport-specific skills;
  • YPD = youth physical development;