Coach Flip Naumburg's Journal
Saturday, December 3, 2005
I'M A SENSATION?
I try to NOT sensationalize everything that happens in la Vida lacrosse just so I can write
about it in here and try to make it all sound somehow more and better than it really is
or was, really I don't, but I must say that for early December the last two days have been
extraordinary days in the life of our lacrosse program.
UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE
First, on Thursday night we had an opportunity to work as a team with a professional trainer
at the Edge, the place where we normally practice and play. This trainer, Brian, runs his
training business out of that facility, and this was a bit of a trial run for he and we.
We have always been looking for ways to get players working out together outside of practice.
Now it seems more important than ever.
In the past we have only found limited amounts of success on this extra working out side
of the athletic preparation endeavor. Guys have been spotted at isolated historical
times in small groups doing ladder work after practice, and we have had plyometric classes
going on for short periods or whatever as well.
There have always been a few who have worked out regularly and with great dedication to
their personal goals. We've also always had some who go sometimes to work in the gym,
but then they stop or they don't have a program schedule that keeps them disciplined and
steady and they stop.
So there has been a lot of this and that over the years, the dabbling with getting really
fit on a program-wide scope to play at the highest level, but we have never had all of them
in there (weight room, etc.) together regularly acting like they are on some kind of mission.
That scenario would be a dream/vision come true for me.
So, I was hopeful about the new trainer news, but I was also without expectation.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
I don't have to control every little (and big) thing anymore. I gave up that ghost
ages ago. I like and seek the having of capable assistant coaches. A few random "believers"
on the team and just around us is good, too, and I also embrace the possibility of any sort
of trainers. When I say trainers, I will take professionals or just one of the kind
that can only tape an ankle and hand out a Band-Aid.
PERSONAL TRAINER FOR 36?
It may not sound like that big of a deal, but, and thanks to assistant Coach Kale Nelson
who got this all set up, we had 36 lacrosse players show up on time and ready to work at
and for something larger than themselves and how they might eventually look in the mirror.
These were actual student athletes who voluntarily came out early to work together at getting
better at getting ready to play together. Wow, this certainly got my immediate attention,
and if 36 are still coming after 4 or 5 more sessions then we really might be on to something
At the end of the night what I took away from the single session was what a great "workingman's
vibe" it had been. I got the feeling of a team really enjoying working hard together
in a new and different environment that everyone knows can bring us a lot of benefits.
That seems okay to Coach Me.
DIAMONDBACK IN THE ROUGH
The first thing I had heard about the Trainer, Brian, was that he had worked for three
years with the Arizona Diamondbacks of the Major Baseball Leagues, and he was now back in
Fort Collins where he used to live and is looking to work with individuals as well as teams
as a Personal Trainer. My first thought was that if the Diamondbacks even let this
guy inside the building then he probably had something that we could use. I later learned
that Brian had more recently worked with the baseball team here at CSU. That team
not only won a National Championship last May, but they are also a Club, so he already understands
part of what that particular status in life all says and means.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
This training and stretching the body for and during a season is an area that I am totally
looking to shore up in the most efficient way possible, especially in terms of time ($,
too), which we and I never have enough of. So the possibilities of a Personal Trainer
working with us intrigued me from the first time it blew by me as banter in the breeze a
few weeks back. I admit I that am always a little bit reticent about anything like
this partly due to fact that I know we are surely not going to be the framework for a financial
windfall for any company or a young entrepreneur looking to get a leg up. We might,
however, be the start of something that can get much bigger. We have always shown
PHILOSOPHICALLY HE WAS CHILL
Just the same, and whatever we may or may not have as a program, after ten minutes of being
around this guy I knew I wanted him to somehow become a part of our family, and truthfully
I am often not that easy to impress.
Brian didn't talk about things like building a bigger, better athlete (although I'm sure
it trickles down/up to that). No, he talked about building a better lacrosse player by doing
specific things that relate to what lacrosse players do. I loved it. If I had my way
practice drills would be so intense every day that there would be little or no time or need
for any extra sprints or 440's.
WHEN THE STUDENT (body) IS READY THE TEACHER WILL COME
He also sounded excited about learning how to build a better lacrosse player because he
had not done that yet. He is enthusiastic to learn. What a great quality for
a teacher to have if you ask me. Brian already knows the ingredients to make "better"
baseball players for example, but he is juiced by the whole different make up of a game
like lacrosse, and the dynamic that more violent commonplace action gives a game and obviously
I am always fascinated and refreshed by analytical thought in athletics that isn't used
to either pick a fantasy football team or winners in Vegas.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT UNTIL I DIE
Trainer Guy didn't have so much aerobic energy that I wanted to smack him, either, like
that longhaired, infomercial, muscle freak dude on steroids and his little treadmill doohickey
he sells. I do wish to smack that guy. With the remote in my hand he is only
ever there for a second. I can handle it.
Brian's demeanor just seems to suit our team personality, kind of like our own most wonderful
team chiropractor guy a team could ever have, the one and only Dr. Ron Krugman, only different.
