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