Its less about having quality coaches and more about how the team is managed. For better or worse, most YJ program past 5th grade operate like a traditional high school club program where there is minimal practice and practices are focused on set plays, defense rotations and not much on core skill development.
This makes sense for them since almost all of the girls (on the A team at least) have outside coaches. This is one of the key reasons their B teams at the middle school level often struggle across a season and girls who get added to the team each year usually come from other clubs.
There are lots of 5-star recruits who started club lacrosse as average lacrosse player with unreal athleticism. And then the club team develops you. This rarely happens at YJ. If you look at the top MD clubs, they promote multiple players from their B team nearly every year.
If you are looking for skill development, YJ is probably not the best club. If you are looking for exposure, it is. In terms of top NY clubs, Prime Time and Jesters are the one who probably place the most emphasis on player development, especially at the youth level.
Please keep in mind I am not a YJ hater. I just think parents who are new to the sport or have kids in other sports need to understand how the model works.
This is an honest, solid assessment of YJ. It’s a very specific model that doesn’t work for everyone. There is limited training (compare the clinics YJ offers vs any other club). You join for the brand and exposure but not development. And they will really only push the A team later on. The other teams are there to pad the accounts.
agreed with all of this. Most of the girls making the trip from Nassau to YJ have generally joined the team once they were above average lax players. Most mentioned skill development was lacking but 100% top exposure
Which prob. Means some of the top players at YJ started somewhere else or went out and got their own training? So, if my daughter very young - I should start her with a club that has more development and training? See how that goes and possibly move later for the exposure?
Previous poster here. I wouldn't consider YJ for a good lacrosse playing girl under 8th or maybe 7th grade. Lots of teams out there will better instruction. (One key caveat is that YJ is much more accepting of multi sport athletes than other clubs -- they will never bench someone for missing a practice). You just don't want your daughter to be the best player on her team.
Challenge is that some of the better long island teams don't play outside NY until 7th or 8th grade. Top Guns play NGLL against top Westchester and Jersey teams which is some of the best competition. The shame is that the top 3 Westchester club programs do so much better than the LI ones on player development.
Empire and Liberty probably send the most middle school girls to YJ over time.