BRLAX Mailing List
2019 Summer Travel Team Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Should My Son Play For Burning River? - Our Parents And Area Coaches Say It Best
To quote one local parent "My son loved every minute of it, including practices. I would pick him up from 3 hours of practice in 95 degree heat, and ask him how it was- every time he'd say, "AWESOME!".
To quote one local parent “Burning River’s staff has help us every step of the way. They have called coaches to be our son’s advocate, guided our son’s lacrosse improvement and guided us through the admissions process. I don’t know what we would have done without their help and advice.”
To quote one local high school coach “I have never seen anyone work as hard to get my players into college as Coach Calleri has. He has called numerous college coaches, provided the players and their families with feedback, laid out a timeline of things the player needs to do and helped guide them through the process. My kids would not be where they are today if Burning River Lacrosse wasn’t as proactive as they are.”
To Read All The Travel Team Testimonials Click This Link (Read Testimonials)
What Separates Burning River?
Simply stated, we have a proven record of success both locally and nationally across all our teams.
These results are because of:
No other team offers the coaching, practice format, competitive tournaments, network (tournament and college coaches), and/or support that we do.
To learn more about What Separates Burning River please visit - http://www.brlax.net/template_whatseparatesbr.cfm
What Question Should I Ask Of My Travel Team? (Answers Below)
No other team offers the coaching, practice format, competitive tournaments, network (tournament and college coaches), and/or support that we do.
What Is Burning River’s Commitment To My Son?
Unlike programs that:
Burning River’s staff strives to do everything possible to improve your son’s fundamental skills (stick and lax IQ) and help him achieve his future goals whether it is to play in college or to be the best high school player he can be. To that end our staff does the following:
PLEASE UNDERSTAND WE DO NONE OF THE FOLLOWING FOR THOSE NOT FULLY COMMITTED TO OUR TRAVEL TEAMS.
Who Are / Will Be My Sons Coaches?
Burning River Lacrosse's directors / coaches are some of the area’s top college coaches, high school coaches, college players (BR Alumni) and high school players (BR players). BR's coaches are focused on the goal of improving a player's individual / fundamental stick skills, his positional skill set (Attack, Midfield, Defense and Goaltending), and his understanding of team concepts (Transition and Set Piece Offense and Defense) play. We do this by spending the vast majority of our coaching time teaching techniques and fundamentals in individual or small group sessions. We do NOT just warm up and then play live or 6 v 6. We value our practice time and work hard to improve our players skills.
Club vs Spring
Burning River's coaches have 100+ years of club coach experience. Coaching a club is very different from coaching a spring team in that:
Commitment vs Appearances
Our coaches are 100% committed to our program and our players. We do NOT have what we refer to as NAME coaches. NAME coaches are well know players / coaches that lend their name to a program but are not actively involved in coaching the players. They may make an appearance randomly at practice (walk on the sideline, a quick talk, a short demo) but are not there day in and day out.
This is a trend we first saw with camps. The camps would charge an extra $100 because a pro player was headlined at the camp. The pro would show up on the second day for 45 minutes, give a quick talk and sign autographs. Then they would leave pocketing several thousands dollars in appearance fees. At no point did they actually help the kids.
This trend is now happening in the club world. The dynamic is the same. The pro / college coach lends his name to the program or lets people know he is associated with the program. The program pays them an appearance fee in return. The NAME coach will then tell everyone how they will coach them in the summer. Summer comes around and the NAME coach is not there on a daily basis but just drops in. This happens because they have other commitments. A college coach is committed to recruiting for his school. They are not attending middle school tournaments instead of recruiting. Separately, they are also not calling other schools for your son. They are focused on their school and are not going to help you go to a competitor. A pro has work, practices and games. They can not attend your tournaments when the have their pro games to play in.
