runs the household with an efficiency that astonishes me
natural way abouy him that appealed to the higher instincts of adults
Well, Coop’s dream is now a reality. This fall he will continue on the post graduate (PG) path for a 5th year of high school, or as some call it a “13th year”, at the Hill Academy in Toronto. Fall 2012 he will begin attending the University of Michigan.
Throughout the summer as he toured schools, U-M consistently remained his #1 choice. Yesterday he verbally inked the deal with Michigan’s Coach Paul, the day before the “dead period”. Throughout this (for us) multi-year process, the #1 goal was to find the best fit for him academically, as a college community and financially. Thanks to lacrosse, he was admitted to an academically competitive school; without lax, even with graduating with distinction, there was no chance of admittance. Thanks to lacrosse, financially he has earned athletic scholarship money to defray some of the high cost.
The icing on the cake was the opportunity to play DI lacrosse. He will do all of the above in Ann Arbor as a Michigan Man and Wolverine.
A big thanks to Mat Wilson on helping us discover both a PG year and The Hill Academy. This one connection changed the arc of Cooper’s life for the better. The dividends that have already begun to flow Coop’s way leave Susan and I thinking we will also explore a PG year for Michael and Max, a kinda “reverse” hold-back strategy on the back end vs keeping the child back a year before he starts 1st grade.
Susan, Cooper and I have learned lots; there was a substantial amount of stuff we didn’t know we didn’t know. Debbie and Brian Rogan, Wendy and Brian Vehar, Gretchen and Jon Greising were all so helpful in helping us discover that we had to find the best fit academically and as a college community first, lax second. This was by far the best advice we got and in our minds the primary guideline on which to build a student-athletes vision for the next 4 years.
The process was further enhanced for Cooper as we had him drive the process from beginning to end. Susan and I were there as mentors, but when it came time to tour, interview and ultimately negotiate with the coaches, Cooper was in the driver’s seat. Yes we all hopped on a con call with financial aid people but other than that and briefly meeting the coach, the student-athlete was the single point of contact. Each Coach remarked at some point how much they respected Coop for this leadership; this did nothing but enhance Coop’s attractiveness in their eyes as they got a taste of the leadership that might soon be on the field, campus and classrooms. Based on the size of the athletic award, Cooper did very, very well for himself based on feedback from those in the know.
As we have discovered, the lacrosse family (aka, lacrosse mafia) is a tight knit group that looks out for each other. This winter Cooper has been invited to join a lax team going to Costa Rica to work with their National Team to help them take things to the next level. On the way, eco-tourism, community service projects, surfing, kite boarding, experiencing the cultures food, arts and history, etc.
I could go on and on how much lax has done for this kid. Rather than “push” this content, feel free to “pull” this outta our heads when the timing is right for you and your son, if he chooses to leverage lax as a tool to enhance and expand the options within the marathon college search process.
We also have some experiences on the summer lax camps/teams that were very high value to get looks as well as those that were less effective.
Lastly, a disclaimer: Cooper LOVES lacrosse. He will play anytime day or night. At our house, you hear this phrase all the time even after an intense practice or game: “care to lax” is our cue to head outside and start tossing the ball together as a family (Susan’s has been seen out there from time to time, too). I share this so there is no misunderstanding on anyone’s part that this was ever a “forced march” for Coop. Or a chore representing a means to an end. Its been organic as he has matured as a young person and lax player. His big passion in life right now and over the past 3 years is competitive lacrosse. It feeds the “warrior” and “magician” inside him. Being a captain fed the “king” in him. As a leader even w/out the captain credentials, connecting with players and coaches on a deeper level feeds the “lover” in him (warrior, king, magician and lover is a GREAT book). If the passion wasn’t there none of the above could have happened. Each child is his own unique person on this life walk. my gosh….I just keep going;-)
In fact Michael and I went to a counselor to get some guidance on making sure we are both on the same page in learning how each of us best send and receives communication as a pre-emptive strike for the upcoming high school years. What worked for Cooper, Susan and I is not necessarily what will work best for Michael (or Max) as we navigate what for us were some challenging years with Cooper. When the fur starts flying, we better be able to communicate well difficult and emotionally charged topics.
