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Friday Focus: Pillars In Action

Introducing Friday Focus 

 We believe in being a relationship and community based program predicated on our blueprint of Character, Commitment, and Family. A few years back, in simpler and less busy times, I knew every kid and family member by name. As we continue to grow, this becomes increasingly more difficult. I struggle with this idea, and am constantly trying to find ways to connect with the Rattlers community. To further our ability to influence and connect with the Rattlers Family, I am pleased to introduce, Friday Focus! I will be posting a blog most Fridays to reflect on events, give mindset & leadership tips, share articles, and share my thoughts on the landscape of lacrosse and youth athletics. Friday focus may also include videos and workouts for players to work on going into each weekend. The goal of Friday Focus is to further our mission to positively influence as many kids and families through lacrosse, leadership, and FAMILY. We hope you enjoy this first installment, and PLEASE give us your feedback! 

Friday Focus Installment 1: Pillars in action

Character. Commitment. Family. This is what we are all about. These three pillars of the blueprint are what lead when no one is watching, and are the driving force of everything we do. We constantly revisit the question, "how do we take the writing off of the page, and onto the field, into the classroom, into the community, and into relationships." It's easy to say we we believe in doing the right thing, being committed, and taking care of each other- but how do we share this vision and transmit these core values into the hearts of our players? Core is latin for heart. So core values aren't just about believing with our minds, but primarily believing with our hearts. Today's Friday focus will examine an example of our players and families taking these core values off of the page, and into the community.

Last Saturday, the Rattlers met at the Broomfield Community Center to put together holiday kits for local organization, Broomfield FISH. FISH is an incredible organization that collects and distributes food and living supplies for local families in need. The positive impact they have on the community is tremendous, and we will always support them and their mission. 

Our session on Saturday was open to girls and boys from youth to high school, and we weren't sure what the turnout was going to be like on such short notice. The turnout and amount of support was incredible. About 25 players and families came to support the cause, and came with hundreds of pounds of food and supplies to donate. 

Our younger players look up to our older players, and our older players lead our younger players: This is something you will frequently hear me say before tryouts and other events. We believe that this is an important aspect of each player's development, and it is a focal point of what we try to teach each season. At past volunteer events, the coaches and parents orchestrated where to put the food, and organized the functionality of the event for the players. On Saturday, we took a different approach. We decided to let the players take ownership of their own event. We took a step back and allowed the players to devise their own plan on how to sort and organize the holiday kits. This was no easy task, as we had items for four different kits, and many players of different ages and genders who had never met before. Before we started, we gave them a few brief guidelines and recommendations. 

  1. Leadership is going on a journey and taking people with you: leaders should share their vision, and equip other players with the clarity and guidance to complete the task.
  2. Work together 
  3. Include everyone.

The result was better than we could have ever hoped for. 

The first barrier we faced was getting the girls and boys to mingle and collaborate. This barrier was quickly shattered and a think tank was underway. Thoughts quickly transformed into action. Instead of players asking parents and coaches for help, they took charge. The players divided themselves into groups, and gave each group a task. Leaders patiently gave guidance to the younger players, and the younger players were confident and eager to contribute. The energy was through the roof! After an hour of problem solving, smiles, and collaboration, over 100 holiday kits were completed. Each holiday kit was labeled and decorated, and had a little bit of every player's heart in it. 

This event reinforced many things that we believe in as a program:

Giving back: Seeing the joy and passion from the kids on Saturday reinforces our role in the community and our power to positively impact the lives of many. Helping others will continue to be at the forefront of what we do, and each team will be asked to come up with their own project in the spring. Please reach out with any ideas on how we can make a difference!

Gratitude: This event renewed my gratitude for the players and families that we have the privilege to coach and form relationships with. This community is special, and its capacity to make the world a better place continues to inspire us to be better ourselves!

Family: Youth sports presents many challenges. What I love about this program is that we take on these challenges together. We want the players to lean on lacrosse and their teammates when times get tough. On the same token, our coaches lean on the players we coach for support more than they will ever know! Our idea of family is to trust each other, help each other, and love each other. This symbiotic relationship will always transcend any challenge we face. 

We wish everyone a happy holidays and a winter break full of FAMILY and joy.

My Best,

-Coach LaHoda

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