On staff we have the following:
On staff we DO NOT have the following:
We have 12+ coaches at the high school and the middle school / youth practices. Every coach is assigned a position (Attack, Midfield, Defense, Goalie, FOGO) to work with and a team (2020, 2021, etc) to work with. We do not have just 2 coaches per team who run a practice by themselves. As a result, your son gets immediate and constant feedback to help him improve. It does no good to tell a player 45 minutes after they did something that they need to do it a different way.
Please note - coaches for the summer travel team are finalized in February / March. This allows us time and flexibility to work with the widest range of coaches and work around summer events / plans (weddings, vacations, internships, child care, etc).
Practice Questions - Tentative 2019 Calendar
Where Is Practice Held?
Cleveland Based Teams
Practices will be held at Broadview Heights Recreation Center (Rec Center). The fields are located at 9543 Broadview Road. For complete directions click on this link and enter your address.
What Days and Times Are Practices Held On?
In general there are 2-3 practice a week in June and the first half of July. The actual dates and times vary by team and location. Last year's practice calendars for our teams are available below. We expect to keep a similar schedule this summer.
How Is Practice Structured?
Our ‘Burning River Way’™ practice plans were designed in conjunction with some of the top Division 1, 2, and 3 college coaches. These BR plans are based on plans those coaches have used to guide their teams to the success they have had in the NCAA playoffs. These college programs include: Syracuse, Maryland, Hobart, Notre Dame, Penn State, Georgetown, Mercyhurst, NYIT, Salisbury, Roanoke to name a few.
To update our ‘Burning River Way’™ plans we actually visit between 5 and 7 college programs each year to meet with their coaching staffs and view their practices. At these meetings, we discuss the latest player training developments, new skills drills, and key focus areas. We also get to discuss philosophy and receive feedback / input on our ‘Burning River Way’™ of doing things.
Unlike other clubs that just roll out a ball and scrimmage, our coaches’ focus on providing top level instruction. We provide your son with the fundamental skills and lax IQ that college coaches have told us they want to see.
To do this we focus on providing instruction that:
Our dedication, commitment, and focus on growing lacrosse opportunities has allowed us to develop a unique training and development system unavailable at any other club program. This has allowed us to develop our players to their full potential. Our players benefit from being with the leader in lacrosse development.
To learn more about our achievements please see the
Can You Walk Me Though A typical Practice Based On The Burning River Way For The Cleveland Based Teams?
No other team holds practices the way we do! As one parent stated "the practices alone are worth the cost of the summer. They are the best thing my son has ever attended."
We have 12+ coaches at the high school and the middle school / youth practices. Every coach is assigned a position (Attack, Midfield, Defense, Goalie, FOGO) to work with and a team (2020, 2021, etc) to work with.
Our practices are between 3 and 4 hours long and consist of two parts.
The first part focuses on individual skills and fundaments. We start these sessions with our players practicing by position (HS separate from MS) with position specific coaches. For example, all our high school goalies will work with our 3+ goalie coaches on 3+ cages for 45-75 minutes. The players then practice in small groups working on fundamental concepts / lax IQ for 30-60 minutes of high reps. For example, attackmen working on riding (1 on 1, backside support, with a middie, etc) or fast break / slow breaks. During this portion of the practices one set of coaches runs the drills while the other coaches work with the players providing immediate feedback and encouragement.
The second portion of practice focuses on team concepts (e.g slides, offense, full field clears, etc.). During this portion the players practice with their specific team on those large group concepts needed for tournament play. Each team will have 3+ coaches working with them. Also during this team individual players are being pulled out by position coaches to get further work on position specific skills (faceoffs, shooting, footwork, etc).
What Is The Goal Of The Summer Travel Team?
High School Teams (2020, 2021, and 2022 graduation years)
The goal of our high school teams is college recruitment. We have helped hundreds of players get recruited to play at over 80 colleges.
We do this through our ‘‘Burning River Way’™ instruction system which is designed to teach players the fundamental skills, advanced strategy of a higher-level lacrosse program and accelerate our players' development.
