As always, Team Florida put on another great event for lacrosse here in Florida. On May 7th and 8th, The Omni Resort in Orlando played host to the 2016 Team Florida Showcase. In addition to the showcase, Team Florida also ran a youth academy for rising 3rd- 7th graders where they could get some of the best instruction in the state.
I was glad to be able to spend all day Saturday at the event and see the top players in our state have the opportunity to put their talents on display in front of 55 college coaches. (Stay tuned for my list of players that impressed!)
Saturday was a beautifully sunny day with a nice cool breeze keeping it comfortable. The natural grass was seemingly immaculate and all of the fields were located right next to each other making it easy for players, parents, and college coaches to watch all the games. The athletic complex at The Omni was a great choice for this event and I hope they make the same decision next year.
The youth academy was a great event for the youngsters. I’d say there were about 70 young players receiving instruction from probably 10 or more coaches throughout the day, so that’s a great player to coach ratio. The coaches
included some Team Florida alumni but also many of the top Florida high school/ youth coaches and coaches from the college level. The boys received constant instruction and were split up into different stations, so there was minimal standing around. The kids were having fun and learning a lot. I can’t think of a better lacrosse experience for someone that age.
For the showcase, the day started off with a clinic run in conjunction with the college coaches in attendance. This way, not only do the players get to show the skills they all ready have but they get to pick up a few new pointers from the coaches they want to impress. Then, players split off to the teams to which they were previously assigned. 8 teams of grad years 2017 and 2018, and another 7 teams of grad years 2019-2021.
What I like most about the way this showcase is run is that each team is coached by a college coach. There are so many reasons that this is such a good idea. To name a few, players get an entire weekend of interaction with a coach at the highest level, you don’t have to worry about a coach playing favorites to his own players because he has had equal interaction with all the players, and the coaches get a much better chance to know the players.
When they aren’t working with their own team, the coaches are watching the other games, trying to find new players. With over 50 college coaches in attendance ranging in level from Division I to Division III, plus a couple MCLA, these high school athletes had plenty of eyes watching them and it really was a great opportunity to get recruited.
Based on performances this weekend, a group of independent college coaches will select the players to represent Team Florida at the top national recruiting tournaments in the country. Team Florida has had great success in both excelling in these national tournaments and in helping our Florida players get recruited to the next level.