I’m proud to announce The Faceoff Academy’s National Tour. I am Greg Gurenlian, Major League Lacrosse All-Star player for the New York Lizards. Along with the help of my partners, Chris Mattes and Jerry Ragonese, we’ve created the perfect platform for every face-off man. There is a national instructional tour, an online space for commentary, recruiting strategies, and direct contact with coaching staff 24/7. Below is an in-depth description of what’s to be expected.
In the inaugural 2013 Season we will be traveling to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Chicago, Florida, California and Texas as well as two stops in the North East in Philadelphia at Lacrosse Evolution and New Jersey.
At every event we will have two parts:
We will start with a youth/Novice face-off skill clinic, teaching the basics, the ins and outs of the face-off in a detailed fun and enthusiastic way.
We will then coach an advanced level/HS Recruiting Combine that will be developing high level techniques as well as knockout style tournament play. Highlights will be filmed and posted on our youtube channel available for any and all including coaches to see. Players will be given a numbered jersey so that they can be followed on video.
At every stop we’ll be selling clothing and gear by one of our sponsors ProAthletics (proathletics.com) and featuring cutting edge technology from our official equipment sponsor Redline lacrosse, a new American made carbon composite lacrosse equipment manufacturer (Redlinelacrosse.com).
At the end of the season and in the late fall we plan on running an Invite only National Showcase where we select the top players from each stop we made during the summer to compete in a recruiting combine that will be heavily filmed and the results will be blasted out to schools all over the country.
There are three main driving forces behind this endeavor.
1) The three of us have seen that everyone who has ever taken a face-off seems to be out and about giving lessons. Some of the instruction is pretty good, some of it is bad and some of it is out of date. We’ve brought our ideas together to create a system of training that is fundamentally sound, cutting edge and encompasses the evolution of the face-off athlete. We’re seeing more and more athletic players at the X now and these players need to be able to do more than just scrap for possession. We want to cultivate and build face-off men for the next generation who can dodge, can shoot, can play great defense and can be a “Quarterback” at the X. We want to develop players who can put their team in position as a leader of a face-off unit and as a leader of a team. We want to teach the entire game and we want to start at the face-off X. When we teach the moves and mechanics, we’ll teach them the RIGHT way. Not how to cheat or how to get away with “what the ref gives you” but how to be a great player all-around.
2) We want to develop the game of lacrosse throughout the country and especially bring the game to the Midwest where we feel it has been neglected. At each and every event this season we will be teaching youth clinics as well as high school combines. At every event, any and all parents and coaches are encouraged to come for free and participate in the instructions and discussions so that they can then use our knowledge to help better their own teams and organizations. These tour stops wont be just minor clinics but full scale “events” that we hope will draw whole communities to come and learn and get better. If we can reach enough people who care, then we know that non-traditional hot bed lacrosse will improve exponentially.
3) The recruiting landscape has changed. Players are being recruited younger and younger and it can be a scary time for young athletes as well as parents. We want to use our site and our tour season to help educate everyone on the process of recruiting and how it works. The great thing about face-offs is that any person could have the specific knack for it. Any athlete from any corner of the country could have good hand speed, center of gravity and the ability to adapt and anticipate. But many of these players in the South, Midwest and West slip through the cracks. Our goal for these athletes is to give them a fair shot at being seen and looked at.
www.TheFaceoffAcademy.com has been built from the ground up with every possible thing we could think of to make it a centralized HUB for Face-off men. We have news and articles written by Jerry, Chris and myself popping up every day. We’ve created a way for athletes to reach out to us personally on twitter. The FoGo forum has been created so face-off men can connect to discuss moves, sticks, stringing, wing play, etc. Players can even ask us questions directly to get our opinions. And finally, we’ve created a Free recruiting profile for players to announce their school interests, their stats, their club teams and schedules which will be password protected and blasted out to schools all over the country. Coaches will have the ability to look at our site to see where players will be playing. This makes it much easier to evaluate and recruit face-off athletes especially when the athletes are still a year or two too young to be allowed contact from a coach.
Basically, the three of us as Pro Face-off men looked back on our years of development and made a wish list of what we would have wanted to make our journey easier. We believe we’ve come up with exactly what is missing for many athletes whose dreams are to play in college.