Over Spring Break, Andover Boys Lacrosse traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla. to hone its skills and coalesce as a team in preparation for its upcoming season.
Head Coach Steve Moreland said, “It was an incredible experience and an extremely productive week in terms of individual skill development, team systems development and team chemistry. We went down there with the goal of making improvements in all three areas and trying to establish team identity, and I think that we got checks in the box across the board.”
Throughout the week, Andover worked on improving its play from last year, and the team was put through several run tests to work on its cardio and speed for the upcoming games.
Colton Fahey ’19 said, “Our big problem last year was that we were getting tired in the games, so this year we prepared a lot for our endurance. I think that it will help with skills because as soon as kids get tired, they start getting sloppy with their passing. Everyone already has great stick skills and are great players, but having that endurance this season will allow us to stay in the game and continue to play well.”
During practices, Andover worked on establishing its team identity, focused on improving speed and aggression, and concentrated on playing with intelligence. The coaching staff focused on treating each player with respect and considered each members talent in order to train in a way that was productive for all of the players.
Coach Moreland wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I coach each person differently because they are all capable of different things, they all need different things. The only thing that I demand of everybody is that they give 100 percent effort, the willingness to do the tough things, the willingness to play offense and defense, buying into the team’s mission, playing selflessly, playing tough. Those are things that i can expect and demand of everybody regardless of their ability. Beyond that though, each kid is capable of different things, so I ask them to do different things and I help them to do different things depending on their ability.”
Along with the development of each player’s ability to handle the ball, Andover focused on working as a team in all aspects of the game, beginning with establishing positive team chemistry off of the field, which contributed to its ability to work together during games.
Coach Moreland said, “It is an opportunity for them to learn about each other, to appreciate each other’s differences and to find something that they truly like and respect in each person. You’ve got to care more about the guy next to you than about yourself.”
With the addition of many newcomers, it was essential to integrate the returners and new members in order to build team chemistry.
Newcomer Sawyer Moody ’19 said, “We spent pretty much our entire day as a team and the bonds made on this trip definitely improved our chemistry on the field. We became more comfortable with each other and that made it easier to get to know people’s strengths and weaknesses as a player. We kept a good team spirit throughout the trip and that led to a certain confidence on the field. With this confidence, it became easier to move the ball not having to worry about if we will make a mistake. Instead of fear, our main focus was precision and accuracy.”
After an effective preseason, Andover is ready and excited to take on its challenging schedule this season.