Verified Event Recap: HYLAX
Verified Event Recap: HYLAX
Houston Youth Lacrosse or “HYLAX” (a non-profit organization) through South Campus Sports Association, has provided a vehicle for boys and girls youth lacrosse in central Houston for over 20 years. Houston is a traditional hotbed for football and baseball, but lacrosse is definitely on the rise and we are seeing more and more participation at the youth levels. Our registration was up 20% year over year as we are seeing an increased interest in the sport to the point we were turning families away because we didn’t have enough coaches. Experienced lacrosse coaching resources in Houston has always been a historical constraint, but we hope that starts to change as we see more and more demand for the sports at the boys and girls youth levels. 10 or 20 years ago, you probably didn’t hear a lot of lacrosse talk in Houston, TX, but more and more parents are discovering the sport and are starting to see how exciting this game is.
This marks the first time ever that HYLAX has hosted a PLL event to provide a youth clinic for our greater Houston youth boys and girls. We felt the timing was right for such an event given parents' appetite for their kids to gain more “touches”, but more importantly learn skills from the top players in the world.
Here are some notes from our PLL experience:
1. Given the PLL is now televised, it is really special for kids playing lacrosse to meet and learn from their heroes they get to watch on TV.
2. Clinics can be really valuable for youth lacrosse players. If there is at least one thing each attendee can take away from the clinic to apply in the future, there is real tangible benefit for our youth players
3. We wanted to prove to the PLL and to ourselves that Houston is now on the map in terms of Lacrosse. Dallas has certainly been well established in terms of their lacrosse programming and youth development, but we feel like having a well-attended PLL event really brings legitimacy to our organization and to Houston Lacrosse in general. We have a lot of passionate parents and youth boys and girls that are playing year-round, both through recreational leagues and clubs.
4. I’m still blown away with how accessible some of the professional lacrosse players are, particularly Troy and Ryan. They could be anywhere on their weekends and it really says a lot about their characters, spending their free time with our youth and giving back to the greatest game there is.
5. It is also cool to see Troy and Ryan learn the names of all the boys. It’s the little things like that, where the experience becomes that much more special for the boys
6. It can sometimes be stressful planning these events. Troy and I were trading messages for weeks worrying about the weather and there was a lot of certainty around thunderstorms headed into the weekend. We all worked hard to try and find indoor spacing and were very close on a few facilities, until some venues fell through. Luckily for us, the weather wasn’t too bad, our fields drain very nicely, and the event went on as scheduled with only a few minor tweaks.
7. Often times lacrosse can get fragmented with kids playing for different youth organizations and club teams. Our event had participants from many different organizations and we really hope this can serve as a starting point to unify lacrosse in our city so that we can get all our youth girls and boys playing lacrosse together, which will only serve our youth elevate their skills and get better.
8. Our hope is that this is now a semi-annual event where the PLL comes to Houston. Getting professional coaching at this level is invaluable. I also think it will be cool for players and coaches to see one another, make that recognition, and see growth both physically and skill-wise!!!
9. I was really surprised at the intensity and focus of all the kids at the younger age levels. I have to believe having Troy and Ryan as your coaches is a big motivator to want to try your hardest and impress!!
10. If we could do anything differently, it might be to make it an all-day event!! Can’t get enough lacrosse and touches for these kids. They absolutely love it! And we definitely want Troy and Ryan here again.
11. Our hope is that Houston becomes a stop for more lacrosse organizations providing camps, clinics, etc…. and we are starting to see it. Trevor Baptiste is now making stops through the Faceoff Academy, Deemer Class, Jules Henningburg, and Matt Dunn and 1st Class Lacrosse
12. HYLAX has 3 beautiful, well-maintained fields, and we are always happy to host more lacrosse. Who knows…..maybe the PLL can make Houston a stop on its tour?? We could host!!!