Yep, Michael was not thrilled with going. I framed it as I wanted to become a better Dad and the counselor needed him there to better understand who it was I wanted to be a better dad to. he left the session feeling like it was worthwhile. We both picked up some new communication techniques that have already brought us even closer and even sharper at crisp, clear, timely communication. We’ll wrap with a final session with Susan in a couple of weeks as we help him position himself for success in HS by getting off to a strong start, both academically and athletically.
Ha Ha a PS: we haven’t given much thought to coop’s website; figured it had served its purpose and no longer did any update. oh how foolish young grasshopper! i bumped into a summer time acquaintance tis past weekend in TC and somehow she had seen the site. she learned coop would be doing a spring internship in toronto as part of school. she said she has ton of friends up there that either own or owned some big businesses and she will dial them in to expand the number of opportunities for him to choose from. hence, we have updated the site http://coopercharlton.blogspot.com/
in ncaa, cant stack an athletic scholarship with michigan grant money; its an either / or. if grant is more than scholarship, the athletic award goes back into the recruiting pool. a very fluid process. pays to negotiate your way patiently throuh the process
today coop and coach paul, university of michigan lacrosse coach, concluded the recruting process. cooper has committed to become a wolverine as part of the 2012-2013 recruting class. thanks to lacrosse, he got admitted to an academically challenging school (which wouldn’t have happened otherwise as its so competitive) and has gotten some financial assistance, too.
Awaiting the 2pm mark, can’t wait to finish up our early morning conversation. My dream is in reach. I will call you at 2:05. If you need more time or finished your meeting early let me know and I can call at your convenience. Go Big Blue!
Sent from my iPad
Parents of Long Poles
Please help us help your 8th grade boys honor the spirit of the game of lacrosse by encouraging them to play a more physical and rough game and with more heart than they have ever played the game before.
All of your boys are fine, young gentleman*. Compared to Cooper’s class at this age, this tribe of 8th graders are universally sweet, thoughtful, considerate and selfless, almost to a fault. Great qualities in life learned at such a young age. A wonderful thing.
However, in lacrosse, when they step over the white line and onto the playing field, holding onto these qualities as they compete leave them and our team at a disadvantage. On the field, we are finding the spirit of the game is not consistently being honored.
The name of the game is to be very physical, to be rough and give it all your heart. Literally, the word “Lacrosse” means “to bump hips.” The Tewaaraton Award, lacrosse’s Heisman Trophy, comes from the Native American (Mowhawk) word “Tewaarathon” that means “little brother of war.” The Natives, in addition to sport, played lacrosse to solve conflicts off the field versus solving their disputes with full-out tribal wars. We have consistently asked, demanded, cajoled them to bring their individual games to a whole new level of intensity and physical play. To date, we have not seen the team as a whole and players individually, “bring it.”
Yes, the boys play fair all the time, but like any sport, to be successful, it demands much more. Among other goals, the coaches want to position your boys to have opportunities for success in HS lacrosse (whether at HHS or Reserve). We have done and said all we can. They have won some and lost more but still we do not see a true competitive spirit taking hold. At practice and in games, “malaise, lackadaisical” are good descriptors. The boys do not consistently play a physical, rough game and we do not see them playing with 100% heart, 100% of the time.
Contrast. I saw more physical play, intensity and heart on display at a 6th grade Hylax game last Thursday. These kids were “bumping hips” 100% of the time. 5/6th grade Coaches, Tyler Malson, Nate Jones and Mike Orazen have helped these young kids learn and honor the game of lacrosse. The focus and intensity I saw on the field mirrored the intensity I saw on the sidelines with the 10-11 year-old players itching to get in and compete. They were there to win the battle together as a team.
Please help us help your boys honor the spirit of the game of lacrosse by encouraging them to play a more physical and rough game and with more heart than they have ever played the game. To be successful in HS next year, this aspect of their game is considered table-stakes by HS coaches.
Disclaimer: this email, without changing a single word, could be sent to the attackman and middies, too.
Below is a link to a short YouTube video on the history of lacrosse which was sent to me by a lax Dad this morning. In the video, the principle of honoring the spirit of the game hit me hard as it relates to what is missing from the 8th grade teams this year. As we shared with the kids yesterday at practice, its up to the them how much intensity and heart they play with as we enter May and this season winds down.
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing while hoping for a different outcome. A change of heart is what this team needs to turn their season around and position themselves for success next year in HS when they compete for a finite number of long pole spots.
I just got Coach Elffers email announcing the rosters for this week. This email is going out to ALL long pole parents.
