Sand Storm Recap 01/20/2015
The Santa Monica Dragons ended the first visit to the Sand...
Dragons High School Summer Tryouts - March 21, 2015
Last fall Santa Monica Dragons made a commitment to developing a high school team. That effort is now well under way and we have assembled a solid core team. We are looking for a few good men that would like to join us to help propel us to the next level. Dragons high school will be playing in the following tournaments:
Last fall the Santa Monica Dragons made a commitment to teach lacrosse at all levels for both boys and girls. As part of that effort we entered 5 teams in the recreational West LA Lacrosse league. Since January all our teams have been practicing and getting better, and every weekend they were put to the test against other recreational teams. Competition at this level is definitely getting much, much stronger, and we feel our teams gained a lot of experience that will prepare them well for the upcoming Spring season. We are especially proud of our 2/3 team that won the championship in their division. We’ve seen many third graders develop over the years and this group may just be our most promising one yet.
A big thank you goes out to all the players and parents for making the winter season so rewarding. And thank you as well to the West LA Lacrosse League and Clark Pierce for making it possible to have competition in the winter at the recreational level.
Dragons Announce Girls Lacrosse Program For Spring/Summer 2015
The Santa Monica Dragons are making a major commitment to developing girls lacrosse. In December we experimented with a girls clinic. In January we started training sessions that are still going on (click HERE to see the video). Now we are ready to roll out a full program.
Our basic approach is to build from the ground up but at an accelerated tempo, using the following three building blocks:
Lacrosse 101: These are beginner sessions in a small group setting every Saturday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at Santa Monica High School. In these sessions we will be teaching the fundamentals of passing, catching and ground balls. Sessions start 2/28 at a cost of $20 per session. They are open to anyone, but online registration is required. Click HERE to register.
Girls Recreational League: The focus is on bringing new players into the sport, integrating them into a team structure and creating a wholesome playing environment. Practices start March 4. Players need to make at least one practice a week to be eligible for games, but are welcome to attend all practices. We understand that this is a new program and many people are trying to integrate this into an existing and very busy school and extra-curricular schedule. So we want to make this as easy as possible. The practice time blocks are Wednesday & Friday 6:30pm to 8:30pm, as well as Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm. Please keep in mind that these practice times just represent our time blocks. We will create an actual practice schedule once registration has closed. In general, younger players will practice earlier. You can expect to have 20 to 25 practices during the season, as well as 8-10 games. Games will be played on Sundays and preliminary games days are: 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/17, 5/31. Click HERE to register.
Summer Tournaments: As the final building block to the girls program we plan on offering two tournaments in June in a separate summer program. The level of play in the tournaments will be higher than the recreational league and we think the girls will enjoy the challenge. Tournaments are also a whole new experience and a lot of fun.
Battle of LA, June 13 & 14 - San Pedro
Riptide, June 26 to 28 - Oceanside
The Dragons girls program is headed by Meghan Toomey who comes with an impressive resume and has proven herself in the sessions we have run to date.
New For Spring: Dragons Athletics & Skills Program!
People like to talk about fundamentals, but few take the time to teach them or work on them. As part of our 360º Player Development Methodology™ we’ve developed a program to address this need, which will consist of:
1 athletic training session a week
A wall ball video tutorial guide (Available after March 1)
A testing regimen tied to a rewards system called “Gold Club”
The primary intent of the athletics portion is to improve:
Stop and go ability
Change of direction
The primary intent of the wall ball portion is to improve stick skills.
Players will be tested several times during each season in 6 different disciplines so we can track their progress. Testing will consist of:
Beep Test or Mile (depending on age)
4 corner shootout (offense), full field passing (defense)
Wall ball strong hand
Wall ball weak hand
Our testing sets a benchmark for each age level in each category and players will achieve either Gold, Silver or Bronze status depending on how many benchmarks they meet. Gold level will be difficult to achieve because we need our players to push themselves to get better and start working outside of practice on their own or with groups of friends. And only Gold level players will be rewarded with an exclusive prize.
Physical benefits aside, what we are really working on is CONFIDENCE. If a player knows he isn’t going to get out run, he isn’t going to get winded and he knows he’ll make the pass/catch, then he has more free mental capacity to actually play the game. Knowing that your fundamentals are solid gives a player a completely different mindset.
Our mission is to develop complete athletes through the sport of lacrosse. The 360º Player Development Methodology™ (“360” or “360 Methodology”) focuses on 6 Core Components that make up player development: athletics, stick skills, edge, game IQ, team concepts and conduct. 360 is more comprehensive than traditional lacrosse training. It ensures a balanced approach to training players and provides a high degree of transferability. That means what a player learns with 360 also works to enhance other sports experiences. It is much more than just an investment into lacrosse. Below is a list of the specific elements that make up the 6 Core Components of the 360 Methodology.