Our ‘‘Burning River Way’™ is a unique training and development system unavailable at any other club program. It is composed of our practice plans, skills focus and developmental offerings designed in conjunction with college coaches and exclusive to Burning River Lacrosse. This allows us to develop our players to their full potential. To learn more about our ‘‘Burning River Way’™ please click here.
Middle School / Youth Teams (2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027)
The goal of our Middle School and Youth teams is player development.
At the middle school / youth level our program is designed to teach players the fundamental skills and strategies so that they can play higher-level lacrosse. While we believe the competitive nature of our program accelerates our players' development; the competitive element can become destructive if our participants lose sight of the basic goal of our program which is to improve fundamental skills and increased lacrosse knowledge (Lax IQ).
It has been proven year in and year out that by participating in our program, our players will develop the physical and mental skills to play at a higher-level program (college or high school).
While we believe that winning is important, it is not the primary goal of our program, especially at the younger levels. At the younger levels our belief is that it is more important to teach than to win. This should not be interpreted as any less of a commitment to winning; however, we are much more concerned about our players’ skill development than the number of tournaments we win. We will focus on skill development, and the importance of consistently putting forth a complete effort rather than the results from that effort. In turn, we will coach and teach at a higher level, allow the players to grow to young adults and treat your son with respect and without the verbal berating that frequently occurs in youth sports.
How Successful Have Your Teams / Players Been In The Past?
Our players and teams have a proven record of success both locally and nationally.
Travel Team Results:
To see all our awards visit - www.brlax.net/template_awards.cfm
In the years 2015-2018 our college alumni received the following local awards:
To see where our players are in college please visit - www.brlax.net/template_playercommitments.cfm
In the years 2014-2018 our high school players received the following local awards:
To see more of our high players' honors please visit - http://www.brlax.net/template_2017Springtravelteamawards.cfm
How Do You Pick Your Tournaments?
How do we pick High School Tournaments?
We look for AA level (highest level) tournaments with top competition and college coaches in attendance. We want you to play the top players in the country in front of the college coaches. Yes it means that it is harder to win a championship (it also means more when we do) and we have more 1 goal games that go against us. This is especially true at the younger ages where the players aren't use to playing at that speed and intensity. As players get older we tend to win those games / tournaments. This shows in our championship at Trilogy 24 and the Inside Lacrosse results (Semifinals - wins over Booth 8+ D1 commits, Evolvle - 10+ D1 commits and a 1 goal lost to Nation United 14+ D1 commits. The only way to become your best and get recruited is to play against the best. This summer our players competed in front of coaches from over 180 college programs. Yes we could go to local HS tournaments, play in the lowest bracket against local high school teams (Mason's JV won a local tournament over a competitor) and win a ton of trophies. But is that what you are paying all that money for? We don't think so, and we will continue to look to play against the best, help our players achieve their potential and succeed in high school and college.
How do we select middle school tournaments?
We look for the following:
What changes once we reach high school?
- We go to National Recruiting events not super regional events.
- We play against the top 20 national teams – Koopers, Amped, Nation United, Evolve, Booth, Primetime, Trilogy ICE national, C2C National, Mesa Fresh, T2, etc.
- In fact, one website published a list of their top 25 high school club teams and we had beaten 19 of them in the past 4 years.
- Food and lodging is included for our tournaments. The kids stay in the dorms and each in the dining hall. Parents are free to relax and enjoy.
- All games are videotaped so the players can make highlight tapes
- We provide individual counseling on college recruitment
- We proactively contact college coaches to help get you recruited.
What Tournaments Will We Attend With Burning River? - Tentative 2019 Calendar
Tournament directors tend to finalize tournament dates, locations and cost in November / December. This means that our plans for the summer of 2019 will not be finalized until then. Our 2018 Schedule is listed below, we expect a similar schedule for 2019.
High School Teams (2018 Schedule) - All AA level tournaments
Middle School / Youth Teams (2018 Schedule)
What Is The Expected Commitment?
