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JM3 Sports is a lacrosse-specific remote coaching, on-line education, and consulting business geared to help families and student-athletes reach their goals.  JM3 expertly leverages the power of video to assess, teach, and coach clients while providing a roadmap for development and recruitment.

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Jamie Munro and the JM3 Sports Journey

A Lacrosse Life

I am a truly a lacrosse geek!  My adult life has been dedicated to learning, sharing and teaching the great game of lacrosse.   I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a professional lacrosse geek and even more blessed that my kids share the same passion and my wife (who is much more balanced than I am) supports my passion!

Three lax players: Colin, Georgetown, Lucy 2021 Northwestern commit, Emily, Arizona State

Like many coaches brought up in the DI ranks, I have watched endless film, spent countless hours in the "Lab" (Coaching on field), and studied every conceivable scheme, skill and development model throughout my experiences.

I have coached youth, high school, college and pro lacrosse as well as boys and girls with an insatiable appetite for learning.  What has differentiated me from most other coaches is my out of the box thinking and willingness to experiment.  People in general resist change, simply teach what they were taught, or are afraid to try something new.  My JM3 Families will be learning with me in real time!

I would say film study has been the corner stone for my learning and has given me the confidence to evolve.  The JM3 motto is "Film is Truth"  because one never really knows what happened until the film is reviewed.  If you thought your team or a player played terribly, you will find out it wasn't that bad, if you thought the team or player played well, you will find out it wasn't that good.  Film is where you find out what happened and why.

Filming Practice

In early February 2000, my second at Denver, we were opening up with Villanova and they ran a scary single invert.  I decided I wanted to run a zone, but we had run only man to man at Yale so I had no experience installing a zone defense.  I spoke to every coach I knew who had run zones, learned the basics and began the install.  Back then, filming practice wasn't a thing, but I needed to be able to see what I was doing right and wrong, so we started filming practice to evaluate our zone. 

Ever since then, I have filmed practices at every level, HS boys and girls, backyard, small group, pick up games, you name it!  There is not a more powerful way to learn because you will actually know what happened!

My Family

I have three kids, Colin 22 a junior at Georgetown, Emily 21 a junior at ASU and Lucy 17 a junior in high school who is committed to Northwestern and they have always given me extra motivation to find the ultimate development models so I can help them chase their dreams.  Your kids give me that same motivation!

For years I believed, like so many others, that the best training / deliberate practice combined with the best competition was the best model for player development.  I also believed box lacrosse was the best possible environment for development of skill, IQ, creativity and toughness.

I now think differently. 

Down to my core I believe the Free Play or the Sandlot Model is the ultimate domain for development.  Boys and girls, mixed ages and levels, kids playing and learning unconsciously with no equipment and learning a true joy of the game; miraculously gaining "Fluency" and developing a feel for lacrosse in these unstructured environments.  Processing and perceiving, making decisions, and solving problems with skills..... on their own!

Don't get me wrong, I still love box lacrosse!  I actually think I enjoy playing box more than field and I would choose box over field for development purposes ten out of ten times, but I wouldn't choose box over backyard, pick up, or Sandlot. 

Does this sound like blasphemy?  Don't worry, the Sandlot we play pretty much is box lacrosse!

Finally, the Free Play model doesn't remove good coaching from the development equation.  Good coaches have tremendous value as mentors, as teachers, and as tacticians, but coaches can't teach "Feel".   Only the game can teach "Feel" and the "Feel" is the whole key!  

The Summer of 2017

I had recently sold 3d Lacrosse, was the Defensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Blaze, and I had just finished up a five year stint as coach at Mountain Vista HS where I coached my son.  My two older kids were headed off to college to play lacrosse and my youngest was getting ready to go to high school.

Looking at the world through a different lens, I was no longer the operator of the largest youth lacrosse company on the planet nor was I a head high school coach.  My life at this time had two priorities: first, to help my youngest daughter Lucy, who had dreams to play lacrosse in college; second, leverage my passion, knowledge, and connections in lacrosse to create a digital lacrosse company involving remote coaching, online education, and consulting.

Lucy had played 3d Colorado for years and I had been intimately involved coaching and developing that 2021 team.  However after the sale of 3d, let's just say we were all going our separate ways and since there were no worthwhile girls clubs or coaches in Colorado, I decided to start a neighborhood pick up game at my house.