Stop and go ability
Change of direction
Ability to adapt
Man up, man down
Proficiency with BOTH hands
The journey versus the goal
Putting in extra work off the field when nobody is watching
“Do the right thing”
“Leave the place better than you found it”
Applying conduct to BOTH on- and off-field activities
The application of the 6 Core Components for different age levels is managed through the 360 Curriculum. The specific application of the 360 Curriculum at practices and games is conducted via Practice Plans, which in turn are made up of Drills.
Keeping track of teams, schedules and fields can be a hassle. We finally have an app that makes all this simpler. Follow the links below to see the League Athletics app in Google Play and the iTunes App Store. Or go straight to the respective app stores from your phone and search for "League Athletics." Once you have the app installed, all you do is sign on with the user ID you use to manage your Dragons account and select "Santa Monica Dragons". The app populates itself and you can see our teams, rosters, schedules, fields and other info.
The Santa Monica Dragons ended the first visit to the Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival with quite an impressive record. We entered 5 teams and finished with an overall record of 15-8-2, making us the strongest finishing club from LA and OC. Both our 4th/5th Travel and 6th Travel teams went 5-0 in division play and made it to the championships. With a total of 286 boys and girls teams competing but only 8 boys divisional championships, our boys did quite well to advance to 2 of the 8 finals. Sand Storm is the largest and most prestigious winter tournament in the West and we proved that Santa Monica Dragons belongs in the top tier. Below is a team-by-team recap.
Dragons 4th/5th Travel finished 5-0 in division play with the lowest goals against (15) and highest goal differential (37), beating well-known names such as 3D NorCal, Brady’s Bunch and several teams from Orange County. Ultimately we lost to OC Crush in the championship 6-5, but this team has every reason to be proud of their winter season, earning a championship title in Vegas, and runner up finishes in Del Mar and Sand Storm.
Dragons 6th Travel had similar success, finishing first in its division with a 5-0 record, 52 goals for and 17 goals against. We were finally not playing age-based teams with much older 7th and 8th graders, but 6th graders, just like us. This provided us with a good benchmark for where we stand on a regional basis in our 6th grade (2021 graduating year) category. Along the way we beat the top Denver team (Team Colorado), the top Bay Area team (Advnc National), West Coast Starz and 3D’s San Diego team. In the championship round we came up against a very strong Mad Dog West team and finished the tournament as runner up in the 2021 category. Respect goes to Mad Dog on a well-earned victory and congratulations to our boys for a strong finish at the biggest winter tournament of the year.
Dragons 6th/7th Travel continued to find its groove after improving in both Vegas and Del Mar. Saturday started with an opening loss but we finished the day strong with a win over 3D LA and an epic, last second tie against Tribe 20 from Pasadena that had everyone doing back flips (figuratively speaking). As Erik Krum, our athletic director remarked: “I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a tie game.” We finished the weekend 1-2-2, which still put our boys above other LA/OC programs such as 3D LA, Factory, Victory and Goons in the 2020 graduating year category.
Dragons 8th Grade Travel had to battle some very stiff competition and prevailed with a 3-2 record. Victories came against Brady’s Bunch, Alcatraz Outlaws and Lighting Lacrosse. Our boys finished higher than or equal to 15 other major teams, and finished with a better record than all other LA/OC area teams in the 2019 category except for Victory Select.
Dragons HS has been steadily improving since Vegas and showed flashes of brilliance at Sand Storm. They played bigger and stronger teams due to the fact that we entered them into the Open division when we registered last fall. The Open division is a step down from Elite but still covers all four years. As it turns out we are now essentially a 2017 team, which means we ended up playing teams bigger and stronger than us. It also bodes well for the future. Head coach Dean Rossi had this to say about the tournament and our team: “We have the right group to build on going forward. We are a tight team, we learn a lot every time we go out and we have fun. And our 1-4 record doesn’t really show who we are. We could just as easily have been 3-2. A few little things made the difference in some games.” Added defensive coach Nick Mooney: “ Our defense played lights out.” As an organization, the high school program is dear to our heart because it is difficult to build but shows more and more promise, the longer we work on it.
Overall, Santa Monica Dragons as a program was more successful at Sand Storm than all other LA and OC programs present at the tournament:
Santa Monica Dragons (5 teams): 15-8-2
Factory (7 teams): 8-22-5
Victory Select (4 teams): 7-10-3
Goons (5 teams): 3-22
3D LA (2 teams): 3-7
3D OC (1 team): 1-4
Thank you to all the parents and players for making such strong showing possible.
Complete your ride by adding a Dragons window sticker. Approximately 12 inches wide and sticks to the outside of the window. Or you can slap it onto your laptop, or your kitchen window, or...