Convention Notebook: Warne Ready to Bring Moshpit Mentality to G-Town
PHILADELPHIA — Georgetown coach Kevin Warne's eye-catching presentation title on Friday evening, "We have issues," reflects his outgoing, Maryland mosh-pitting personality.
"If you're serious all the time, some things will get dull," Warne said after an hour-long drills session in which he referenced, among other things, Mr. Miyagi, the men's department store Jos. A. Bank, Hungry Hippos and the Flying Dutchmen, the former mascot of his alma mater, Hofstra (now the Pride).
Warne, the former Maryland defensive coordinator, will begin his first spring season leading practices as Georgetown head coach Monday. It will be the first time since 1989 that someone other than Dave Urick will have the lead whistle around his neck.
To see Warne on the sidelines, especially during Maryland's well-televised run to the last two final fours — with players jumping around like maniacs on the sideline after each goal, following his lead — provides a glimpse into the attitude the Long Island native wants to bring to Washington, D.C.
"I'm not sure that was all me," Warne said of the Maryland mosh pit. "I'm just an energetic guy. I think those guys did an awesome job of being energetic and being behind their teammates. That was the big thing: Those guys cared about one another and they're not afraid to show it. That energy that I created was a lot of fun. It was also dangerous some times. It was great to see. It showed the passion they had for each other and the passion for Maryland lacrosse and certainly we'll bring that down to Georgetown."
Warne was joined Friday on the Live Field at 2013 US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, by former four-time Syracuse All-American Ric Beardsley and current Charlotte Hound Jovan Miller, who helped with Warne's drills.
Warne started by referencing the title of his session. "It doesn't mean mental issues," he said, joking his wife might think otherwise. He then started describing defensive fundamentals: how to defend approaches, how to defend at X, a drill called "Use Your GPS," where defenders maneuver through a series of cones along goal-line extended.
A little while later, Warne said, "At Maryland last year, we had trouble circling," a word which described how offensive players can turn away from a defender who is pressuring them. He displayed a pirouette (bad) and a turn while leaving the stick behind you (bad). Then he showed the right way.
"Stick head turns first, and body follows," Warne said. "Make a big circle."
And this is when he referenced Mr. Miyagi, who once said, "Sand the floor. Big Circle. Sand the floor," in The Karate Kid.
"[I like] giving guys cues that they can always remember," Warne said. "So instead of saying, bigger circle, whatever it may be, just have a little fun with it. ... It helps the guys understand the concepts that we're trying to teach."
Oliver: Modern-Day Defensive Thinking
Gina Oliver, Team USA defender and Cincinnati women's coach, emphasized the importance of getting defenders excited about the position.
"Make it personal," she said. "If your attacker beats you, it means something."
As a practical example, Oliver related a tale about how she told a lackadaisical defender to pretend the approaching attacker was bent on taking her beloved iPhone. It worked like magic. Oliver also ran over a few basic defenses. Her favorite? The pressure defense. It leaves your defense more vulnerable, but it's proactive and fast-paced. If you have the athletes for it, Oliver recommends it over the more popular sag. Oliver also advised coaches to use their goalie as a part of low defense.
"Not every high school goalie can come out like Devon Wills, but open your eyes to what they can do," she said.
U.S. U19 Team Honored
The gold-medal winning U.S. under-19 men's national team was honored prior to Dick Vermeil's keynote speech Friday night with a three-minute video commemorating their 2012 FIL U19 World Championship win in Turku, Finland. US Lacrosse President and CEO Steve Stenersen presented head coach Tim Flynn with a custom map of Finland, with the label "Flynnland." The 23 members of the team were awarded their championship rings at a ceremony following the keynote. "Family and passion are your benchmarks," Flynn told the players.
Person of the Year Still at It
Tom Hayes, named Lacrosse Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year in part for his role in lacrosse's international growth, is at the convention representing the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), along with other FIL officials. Hayes, the FIL's director of development, had some updates on the international lacrosse front. The FIL has applied for membership to the International World Games Association (IWGA), and he expects to hear back in mid-February.
The IWGA is a non-profit organization currently made up of 33 international sports federations, all representing sports not in the Olympics. Its aim is to develop the popularity of those sports, and the organization maintains a close relationship with the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA hosts The World Games every four years, in years after summer Olympic competitions. Membership with SportAccord, an umbrella organization for all Olympic sports which lacrosse joined last spring, is a prerequisite for IWGA recognition.
On a personal note, Hayes, who was an All-American midfielder at Penn State before beginning a coaching career that lasted more than 30 years at Drexel (1969-74) and Rutgers (1975-200), also will serve as emcee of Penn State men's lacrosse's 100th anniversary celebration during the weekend of the Nittany Lions' April 6 home game against CAA foe Drexel.
Max Seibald, of the NLL's Philadelphia Wings, traveling the convention floor on crutches. He has a broken foot and is out indefinitely while sitting on Philadelphia's physically unable to perform list. The Wings beat the Buffalo Bandits, 13-8, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Friday night.