Once a week on Sundays.  Six kids, a 3x3 net and a tennis ball and we played in the street!  I hired two HS boys at $20 per session to play with us and guarantee their attendance.  They were both Division I commits (Cornell/Utah) and had played for me at Mountain Vista.  Each week Lucy invited a couple girls and we had a game!  We would play for around 75 minutes week.  My wife would say, "You're such a loser to pay people to play 3x with you!" but I didn't care.  I wanted a guarantee!

In April 2017 the new NCAA Recruiting rules went into effect, abolishing early recruiting, which meant we didn't have to worry about exposure.  We didn't NEED a club.  All we had to worry about was getting better!

 Here's a video from the OG pick up game crew!

 

Of course I filmed our 3x games every week and studied what was happening.  What I saw over the course of 5 months, August through December, was astounding.  The nuances, the skills, the vision and passes, the ground ball scraps were all incredible.  The joy was obvious.

It was this fall that I realized that the Free Play model coupled with video review was the most powerful development mechanism I had ever discovered. 

I purposely didn't coach during these games.  Never did I stop a game to make a point, or critique players on anything. Everyone just played!

There were rules of the game that were enforced:

  1. No high heat
  2. You had to set picks to create offense

Another interesting note.  When I originally invited the DI committed boys to play, the point was to raise the level of play.  I was following the concept that better competition makes for better development.  I was creating the level of competition and  figured if Lucy was competing against HS boys, it would be beneficial when she went back to playing against 2021 girls!  Makes sense right?

Here's what I learned:

  • The boys did make the environment better but it was because they they were excellent lacrosse players who raised the overall level through skill and IQ.
  • The combination of boys and girls, HS freshmen up to HS seniors and me (the 50 year old) created an amazing mixed level environment
  • One of the most counterintuitive findings: The boys told me these pick up games over five months were the best thing they had ever done to improve. 
  • .Their confidence had  never been higher because they could work on skills that they wouldn't try in structured practices.  I saw it myself as they added to their repertoire.  This concept is called "Underloading"
  • I saw noticeable improvements for all participants (including me) on film.  I judge players and development on the amount of skills  and new skills regularly employed in games, like fakes, creative passes, deceptive shots, and 2man game.

After having spent 25 years coaching at the highest levels, learning cutting edge x's and o's, skills, and development strategies, I was really just going back to my roots.

Youth Sports in the 70's and 80's

I grew up in Providence, RI in the 70's and 80's and like all kids my age, we played a lot neighborhood sports;  Football, Street Hockey, Chase, Basketball, Muckle (AKA Smear the Queer),  Lacrosse, Pond Hockey, Soccer, Skiing in Vermont on weekends.... you name it we played it.  I grew up before the proliferation of club sports.  Our sport menu changed sports by the season.  The only organized sports I played was soccer in a fall league run by Brown Soccer Coach Cliff Stevenson and lacrosse in the spring, "Mini Lacrosse" run by the Moses Brown lacrosse coach Wayne Curtis.

Looking back I'm quite sure that the coaching in the 70's and 80's wasn't great, but now I realize that it didn't matter at all.  I was going to be good no matter what.  I played sports so much that a bad youth coach couldn't ruin it for me!  How many times have we heard that a coach made a kid hate the sport?  The crime here is allowing a coach to have the full responsibility of  development AND love of the game!  It doesn't have to be that way.

Nowadays, it seems like if you have a great youth coach it's a big advantage and if you don't you're kind of in trouble.  This is true ONLY if you rely on structure to develop your kids!  

The house I grew up in was walking distance from the Aldrich-Dexter Fields at Brown University, so when I was bored, I'd take my cleats and soccer ball to the Brown fields to kick against their kick wall  One day when I was around 11 years old, I noticed a game going on... I ventured over and they needed a player!  I jumped in and and to this day I still remember how much fun that day was!  From then on I'd tell my parents, "I'm going to play pick up."

Providence had a large Portuguese population back then that played pick up every Sunday during the academic year and every weekday evening in the Summer.  I was in heaven!  I still remember the names, the personalities, and the various talents of these guys!