Lucinda Williams has a great lyric in one of her songs: “take the glory over the fame.”
I’m not sure exactly what each of your sons outlook is on the A and B teams; however, if its anything like Cooper with middle school lax and HS bball and Michael not making the 7th and 8th grade bball teams, its probably going to be painful to watch as our boys absorb what for many may be quite a blow when they find out.
My commitment to each of your sons is this: to help each long pole, regardless of where they are on the roster and development, discover that being on the A or B roster is no future indication of what will happen in HS. As a coach and a parent, my hope is to help them discover that now is the time to focus on developing as a player and teammate and less about the middle school “fame” of being on an A team. I probably do not have to bring this up as I hope you know where our hearts lie: no one on this coaching staff views the B team as one coach crudely referred to my kid who was on a B team, as a “crash test dummy” outfit to make the A team better. Thats not how any of these coaches cc’d above roll.
As you know, in middle school with a team too small to field 2 teams but too big for one, Cooper did not get any significant playing time which was less than ideal for his development (probably one reason he’s going for a PG year). Like an earlier email, this early experience led to one of Cooper’s current strengths: Because of this self-image he trains for lacrosse (and basketball) with a real chip on his shoulder. Those middle school experiences made him a harder worker, better teammate and better student of the game than those who were starting and playing a lot. Many who were middle school stars are not even on the team today! As I mentioned one former rock star senior just quit.
My hope is that current A players cherish their achievement, not let things go to their head and work even harder. My hope for the current B players is that stay positive about themselves and this great game and possibly adopt a role model they can think about who had to work harder than others to achieve their dreams. (Michael Jordan comes to mind)
Final thought: As I look around the current varsity roster for both HHS bball and lacrosse, a number of kids for whom athletic success came early and often but then ran into competition and/or a coach that valued team play and dedication over individual stardom, today their absence from those teams highlight that for some, fame is indeed fleeting. As I shared in an earlier, one middle school rock star just quit the varsity lax team. I love that kid; however, I wish he had had an environment where he would have had to work harder earlier in his development.
a communication strategy tune-up in preparation for the high school years. using a neutral 3rd party. getting counseling
you dont have to see the entire staircase to take the first steps. mlk
just get in the game
fake it til you make it
healing the shame that binds us
1, 2, 3 max five points
may still not be soon enough for the highly competitive DI schools
some parents hold their kids back in the early year. we have found a hold back at the end, after highschool graduation and before college, for a 13th year or 5th year or post graduate (pg) year is a route less traveled. already paying dividends.
wanna make the a team. fame. reality, limited playing time.
on the b team. see lots of playing time. more chances for glory as a individual and as a teammate.
split half bottle of rum with a friend in 20 minutes. roughly, 18 shots of 80 proof alcohol per kid in 20 minutes. blood alcohol approaching .40.
getting to know yourself
had a young guy give a 20 minute powerpoint presentation. he had 40 slides. audience overwhelmed, lost and indifferent by minute 3.
helpful rule of thumb: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 32 point font
better provider, wife feels more secure and safe. key ingredients to a little more frequent and engaged intimacy
brodie merrill for lsm and close defenseman and bryce queener for goalies.
based on meeting brodie and bryce, two of cooper’s coaches next year, their background, experience and success, this is a camp we wish we had known about.
lax, street, financial, emotional, intellectual, standardized
we asked our 11 year old if he was still “dating” kenna. he said “no, i broke up with her”. we asked how he handled the break up?
did he text her: no
did he email her: no
did he have a friend tell her: no
the 11 year old said “i called her and said can we get back to just being friends?”
she thought that made sense since they never really got to “hang out”
launch coops site on blogspot.com to begin marketing efforts to get recruited by NCAA team to play lacrosse. Very little substantive content. Lots to learn. Including how to get film, edit film and post on you tube.
face to face
dinner out together
woke up this morning. walked downstairs, found susan fixing the boys’ lunch and said, “i’m finished drinking.”
A drinking life
Drinking a love story
Lit a memoir
Downstairs stairs sitting alone drinking in the dark
Great big middle finger aimed at ….dry
two night ago i was in bed reading people magazine. they reviewed 3 autobiographies by alcoholics sharing their stories from drink to done. for some reason i jumped outta bed and went to the library. they had 2 of them. stayed up most of the night and finished both.
drinking: a love story, caroline knapp
a drinking life: a memoir, pete hamil