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3d Lacrosse finally comes to Utah: Tryouts 3/12/16

logo_fullsizeThe busy off-season for the Utah Warriors Lacrosse Club (formerly the “Utah Starz”) put the icing on the cake Monday as Club Director and Head Coach at the University of Utah, Rick Kladis announced that in addition to completely restructuring to focus on the youth age group, the club has officially partnered with 3d Lacrosse, the nation’s fastest growing lacrosse services company.  The partnership was created as part of the new “3d Alliance,” a platform aimed at creating partnerships with like-minded lacrosse organizations across the country that are working to improve the quality of players and the coaching available in their respective regions.
“This is absolutely huge for the sport in Utah,” said Kladis.  “The sport has steadily increased in Utah in terms of participation numbers, but the level of coaching available to players and the subsequent level of the game being played has really taken a back seat.  Also, success has primarily been based on winning tournaments which has led to teams focused more on recruiting in high-level players instead of creating them.  With the tools and resources of 3d and the overwhelming long-term success of players who are coached with the 3d curriculum and methods, I think we will really be able to finally end that trend – people will see that development and playing at multiple levels pays off.”
As the first lacrosse club in Utah, the Warriors (originally known just as “Team Utah”) are no stranger to pioneering relationships with outside organizations.  In the early 2000’s, the club was the first club in the nation to become an affiliate with the newly created Adrenaline Starz program, and became the “Utah Starz” club which was designed to be the premier club team in the state.  So why did Kladis choose to end the clubs connection with Adrenaline to become part of 3d?  “There’s a lot to it” said Kladis, “and much of it is what I would call the inevitable growing pains for the sport.   It isn’t that one is better than the other, but I think what they focus on is very different.  In my opinion Adrenaline is great for giving elite-level players opportunities to showcase themselves, but I just feel that in Utah right now, especially at the youth levels, our focus needs to be on development of players and coaches so we can create more higher-level players.  3d provides all those elite-level showcase opportunities as well, but their primary focus is on teaching and development, and the results from their program are just unparalleled.”
3d-lacrosseThe club lacrosse scene for boys in Utah has been complicated to say the least over the past 10 years, so how much will this change things again?
Kladis explains, “In the club lacrosse world, there are rec teams, comp teams, and showcase teams, or at least there should be.  Rec teams should focus on teaching kids fundamentals and letting them learn the game, comp teams should allow kids who have fundamental skills to compete at a bit of a higher level, and lastly showcase teams should simply give the highest level comp kids a chance to really test themselves at the highest level possible.  In Utah though it has all been mixed together for years because all clubs want to be the showcase team and that is why you have clubs going out and literally recruiting kids from each other – it’s been a mess.   Kids should all be playing in 2 levels, one where they are comfortable, and one where they are really being challenged.  Our focus is on the rec and comp levels, and I think there are some other great club options for kids who are at a level where the “showcase level” is also worth-while.   I think that bringing in the 3d methodology to the state will help establish those levels better and will lead to a better experience for kids learning the game.”
The Warriors have also dropped their high school teams this year to only work with the youth age groups, boys in and entering grades 3-8th as they begin to teach the new curriculum.  “There are lots of club opportunities for kids at the high school age group not to mention they should be focused on their respective high school teams anyway which now can play together all year,” said Kladis.  “Right now, focusing on development of youth was really where we wanted to put all our efforts to provide the best product and experience possible.”
“True to their focus on development, the Warrior club offers opportunities for players of all skill levels.  First, as a 3d Lacrosse affiliate, the Utah Warriors will host an annual 3d Weekend Workshop in Salt Lake which will also be open to “non-Warriors” players and coaches.  For this event, 3d “master coaches” will be in town for the first weekend of June to run a weekend workshop to teach their famous “Box-Field Hybrid Development System” and coaching methodologies.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for players and coaches to learn from some of the best in the world.
The Warrior Academy is open to players of all skill levels which is focused on teaching kids entering grades 3-8 the fundamentals of the sport in a very affordable, personalized way.   Lastly, the Warrior club teams will play at both the recreational and competitive levels.  “Our club teams are not showcase teams, they are designed to give kids both a recreational and competitive team experience to foster player development, said Kladis.   “The highest level Warrior players will be encouraged to tryout for Utah Prime and other clubs which are more designed to provide the showcase opportunities.”
Kids who are interested in participating on a Utah Warrior team should attend the club tryouts on March 12th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the University of Utah campus.  Tryouts will immediately follow the University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse game vs. the University of Idaho on campus at 4 p.m.   Space will be limited to players should register ahead of time.  Interested players and parents should visit www.utahwarriors.org for details.

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