2016 Leverage Winter Wrap Up Newsletter

Leverage Middle School Boys Black Team Wins The West LA Lacrosse League!

Congratulation to the Leverage Middle School Black Team for winning the 2016 West LA Lacrosse League!
After winning the Los Angeles Box Lacrosse League this past Fall, this talented team only lost one game on their way to winning the championship!
The Leverage coaches, players and parents would like to thank the West LA Board and coaches for all their hard work in running such a fantastic winter league!

Q & A with a Former D2 Lacrosse Player

Brad Brandenburg was a four year starting goalie at D2 Colorado Mesa University. Brad works with the Leverage OC youth and high school players and is the Varsity Defensive Coordinator at Los Alamitos High School

Q: What is the biggest difference between High School and D2 college lacrosse?
A: To me, the biggest difference was that everyone on the team was there for lacrosse. In high school, there is generally a good portion of the team that is not passionate about the game; they are just happy to be part of a varsity sport. College teams are filled with guys who have selected their school based around the idea of playing a higher level of lacrosse.

This collection of like-minded individuals leads to a team environment that elicits more in depth systems (offensive, defensive, clearing, riding), more analysis (film, scouting reports), better on field execution and elevated intensity. 

Q: What is a typical day like for a D2 lacrosse player from morning to lights out?
A: Some years, we had morning practice and others we had afternoons, so it can vary. However, here is a general day in the life during season:

8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Always made sure to drink a lot of water

1:00pm – 2:00pm
Team classroom time (occasionally)

2:00pm – 4:00pm

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Weightlifting (3 times per week when in season)

5:00pm – bed 
Night classes (never took one but they are offered)
Time to do HW

Three hours of class work combined with three hours of lacrosse work is close to full time. 

Q: How did you manage academics with your lacrosse schedule? 
A: The best way to stay on top of academics while playing lacrosse is to show up and engage during your time in the classroom. Time management starts to become an issue when you miss classes and/or are not an active learner during your class time (I learned this quickly). The last thing you want to do with your free time is play catch up because you have fallen behind in classes. If you put in the time during the hours you already have scheduled, the rest will fall into place. 

Q: What was the adjustment like for a Southern California player to play in the Colorado weather conditions? 
A: Luckily for me, we were west of the Rockies and didn’t see terrible conditions. However, you wouldn’t often catch a smile on my face before a 7:00am practice with snow on the ground.

Once you get on the field and start playing, you forget about the surrounding conditions. After a week, you have the routine down pat and have acquired more than enough pairs of sweats, leggings and long sleeves to get by. It was not that big of an adjustment. My advice would be to load up on latex gloves and feet warmers; frozen hands and feet on the lacrosse field are not fun. 

Q: What advice do you have for Southern California boys and girls who would like to play in college? 
A: DO IT! Regardless of the division (D1, D2, D3), you can add so much value to your education by playing in a lacrosse program. I believe that being part of an organization that has goals and is working together to improve and achieve those goals can teach you so much about real world organizations. I learned just as much from my classroom education as I did from participating in the lacrosse program.

In addition to being a great learning experience, it was also the most fun I have had in my life. I gained friends and stories that will last a lifetime. I would do ANYTHING to be back on the grind with my teammates.

Lacrosse is the best sport in the world. 

Leverage Lacrosse would like to welcome Coach Julia Denney to our Girls staff!

Coach Denney will Coach the Leverage Middle School Girls Team this Spring.  She will work alongside Leverage Director of Girls Lacrosse, Tom Borgia in helping to grow the girls’ game in LA.
Coach Denney played four years of varsity lacrosse at Redondo HS. She made All-League her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She went to CIF twice in high school and was Bay League MVP her senior year.
Coach Denney went on to play at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. She is now coaching the JV Girls Team at Redondo Union High School. The Leverage family is excited to have her onboard!

Coach’s Corner with Chris Jewett

Coach Jewett is the Founder and President of Leverage Lacrosse. He is currently the Boys Head Lacrosse Coach at Los Alamitos High School.

The Recruiting Game:

Ever year, the college recruiting process seems to get more confusing and expensive for players and parents from the west to navigate through. Here are some simple and practical tips:

1.  Trust your high school coach’s opinion.  He sees you practice and play every day and has a solid feel for your game and personality. He’s going to give you honest and impartial feedback as to the school he feels best fits your playing and academic needs. In many cases, he is able to pick up the phone and call a coach for you if he feels that school is a realistic academic and playing fit.

2.  Be extremely wary of the “dream sellers.” These are clubs and organizations that market dreams of D1, D2 and D3 lacrosse by making the very expensive “uber” teams / events. They often rebrand themselves every year or two with a new name, director, “uber” club / tournament or vision.

3.  If you have been to a few recruiting tournaments, sent your tape out, attended prospect camps and D2 or middle tier D3 teams are reaching out to you, the lacrosse market will tell you where you belong. This is where these coaches feel you fit – still very good lacrosse and many of these schools are wonderful academic institutions.