Some days the games might be 3v3 and other days there might be two games of 7v7.   Looking back, there is no doubt these pick up games were the most profound athletic experience in my life, and shaped me as an athlete.  

Back then lacrosse was played strictly March, April, and May.  There was no fall lacrosse, no indoor winter leagues, and not much going on in the summer.  In the spring, my friends and I shot around a lot, played wall ball and the occasional game of "Pipes" but there wasn't a great pick up game option.  And after Memorial Day Weekend , the school put the lacrosse goals away and we would all put our sticks away too.  

Soccer had always been my favorite sport, but something happened in my junior year of high school and I was bitten by the lacrosse bug. 

Funny Recruiting Story

Memorial Day Saturday 1984, Bernie Buonanno, my buddy and HS attack mate, invited me to play in the Brown Alumni Game that they were holding on the Brown reunion weekend.  Bernie, who was a year older than me was headed to Brown to play lacrosse, told me the Head Coach Dom Starsia, wanted me to play!  This by the way would be completely illegal in this day and age, but I showed up and played.  I remember making a BTB feed for an assist on a fast break, scoring goals, and actually blowing right by a defenseman named Bill Aliber, who was a 1st Team All-American the year before.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was now a recruit!

That summer for the first time, I played lacrosse all summer instead of soccer.  I attended the Rutgers Lacrosse Camp, which was the biggest recruiting event of the mid 80's and  the next thing you know I was being recruited by dozens of schools.  It was exciting and kind of out of the blue honestly.

Growing up in Providence, I had actually been the ball boy of the soccer and lacrosse teams in 5th and 6th grade and of course watched countless Brown games over the years.  When I was growing up I knew Dom as the assistant soccer and lacrosse coach at Brown.  He lived not far from me and I remember as a kid seeing him walk by my house on his way to the fields to shoot with other lacrosse players.  The funny thing is they were all hippies!

Dom, who is known for being a great recruiter, sent me dozens of handwritten notes and recruiting information.  By the end of October after visiting Harvard and Penn, I chose Brown.  

Brown Lacrosse

The summer before heading off to college I worked really hard at my game and was determined to be ready.  I was actually recruited to play soccer and lacrosse at Brown but lacrosse was now my passion and I didn't kick a ball all summer.  Feeling the need to gain experience, I signed up for three different summer leagues in 1985 and for a total of 37 games that summer!  It was a great experience because I played with and against college and post college players.  I knew I could play! 

This was my first exposure to the Pass it Down Model of development.  This model is as old as mankind: where older players teach younger players new and cutting edge skills.  In the parking lot drinking a beer or pre game, there was always discussion about the game and what as well as why players did certain things.  At that time, and even to this day, the Pass it Down Model is a powerful teacher. So often, coaches are risk averse and really don't want or understand the cutting edge of the game.

I have always noticed that the Pass it Down Model is prevalent in Canadian Box Lacrosse because it JR A is a 21 and under league and then a SR A is for over 21.  Younger players around older players in the dressing rooms, on the floor, on the bus was powerful.  The native communities take the pass it down model to another level as the old and young congregate at the box every day to play pick up! 

I followed in the footsteps of several Moses Brown School teammates to lacrosse at Brown.  Tommy Gagnon was a 3x All-American at Brown and was a senior when I was a freshman.  Bernie Buonanno was one year older than I was and we were attack line mates in both high school and college.  The picture below is Bernie, Tommy, and me!

Bernie and I had a great chemistry and back then, there was less structure in the offenses and we were allowed to come up with our own little plays.  One such play happened when I was a freshman at Brown and playing midfield.  We worked it out that if I gave it down to him, the lefty attackman, I would pretend like I was going to the crease and I'd do a little give and go cut.  Bang!  We scored a huge 4th quarter goal versus at the time a top 10 Adelphi team!

Another play we called special.  Now I call the look Dart.  We would flip it behind and then one of us would pretend we were going into the crease and then do an off ball Questionmark cut and spot feed it.

 

Looking back, one thing that I realize now about Brown practices  back in the day was how fun they were and how good they were for player development.  We did mostly live action drills, a ton of 1v1's, a lot of scrimmaging, and there was freedom to learn and play.

