It’s not often high school athletes have a chance to work with professionals, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday when a former professional lacrosse player coached Oasis Academy’s boys’ team.
Lorne Smith, a former player for the LA Riptide who now runs lacrosse camps, came to Fallon for a guest coaching session with the Oasis team. For the first 30 minutes of practice, Smith ran the players through passing and defensive drills. He said he likes to reach out to teams to keep involved in the sport as much as possible.
According to boys’ lacrosse coach John Keitz, Smith contacted Oasis about the visit.
Keitz said it was huge Smith wanted to work with the team; beyond his years of experience, it was noted sometimes an outsider repeating coaching could help notes sink in better. Some Oasis players have already been to Smith’s camps and said they learned a lot.
Keitz was confident Smith’s experience would be helpful to the team. He recalled one player came back and said Smith improved his shots at the camp.
“He runs an amazing camp; it’s really the best on the west coast,” Keitz said. “I want all my guys to go there.”
Smith said guest coaching gives him an opportunity to promote his camps. It allows him to expose players to his teaching style as well as spread word of the program to those who would be most interested.
“It’s showing them some of the things I’m into and doing some coaching, trying to reinforce what the coaches already tell them,” he said.
Keitz said Smith’s camp is also a great way for players to be seen by college teams. He said, since lacrosse is primarily an east coast sport, players from the west can have a harder time finding college teams. Coaches and recruiters will look at players during tournaments and camps though.
“A lot of these guys are going to get a good look,” Keitz said. “Things like this always help … At his (Smith’s) camp, they have the basic learning stuff, but they also have a tournament at the end and that’s where you get seen by college coaches.”
Smith has extensive experience in lacrosse; he estimated having been involved for 20 years and said he’s been playing “since he could walk.” He started coaching at Stanford University after college and playing for the Riptide.
“This is one of the best things I can do right now,” Smith said. “Just get out for an hour, half hour with different teams around the country … keep that side of my life fulfilled and active.”