(MEXICO CITY, MEXICO) The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) held a development clinic in Mexico City November 4-8, 2010 for the Federación Mexicana de Lacrosse (FML). The clinicians were Coach Kevin Dugan of the University of Notre Dame and Coach Andrew Hubschmann a 2002 graduate of Georgetown University and is currently working with Building Blocks Lacrosse in New Jersey. They were assisted by Matt Kelley, who is at present studying in Mexico City and was a Division I lacrosse player at Brown University.
The clinic proved to be an enormous success leaving the clinicians with an extra skip in their step after spending time with the young, organized and committed Mexican lacrosse community.
Point person for the FIL coaches throughout the trip was Jose Luis, a young successful mechanical engineer who had gone to graduate school in Michigan where he fell in love with lacrosse. The vision and model being developed by Jose and the FML is very exciting and focused on building first at the university level in Mexico City. Each of the Mexico City based universities has a player/coach and in addition, Jose runs practice at a different school every day after work.
The first school in Mexico City to have lacrosse was Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México / National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, one of the biggest public universities in Latin America, the school hosts over 3.7 million students in locations all over Mexico, and has approximately 1 million students in the Mexico City campus. It is a large public university, and people from this school are really enthusiastic about lacrosse. The second school to have lacrosse was Instituto Politécnico Nacional (National Polytechnic Institute), or IPN. Currently they have around 25 players and the school has recently offered to support the team giving them a small budget for nets, goals and permission to use the name of the school in the next tournament.
Other important Mexican lacrosse playing universities include:
- Universidad Iberoamericana, known as Ibero, a private school that is providing a home for most of the games being played in Mexico City due to the support given by the institution and quality of their fields.
- TEC Monterrey (Tecnológico de Monterrey) which has a really big infrastructure around the country and it is hoped that by having a program at the Mexico City campus and in Monterrey that soon the sport will be added to every one of their campuses.
- La Salle University, a private, well respected school with growing enthusiasm and numbers. Currently they boast around 14 players.
- Universidad Anáhuac México Norte, or Anahuac is one of the most famous schools in Mexico. Recently they held a meeting at which they decided to increase their budget with the goal of having the best team in Mexico!
- ESEF, a very important school in terms of lacrosse in Mexico as it is a school where everyone on the team could end up becoming coaches and would thus be empowered to coach and grow the sport!
The clinicians were greeted at the airport by Isaura Escobar, a student at ESEF who is starting women’s lacrosse at the university. Despite not being scheduled to coach the first day, the coaches found out about a practice scheduled that evening and unable to resist the pull, decided they would like to attend and help where needed. Naturally they ended up leading a very productive session at TEC Monterrey involving 20 players. Led by Coach Hubschmann the clinic covered a stick work progression as well as the proper fundamentals of the roll, split and face dodges.
Friday saw the clinicians giving an “Introduction to Lacrosse” presentation with a Power Point presentation and live game film from the 2010 Final Four. This was a huge hit and really helped engage students that were hearing about lacrosse for the first time to get an idea of how exciting the game is. After the presentation everyone went out to the main athletics fields at ESEF and got right into practicing. ESEF’s players had come up with a brilliant solution to the problem of not having any goals by having a welder build a 6×6 ft lacrosse goal out of pipes and for nets they strung together old tennis nets. Waste not want not.
Saturday’s sessions were held at Ibero’s beautiful fields. The coaches and players ended up being on the field from 10:30 until 5pm with a lunch break in the middle and didn’t lose a single one of the 45 attendees!
Sunday saw the coaches back at ESEF where they had a slightly smaller group of approximately 30 players who practiced primarily skill work, graduating to dodging, moves from behind the goal, 1v1’s and 2v2’s. They broke for lunch, film, chalk talk and a surprise birthday party for Andrew Hubschmann complete with birthday cake.
The rest of the afternoon was spent scrimmaging. That evening the coaches enjoyed a meal out with Jose Luis and the crew of player/coaches. When all was said and done the FIL clinicians were impressed and delighted with the passion, commitment and plan that Jose and FML have for the growth of lacrosse in Mexico.