Paul Hooper was the Offensive Coordinator at Brown for my Junior and Senior seasons and he had the most profound effect on me as a player.  Hoops was totally cutting edge and was the Pass it Down Model coach I needed.  He's always come up to me before practice and say, "Hey three, I got something for ya!"  He would invariably tell me not to tell Dom what he was about to teach me, then he's teach me some really cool stuff! 

Hoops was basically a "Pass it Down" Model coach.  This would have a profound impact on me as a coach.  I became a pass it down model coach, and to this day, on our Zoom calls, that is what I'm doing!  Passing down knowledge, stories, skills, tips, you name it!

25 years later Paul's son Scott played for 3d New England, went to Hotchkiss and ended up having a great career at UVA as a nasty left handed take away defenseman.  Pretty neat full circle!

We had good teams at Brown, making the NCAA Tourney in 1987 and just missing  the tourney in each of the other three seasons.  In 1988 we lost three overtime games to 3/4 Final Four teams that year.  The Ivy League was great back then with Cornell making the Finals in '87 and '88, Penn making the Final Four in '88 and Yale going to the NCAA's in '88. '89 and a Final Four trip in '90.

Notable Brown guys that I played with: Lars Tiffany, current UVA Head Coach and I were captains of the '89 Brown team, that year PLL Chaos Head Coach Andy Towers was a freshman as was Darren Lowe a future NCAA Player of the Year.  I also got to play for one season with my brother Neil who had one of the most incredible honors: Offensive and Defensive MVP of the Brown Team in a career.

I finished my career 5th on the All-Time scoring list, was a 3x All-Ivy selection, and an All-American in my senior year along with an invite to the North South Game.  The North-South game back then was so great!  It was a three day, two night experience where you practiced, scrimmaged other teams and played at Johns Hopkins in a night game during the "Day of Champions" event.  Our goalies were the late, great, Paul Schimoler and Sal Locasio, John Zulberti, me and Steve Meyer on attack... it was a blast!  Dave Pietramala was the headliner on the South team!  To cap it off, in the fall of 2016 was honored in the Brown Athletics Hall Fame.

The Friendships and camaraderie of Brown Lacrosse lasts a lifetime.  We named ourselves Brown State back in the day, because we really didn't feel like the Ivy League types.  For the past 20. years in August, Brown State gets together in Lake Placid to compete.  This past year in the 45+ division, we repeated as champions.  Pictured below is me and Lars Tiffany right after we won the championship.

Here's me using my Sandlot skills in the first game of the weekend! 

Lacrosse In Australia

After graduation in the summer of 1989 I headed off to Perth Australia to play lacrosse with two buddies who played at Penn, Peter Smith and Alex Yarnell.  Smitty was an All-American Attackman and Alex was a super athletic defensive short stick who also played soccer at Penn  We played for Fremantle Lacrosse LC which was the worst team in the league, but we didn't care.    

The lacrosse wasn't great, but it sure was fun!  It was also an eye opening experience!  I had never seen players smoking cigarettes and drinking beers in a locker room at half time before!  My season was ended when I was going for a 1 hand ground ball, just trying to snag it before getting hit and this guy nicknamed "The Tractor" a 6'4'' 235 pound guy with a huge beard, ran his knee through my thigh.  Well, that was it for me for about a month.  I've never had a hematoma like that before and oh man was it swollen and painful. 

I limped around for the next month and got myself a job at Arnott's Biscuits, a cookie factory that paid me $15 per hour, time and a half after 30 hours and double time after 40 hours!  I had hit a work home run!  By mid October I had saved enough to begin my journey of traveling home.  My return from Aussieland had 6 stops on the way back: Adelaide, Aukland, Fiji, Hawaii, San Francisco, and the last stop in Denver.

Before I said goodbye to Perth, I had phoned my coaches from Brown and informed them my desire to coach when I reached my last stop in Colorado.  Sure enough, the Head Coach from Colorado College, Steve Beville was looking for an assistant so I had locked in my first coaching gig!  I figured I'd ski as much as possible and coach some lacrosse.

A highlight of the trip was hitchhiking from Sydney to Cairns, which is like the distance from Miami to Boston.  It was kind of crazy!  I would never allow my kids to do that now!  This Odyssey of traveling the world alone was truly an experience of a lifetime.  I had sold all my lax gear and all I had was my backpack and my guitar.   