High School Teams (2020, 2021, and 2022 graduation years)
Burning River strives to provide both players and their families with the best experience possible during our summer travel season. We also strive to provide players with the best opportunity to be seen and recruited by college coaches. This is why we require a firm commitment (barring injury, death in the family, etc) to attend and participate in all practices, scrimmages, and tournaments from all players at the time they accept a roster spot. This commitment will have a direct impact on both our team chemistry and our ability to compete at and win the top level tournaments we attend. This as you know has a direct impact on you and your teammates’ ability to get seen (coaches come to watch the winning teams) and recruited by college coaches (the goal of our HS Teams).
Please understand that by accepting and registering for the team, you are agreeing to this commitment. In return, your teammates and coaching staff are committing to be there to help you achieve your college goals.
Thank you for your understanding as to why your commitment is so important.
Important: If you make the team but can not make all the summer tournaments we will attempt to find a replacement. Should that replacement be able to attend all the tournaments we will give him your starting spot and you will be moved to an alternate position for the tournament(s) you can attend. This policy is in place because it is extremely difficult to find replacements and we need to have the broadest latitude in searching for them.
Middle School / Youth Teams (2023, 2024, 2025, 2026/27)
If your son makes the team he is expected to make the practices and tournaments. At the younger age groups this means 2 or 3 tournaments and 8-10 practices (2 per week). There is no other commitment. We are well aware of the requirements of other travel sports with practices every day for the summer and tournaments every weekend. We believe that you and your son should have a summer to travel, relax, visit and be kids. As a result, we limit the travel team time constraints/requirements on your son and your family.
How Does Burning River Help Me With College Recruiting?
Our travel team players and their parents can depend on us to provide them with the best coaching, entrance to the best and most competitive tournaments, the most guidance / support during the entire college recruiting process. Unlike some other Travel Team Club programs Burning River Lacrosse has a proven track record when it comes to helping players reach their college lacrosse goals. This is because we:
What Is The Cost Of The Summer Travel Team? What Is Included?
We typically price the summer fees higher than needed to start. This allows us flexibility to cover increases in tournament costs (not known until December), bus costs, insurance costs, food costs, equipment rentals, practice fields, etc.
We then negotiate with all our vendors to determine the final costs. Once those costs are known we set the final team price. This price is usually well below the initial estimate. Please note that uniform (pinnie and shorts) costs are a separate fee (approx. $70). This is because we only change uniform designs every 3 to 4 years and players can reuse their uniforms from year to year
2019 Travel Team Cost Are Set At A Maximum Of:
High School ($2,200) - This fee includes the following:
Middle School ($1,200) - This fee includes the following:
How Are Finances / Payments Handled?
Burning River Lacrosse requires a deposit / initial payment of $500 for our High School teams and $300 for our Middle School team with your signed acceptance letter / player contract.
We offer parents several convenient options to pay for their sons travel team fees:
Note - Burning River Lacrosse requires 100% of all tournament costs and 100% of your uniform cost to be paid before the start of the summer tournament season. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy you may contact us directly.
What Can You Tell Me About Tryouts?
We are committed to giving every player a fair evaluation & selecting only those that earn a spot!
How are players evaluated?
At the tryouts we have numerous (between 7 and 12 usually) coaches (college and high school) evaluate your son during the drills and small group play. The coaches are looking for athleticism, stick skills, dodging/defending, small group work and game sense / lax IQ. After the evaluation the coaches meet to discuss every player who is being evaluated. Each coach gets a vote as to whether each player has the ability to compete at the level needed to be on our team. The players that the coaches feel have that ability are placed on the team. The players who are close but not quite ready are offered a spot in our developmental program. The developmental program is designed to improve their skills /knowledge to the point where they can move to the team.
If you are based in Toledo and are evaluated as a developmental player we would recommend that you attend some of the BR clinics over the Winter. In these clinics we will work on specific deficiencies. In the past several Toledo based players were asked to join the team after showing progress at our winter clinics.
How many players are selected?
