Teaching Lacrosse in Argentina
By Coach Damon on October 25, 2018
If you’re not following me on Instagram, this week I posted a series of photos about a lacrosse clinic in Argentina that I wanted to share to the blog.
My wife is from Argentina and we’re currently spending time living in her hometown of Córdoba, Argentina which is the 2nd biggest city in the country at about 1.4 million people.
So while she was busy packing up clothes for the trip, I was busy figuring out how to stuff as many lacrosse sticks into a suitcase as possible.
6 shorties and 2 goalie sticks was the final answer.
A rather impressive haul in my opinion and one that drew some questions as I passed through customs.
While here I connected with another American expat – Andrew – originally from Syracuse, New York who also loves the sport of lacrosse. Lacrosse makes friends!
We recently put on a lacrosse clinic for about 15 university students (guys and girls) who are studying physical education.
To say it was a blast would be a total understatement.
Teaching Lacrosse in Cordoba
Lacrosse is actually alive and well in Argentina with the country being a member of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) and having recently participated in the World Games in Israel.
However, the lacrosse action is pretty much centered in Buenos Aires, the capital.
Lacrosse has not yet made it to Cordoba. So Andrew and I were honored to put on the 1st lacrosse clinic here.
We started off explaining a little history of the game and the basic rules.
A few had seen lacrosse in the movie American Pie but for the most part, the sport was new to everyone. Field hockey is pretty popular here so at least we had some sort of ball/stick sport to make comparisons to.
I speak pretty fluent Spanish, as does Andrew, but we struggled at times as there are definitely a lot of lacrosse-specific vocabulary and terms that were hard to translate on the fly.
But these kids were so pumped up to learn. They filled in the blanks when we were struggling to explain a particular topic.
My Syracuse buddy actually brought down a set of protective gear – helmet, shoulder pads, elbow guards, and gloves. So the kids took turns trying on the gear.
We explained the basics of throwing, catching, and cradling. Then we did a demo of each.
The kids then played catch and we did some basic line drills.
I explained how to pick up ground balls and then we did a 1×1 GB competition.
We showed them a few dodges and then played a little mini-game which got surprisingly competitive.
Without goals, the objective was to hit the post of a soccer goal. That led to some serious tocó / no tocó (hit the post / didn’t hit the post) debates.
We wrapped it up with some team photos and I promised to leave all the shorties and balls with them before I left to return back to the USA.
Overall, as I mentioned it was tons of fun. Seeing their faces light up to learn a sport that I’m so passionate about was a huge reward.
Photos From the Clinic
Here a few photos from the clinic taken by me, the phys ed teacher, and Andrew.
This dude threw on the shoulder pads and didn’t take them off the entire practice. He was hooked.
Cómo se dice – roll dodge?
This is one my favorite pics of the day. Look at the joy on these guys faces as they fight for a ground ball.
Ladies doing the ground ball wars. We definitely did not teach the defensive tactic of trying to steal your opponent’s stick with your bare hand.
Obligatory selfie with the group.
Line drills with the team. Couldn’t quite break everyone’s habit of throwing and catching sidearm. We did complete 9 straight passes at one point!
A new lax goalie rat in the making?
Trying on the gear
Andrew teaching some of the group
Showing them how to cradle. Cómo se dice cradle?
University had some nice facilities. A big open soccer field for our use. We were just missing some lacrosse goals!
Demo’ing a face dodge. My go-to dodge with the goalie stick btw.
Definitely a new lax goalie rat right here
Listo…ya! Quick scrimmage complete with faceoffs.
Celebrating a goal
Finally Andrew and I wrapped up the day with some post clinic Gatorades.
Give & Go Foundation
If this story inspired you and you’d like to help spread lacrosse throughout the world I suggest you check out (and donate) to the Give & Go Foundation.
It was created by my friend and guest of the podcast Adam Ghitelman, along with Scott Ratcliff with the goal of spreading lacrosse throughout the world.
There are a lot of underdeveloped communities where your donation could help provide the gear and coaching they need to fall in love with this sport the way you and I have.
I also built their website so if nothing else go there to check out my web development work haha.
I love the sport of lacrosse and it was an honor to share and teach it those who’ve never played.
Another American expat and I recently put on a lacrosse clinic in Cordoba, Argentina and the results were outstanding.
At the bottom of my page explaining my lacrosse goalie camp I have a commitment to giving back to the game in a form of donating a portion of the camp sales. Honoring that commitment I was able to purchase a bunch of sticks and balls that I brought in my suitcase and am going to leave here.
While the students learned some of the basics of throwing and catching, the real joy was watching their faces light up as they learned the game.
Hopefully we can do another one during my time here.
Until next time, Coach Damon