Coaching at Colorado College

The 1990 season was my first foray into coaching and I loved it!  I loved working for Steve "Beef" Beville who went on to become the Head Coach at Vermont and is currently the Head Coach at Cortland where he won a couple DIII Championships.  As the offensive coordinator, I was paid  $2000 for the season and was pretty pumped about it!   I was given a ton of autonomy in the offense and I by the end of the season was hooked;  I loved coaching!  I also loved Colorado and loved skiing at every opportunity! 

The 1990 Tigers had the best season in the history of the program, beating Air Force twice, and winning the Rocky Mountain championship with a final record of 14-2.  The coaching was great, the skiing was also great so at the conclusion of that season i decided that I either wanted to coach in DI or live in a ski town!  I wanted to be at a higher level of one or the other!

Summer of 1990

I came home after a year of travel and really wanted to get into coaching.  I worked the Brown Lacrosse camp and the Harvard Coach, Scott Anderson offered me the assistant job at Harvard!  I was so pumped!  This was the break I was looking for!  Coach A had verbally offered me the position in mid July, told me to call him, and never returned my phone calls!  So Brutal!

Well, seven weeks later it was Labor Day Weekend and Coach Anderson still hadn't gotten back to me so I was trying to figure out what to do.  That weekend after an Allman Brothers concert at Great Woods Amphitheater, I was hanging out at a friends house and we were all watching a ski movie called "The Blizzard of Aaahhhs" with Scott Schmidt and Glen Plake, the godfathers of extreme skiing.  The movie mostly which took place at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe.  I decided right there I was headed to Tahoe and within a few days I was in a car headed to California .

A funny side story is 10 years later my brother Neil worked for the NorthFace where Scott Schmidt was one of their sponsored athletes.  Neil told him the story about my seeing the movie and heading out to Tahoe immediately, and he said, "yeah, I've heard that story before!"

Well, the snow never fell in the fall of 1990.  I was painting houses, living in Truckee with no car hitchhiking wherever I went and wasn't that psyched about my situation.  In early December I found out the Yale Assistant Coach job had just opened!  I flew home for Christmas, interviewed for the job and landed it!  Crazy how it worked out, but I was on my way to coaching DI lacrosse!

Yale Lacrosse 

I took the job as Head Assistant and Offensive Coordinator at age 23 for $10,000 plus benefits!  I was getting paid 5x more than at CC!  I arrived in New Haven in early January 1991 and on day one I met my wife!  Pretty good move! 

Practice began on February 1st in the Ivy League and working with Coach Waldvogel was a crazy experience.  "Bones" as they called him back in the day was a 2x Tea USA Defenseman and was the Defensive Coordinator for the Cornell teams in the 70's that won three National Championships.  Mike was known as an eccentric genius and I learned this first hand.  He's the most mellow guy you could ever meet, but on the field Bones wold snap!  He would rip me at practice, on game day, you name it, but off the field it was always, "OK Jamie, sounds good."  I literally mirrored him at practice, the same way I teach off ball players to mirror a dodge: move opposite, keep your spacing.  

On February 17th, 1991 we had a 9am Saturday morning indoor practice at Coxe Cage and one of the players, Christian Prince was missing.  It's not super unusual for a player to sleep through a practice but it was out of character for Christian..  Practice went on and about 90 minutes into it one of the guys said, "Jamie, what's coach doing?"  I look over and Mike was sitting against the wall, his head in his hands, and looking extremely upset.

I walked over and Mike said, "Christian's dead.  He was murdered last night." 

Christian Prince, from Washington DC, was a sophomore and was in the wrong place at the wrong time in a town that was pretty shady.  I never actually got to know Christian because he was a defenseman and I was coaching the offense.  There were many rumors about how and why this happened, but I never dug in.  It was simply a tragedy that no family, team, or person should have to go through.

When I was at Yale, my appetite for learning was insatiable and I was working for a guy that everyone respected.  When I arrived, Yale was coming off three straight NCAA Tourney's and Ivy Championships as well as a Final 4 fun in 1990 the year before I got there.