By the way, I might describe it (our workout approach) as the "We have never, nor
will we ever do a jumping jack, at least in public, and only p_____s do" attitude.
Not everyone can "fit in" with us. Or should I say not everyone would want
to fit in with us?
HE DON'T HATE ME
Brian seemed like the kind of guy who could perhaps put up with me, too. Wow, the
daily double. If I sound excited about the possibilities of something unknown, again,
it's only because I am.
He was clear about ways to work with us as a team. His focus during the stretch that
he took us through was fresh and it focused on the leg muscles and whole body movement,
which almost got my tai chi juices going a little, so that was cool and reinforcing for
So my greatest hope is that we can maybe get a couple of our players on a personal program
with Brian and do enough with him as a team so that not only can we learn from him and use
and learn his techniques, but also maybe we can get him in the "trenches" a little
bit with us. You can never have too many powerful positive forces working among you,
or at least that sounds good to me.
SANTA IS NOT JUST ANOTHER HO
Then Friday night, last night, we had this most amazing family gathering, our first "annual"
Christmas dinner. There were more than 150 people present, including players, girlfriends,
and family. That many people made for an almost electric type of atmosphere.
It seemed like the entire room was engaged in conversation all evening. The dinner
part lingered on for almost three hours.
The very comfortable and open atmosphere of the restaurant itself was reflected in the
massive mingling that was going on. Niece Tahlia did a great job of putting the whole
dinner concept for the evening together. It also was great because we were not trying
to raise money or anything, and it was not only a banquet just for the players. It
was truly the larger family getting together only to be together and celebrate the things
we all now have in common, the game of lacrosse, the team, and to a degree the university.
Some of the relationships that parents of players have developed with other parents and
relatives of other players over the years have lasted beyond the time all were hanging out
at CSU. For the most part I hope I am proud of that.
When we are on the road we like to have parents and family along. We do not find
it to be a distraction, but rather a blessing.
We are a strange brood through and through, however. As with our player base, we
have wide range of parents in our demography. We have players who have really nice
S.U.V.'s and a credit card in the wallet, and we have had players who had their bike ripped
off, and it was the only transportation they may have had for getting to work and three
years of college, and at CSU walking from class to class is no joke.
We have had parents who could afford to send their kids to college anywhere, and we have
had parents working multiple jobs to put their one kid though a state university, which
is of course much less expensive when you are "in-state".
IF I HAD A SCHOLARSHIP……..
I always worry if the "Lees" of my world (older guys who tend to be putting themselves
through school on their own) will be able to afford to continue to stay in school as well.
The sense of closeness when we get family together with more family is often pretty cool.
Last night was no exception, maybe even special, and it left me with a feeling that I certainly
want for our Christmas dinner to become an annual event. I would also like very much
to do something similar with the alumni someday.
We managed to bring a little irony to it, however, a given I suppose. Somehow we
arranged the schedule so the Christmas dinner took place on a day when our marvelous and
multiple time parental benefactors, the Fitzgeralds, were unable to attend due to a prior
commitment. Somehow, even with son Garrett (G - #8 2008) reading an email from
his Dad, John, it didn't seem quite right without the Fitzgeralds there. I hope John
has some idea of how valuable of a family experience this was, and that we could not have
done something so great without him writing the check. There is no softer way to speak
that truth. Our program will try to somehow show the Fitzgeralds how much we do appreciate
what they brought to our "table". It will not be easy.
PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE
Otherwise, and other than the grizzly fact that we more or less ate this big old sports
bar C.B. Potts out of house and home as it were, everything was great. I guess no
one ever can quite grasp how much lacrosse players can eat (meat).
GOOD EVENING LADIES AND GERMS
I made a semi-lame little speech after everyone was done eating. I was going to go
into a whole rant about team philosophy and "Believers" and wherever that might
have taken me, but it didn't feel like the right time to go there, so I checked my ego at
the door and just tried to thank all the right people and stuff like that without falling
all over myself or saying "er" or "um" too many times. Son George
(2.45 years old) came to get me right in the middle of my talk, and come to think of it
he didn't seem to like my speech much at all, as in he was screaming in the background and
stuff. Maybe it's my delivery, I'll ask him later
THE PTA we ain't
It is wonderful to see the degree that many of these parents care and want to be involved
with lacrosse and the program, and for the very basic and important reason that it means
so much to their son.
At the dinner I had a chance myself to spend "quality" time with many of the
current parental units. I was in conversations that covered almost any subject you
could think of. I do think I asked every single one how "John Boy" was doing
in school because I now manically (actually I always did) worry about academic stability
At one point in the evening I was talking about religion of all things with a couple of
people, and I guess ultimately about the fact that my religious "denomination"
is the lacrosse team and the "church" where we assemble and I "preach"
moves from place to place and time to time, indoors and out. Sometimes the house of
worship has live sports on multiple TV's and alcohol is served up by cute college girls
in short skirts or whatever. That's just the way it is and I guess I do not apologize for
this separate kind of heathen reality either.
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