Each team is composed of approximately 22 players. The exact composition varies by team but in general is
3/4 dodging attackmen, 1/2 crease attackman, 4/5 close defensemen, 1/2 LSM, 8/9 midfielders, 1 FOGO and 1/2 goalies.
How competitive are the tryouts?
The tryouts are fairly competitive with hundreds of players trying out across all levels. The older the players the more competitive. At the high school team level you have to be very, very good with years of experience. We wish we could provide more guidance but we cannot.
Are the teams pre-determined? Do all the prior year players make the team?
Absolutely not, we are 100% committed to giving every player a fair evaluation & selecting only those that earn a spot! As a result, every year there are new players that make the teams and players who are on the current teams that do not. We also have kids that make the team who were cut the year before. To ensure that everyone will get a fair evaluation we do the following: 1) everyone has tryouts out on the same day, no returning player can wear their travel pinnie at tryouts, and all players are referred to in evaluation and drills by the number on their bib, not their name.
How Is Eligibility Determined?
High School Players
College coaches have asked that we select our teams based on graduation year wherever possible (some flexibility is allowed). They indicated that this makes their job easier as it allows them to see players compete against other players in a recruiting class. Their thought is that it is better to dominate against like year players then be good against the best players.
Therefore we will have the following teams:
Note 1: - We may also have a Select team of Jr/So or So/FR who play at recruiting tournaments. This will depend on the quantity and quality of the players at tryouts.
Note 2: The composition of the teams is subject to change including but not limited to playing 2020s on the 2021 team and/or 2021s on the 2020 team as circumstances may require.
4th to 8th Grade Players
College coaches have asked us to select our teams based on graduation year. They indicated that this makes their job easier as it allows them to see players compete against other players in a recruiting class. Their thought is that it is better to dominate against like year players then be good against the best players. Therefore we will continue to do the same at the middle school and youth letters and select 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026/27 teams.
Note - birthdays have nothing to do with the teams. Please do not call us about birthday questions.
Can I Play For Burning River And Another Team?
Burning River players are free to play for other travel teams and / or attend additional summer tournaments as long as it does not interfere with our practices or cause you to miss a Burning River tournament.
Exceptions to the missing tournaments rule are made for national all-star tournaments (non-travel team events) such as the Under Armour Showcase or the Brine National Showcase.
How Is Playing Time Handled?
We do not take players to tournaments so that they can sit or help with our finances. If you were selected for the team, you have talent and you need to showcase that talent. To that end, all players who attend a tournament play in the games. Game time is normally allocated in a fairly even manner with all players rotating in and out during the course of a game. The exception to this is in the last quarter of close games / games with a tough opponent at recruiting tournaments when we have to win to move on. Under those circumstances playing time will not be evenly distributed.
What Is The Expected Behavior At Tournaments?
You are considered to be an ambassador for both Burning River Lacrosse (specifically) and Northern Ohio lacrosse (in general). Therefore, all normal team travel rules are in effect concerning your behavior and actions and the resulting consequences (if you do not know what these rules are ask first). Please be aware of the following rules:
Is There A General Format For The Tournaments We Attend
Tournament formats vary based on the age / location of the tournament. In general most tournaments have the following rules:
Are There Buses Available To / From The Tournaments
High School Teams
To help insure the safety of all participants and limit the number of people driving separately, we normally arrange for charter bus transportation to and from the tournaments. You are welcome to drive your son separately if you so chose, but we would prefer that he does not drive himself to the tournaments.
4th to 8th grade Teams
We normally do not arrange for charter bus transportation to and from the tournaments. At this age we highly encourage all parents to attend the tournaments and drive their children to the events.
Are Lodging / Meals Include In The Summer Fee?
High School Teams
Lodging and meals are included for MVP and Trilogy 24 tournaments. Please see our detailed answer to the "What is the cost of the summer? What is included? question for more information.
4th to 8th grade Teams
We normally do not arrange for lodging or meals. At this age we highly encourage parents to attend the tournaments with their children.