The big picture concept I learned was, "The environment does the teaching."   Through the prominent use of pressure in practice, Waldvogel transformed a bunch of athletes into tough as hell competitors.  Everything was a double team, everything was pressure.  "F'ing pressure" he's yell all day long!

At Yale we had a great run in 1992, made the NCAA Tourney as an at large bid, and won a play off game at Navy 9-3.  We were a classic Yale team of the late 80's and 90's: athletic, great defense and great goaltending!  Due to the toughest of admissions circumstances, we were only able to piece together good seasons on the even years!  Our odd years always had super small classes.  92, NCAA's, 94, just missed the NCAA's,  and 96 we were legit! 

Andy Shay, now recognized for being perhaps the best coach in DI lacrosse started out 5-25 in the Ivy League in his first five years!  In '03 when he took the job, he had exactly the same issues!  They finally started giving him the numbers to succeed.  It's not too hard to find quality applicants, but you can't win with a senior class of 5 every other year.

As my journey began in Division I coaching at Yale continued, I was on a steep learning curve.  I was playing at a high level and my game was going through the roof as my coaching knowledge grew.  Teaching is always a catalyst for learning!  

As a player in college, I really didn't know how to shoot.  It wasn't until I was an assistant coach and it was my job to warm up goalies every day that I learned deceptive shooting.   The mental game of shooter vs. goalie became my paradigm and warm ups became my lab for shooting R&D.  This is where I learned and mastered shots like the TeeterTotter, Leaner, Anti-Leaner, etc. 

Lunch Time Hoops

One of the most impactful parts of coaching college lacrosse for me was  "Lunch Time Hoops."   In athletic departments across the country this phenomenon exists with coaches of all the sport programs and it was awesome.  I played basketball 5 days per week for around 20 years!  Looking back, what I  learned In my 20's and 30's playing pick up hoops taught me the nuances of the game as it relates to deception, hesitations, 2man game, off ball... you name it!   

Once again free play impacted played a huge role in my athletic development.  The irony is, while all the pick up sports I played was the key to my athletic fluency, I was on a major coaching journey that was pulling me in the direction of structure.

August Achievement Month 1992

It was the summer of '92,  was 25 years old, Yale Lacrosse was in the top 8 in the nation, and life was good.  Back then coaches worked instructional camps in the summer which was a lot more fun than the recruiting camps nowadays.  Coaching kids is fun and it really helps in building the craft of coaching!  It was also a pretty big party at night which is where coaches bonded and continued to talk lacrosse.

At the end of July, I wasn't impressed with myself.  At all!  I was making like 11k, I wasn't organized, I was partying too much so I made a plan called August Achievement Month.  I created a list:

Money

  • Start a lacrosse business
  • Pay my parents back the 5K I owed them

Body

  • Get in sick shape
  • Try to make the MILL Boston Blazers
  • Stop drinking for a month

Personal

  • Clean car
  • Organize apartment

Yale Lacrosse:

  • Recruiting calls 5 nights per week
  • Expense reports

August Achievement month 1992 was kind of a game changer for me as it jump started my career and personal life.  My girlfriend and future wife stayed with me, I trained hard and made the Boston Blazers which had a huge impact on me as an athlete and a coach.  I started Run & Shoot Lacrosse LLC, which started with an Attack/Defense clinic and grew to one of the biggest lacrosse camp operations in the country with in four years and funded our young family.  

The biggest thing was quitting drinking.  I was partying like every other 25 year old, which was too much, but not causing problems, yet anyway.  I decided to quit for the month really just to see if I could and get in shape.  At the end of the month, when I was getting fired up to have a beer, my mom who had suffered from bouts with alcoholism and depression attempted to commit suicide and it hit me hard on a lot of levels.  Sara and I were up in Providence with her and I just didn't want that to happen to me.  My mom had lost her way, her marriage, her self esteem, and her desire to live.

I was also keenly aware that coaches who party a lot don't move up the ranks and at that time I would probably fall into that category.  So I quit drinking for the next 17 years.  It wasn't actually until I stepped down at Denver and was at a meeting - I felt like Forrest Gump at the end of running for three straight years when I said, "I think I'll have a beer."

