The Scoop Winter 2016 - Page 15

get himself up in front of the others and talk to them and make sure everyone knows what is required of them: “What needs to be communicated, what’s the timeline, what are we going to have these guys execute on their level to make sure everything is in place?” Coleman focuses his meetings on these questions.

Another part of Coleman’s approach is to figure out “what’s the information that I have to get out, what’s the information I have to bring

back to the board?” he says. Frequently, it’s the same feedback. One of the recurring topics of his region is how the teams are broken down into age groups as opposed to segregation by single grades. The conflict here is that the league has been historically against that, but Coleman says he gets this comment all the time. Coleman says “the bottom line is you want the players out there having fun and learning, and you want the coaches to enjoy it, too.”

Dalton has the steadfast philosophy that you have to listen to people and think about what they want and you have to try to help them as best you can. If you can’t, you have to be honest with yourself and say you can’t do something and tell them so along with why. He also believes you have to try something and think that even if you don’t know if it’s going to work, it’s one of those things where “I can say I’ve heard you, I think we can make some changes, and I’m going to work really hard to make them happen,” he says. It’s about being honest with people and with yourself and being realistic about what is possible and what is not. He adds: “I know my strengths and weaknesses quite well so I know what I can get done on my own and what I need help with.”

Dalton credits two directors from Lexington—Reihl Mahoney and Christian Boutwell—with this help. A member town next to theirs is struggling and Mahoney and Boutwell have been helpful with them. Dalton says they “don’t make a big show of it, but they just step up and do things to help.” These two have quietly offered to do things to assist which Dalton thinks is the epitome of not just being a good director for one’s own town, but looking out for the neighboring towns as well.

Dalton says, “That’s the kind of good spirit we have in our region and those two guys kind of epitomize that.”

MBYLL’s own philosophy mandates that coaches be certified and charged with being teachers of the game and role models focused on player development, teamwork, and learning the fundamentals. Swenson reiterates this by saying his approach is “to get as many kids playing lacrosse as possible and having fun doing it.” There needs to be regional support so that this can happen.

In a league of over 20,000 youth lacrosse players and over 160 towns, the regional directors keep their appointed cities and towns in communication with the board of directors. These regional directors help to meet the specific and unique needs of each town. As an entirely volunteer–run organization, there are and will continue to be bumps in the road and differences between towns and others in their regions, but this is a group of competent and proud directors who look out for the best interest of MBYLL as a whole. Communication is a top priority for these regional directors, but so is enforcing the MBYLL philosophy and creating their own personal approach to doing this often thankless job.