CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- John Jay Youth Lacrosse hosted its first-ever new player clinic for boys in grades K-5 on Saturday, Jan. 21 at John Jay High School in Cross River.
The clinic was aimed at answering parents questions about JJYL’s programs and introducing kids to the basics of the game to get them ready to join a JJYL spring lacrosse team. Nearly 40 boys and 65 parents showed up to learn from assistant John Jay varsity lacrosse coach Nicholas Daniello and six of his varsity players. Daniello is also an alumni of John Jay Youth Lacrosse and the varsity program.
Daniello and his team showed the kids the basics of the game: catching, throwing, cradling, shooting and ground balls. All while stressing the importance of having fun and practicing good sportsmanship.
“We were really surprised by how many kids came out, especially in the older grades,” said Daniello. “The kids had a lot of fun and we think we showed them how easy it is to pick up the game and to get better at it by focusing on the fundamentals and to practice, practice, practice.”
Parents who participated were given an orientation to John Jay Youth Lacrosse’s programs for spring and fall and had their questions answered.
"We heard from the parents and players that they wanted to try out the game and join a team but having never played before, they were hesitant. The clinic was designed to ease their fears,” said Matt McMahon, a JJYL board member who helped organize the clinic with Nick Daniello. “In fact a vast majority of parents said they would sign their kids up for the spring season.”
JJYL offers spring programs for boys and girls in grades K-8. All kids in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district are encouraged to sign up. Everyone makes the team and the league focuses on fundamentals, fun and good sportsmanship.
JJYL also announced at the clinic the expansion of their no-risk equipment loaner program for 2017 to include any boy and girl in grades K-8 who are a new registrant to JJYL’s programs. The equipment loaner program removes the burden of investing in equipment only to have their son or daughter lose interest in the sport. They can use the gear for the season and either keep it and pay JJYL’s group discounted cost or return the equipment at the end of the season and not be charged.
The loaner program was an overwhelming success in 2016 — new registrants to the league was much higher than anticipated and JJYL had one of their biggest kindergarten classes ever, with many of the kids keeping the equipment to play through the Summer and Fall.
“Many of the parents at the new player clinic said the no-risk equipment loaner program was a major factor in encouraging their kids to try the sport, they see it as removing a big barrier,” McMahon added.
Registration for John Jay Youth Lacrosse’s spring season is now open at www.jjyl.org A late registration fee of $50 is assessed for anyone who registers after January 31, so don’t wait to sign up today. You can follow the program on Facebook at: fb.me/JohnJayYouthLacrosse