I have continued August Achievement Month at some level every August since 1992 with varying degrees of intensity depending on where I am in my life.  3d Lacrosse and JM3 Sports were a product of a strong August performance in '09 and '17!  I went Ketogenic in 2017 as well!   

The USA Lacrosse Progression

One of the most significant endeavors in my coaching journey began in 1993 when I embarked on a game changing instructional lacrosse video project with two friends from Brown, EJ Heiser and Joe Madden (John Madden's son)  called The USA Lacrosse Progression.    This became a three year process of literally trying to breakdown everything I knew about the game of lacrosse into a video.  It was where I got my PHD in lacrosse!

I studied everything you can imagine.  I read all the US Soccer Coaches' Licensing Manuals.  I watched endless basketball instructional videos, read every coaching book imaginable, met with a Yale Physics professor who had written a book called The Physics of Baseball.  I became obsessed with legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight and actually wrote him a letter requesting an opportunity to go to Bloomington to watch practice.  In 1994 I spent three days studying Indiana Basketball!  You name it and I was studying it.  And every time I learned something new it opened up a vault of incredible information.

I was lucky in that a Strength and Conditioning coach named Todd Rice became the Head Strength Coach at Yale.  He was so far ahead of his time it was amazing!  Our Yale team would be doing a dynamic warm up before games and other coaches would say, "Jamie, what the hell are you guys doing?"  Isn't that hilarious?  Nobody had ever seen a dynamic warm up!

I studied everything Todd was teaching.  There were many times when I would watch him train other sports teams just to learn the techniques and fundamentals of teaching movement and speed.  I realized that Athletic Skills are the platform on which everything else is built.

With an insane amount of knowledge pouring into my young mind, I constantly had to revise the USA Lacrosse Progression curriculum and add the new things I learned!  Below is the video series called the USA Lacrosse Progression.  It was WAY before it's time!  If you took the time to watch this you would be amazed at how little has changed!

 

The University of Denver

I was hired in the summer of 1998.   Denver was taking all of their programs DI and it was an exciting opportunity, even if no one had heard of the University of Denver!   I wasn't their top pick, but Scotty Marr, who is now the Head Coach at Albany turned it down and the job was mine!

Similar to becoming a parent for the first time, becoming a head coach for the first time is something you can't really prepare for, no matter how many books you read, or how much you try! 

When I arrived in Denver, the program was a mess in every way.  The program was on a 10 game losing streak to Colorado College, the team had a terrible reputation on campus, and the support from the school was minimal.  Scholarship wise, we were at 7 tuitions and 3.5 room and boards with a plan for two more tuitions (The max was 12.6).  I took the job for $31,000, my assistant Peter Hilgartner was paid 5K and our travel budget was not even enough to take one trip.  My office was in an old dining hall, I called it a "Ghost Dining Hall" under a dorm across campus where all the "Tier B" sports were housed.  I say office, but it was actually a cubicle I shared with Hilgy.  We had no locker room, there was no turf, there was dog crap on the grass, but I couldn't have been happier!  My goal was to build a national power!

In 1999 we went 0-7 before we got our first win versus Radford.  That season we ended up 4-8 with wins over Colorado College, Gannon and Air Force, which made the alums very happy!  Denver had only beaten USAFA a few times in its history.

The 2000 season was exciting!  First, they built us a turf field. That was a game changer! Then in the season opener knocked off Villanova , beat Penn State in a a night game at Cherry Creek HS (we didn't have lights) and knocked off top 20 Brown, and achieved our first top 20 ranking in March.  We were making noise in Division I and it was an incredible experience!

2003 was my first full recruiting class and we won a share of our first Great Western Lacrosse League Championship.  The GWLL back then was a tough league: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Denver, Butler, Air Force, and Fairfield.

One of the great joys was to have Colin on the sideline with me at DU games.

2004 saw us beat defending National Champions and #1 ranked Virginia and our program was building.  2005 was a year we were so close!  For the first time we knocked off Notre Dame in South Bend and just had to beat Fairfield in the season finale to go to our first NCAA Tourney!  We lost by a goal.  At the time it was so painful, but looking back, that team was actually loaded with guys like Matt and Mike Bocklet, Greg Downing...these guys are 10 year pros!

A Commitment to Pressure

2005 my assistant Jon Torpey and I decided to become a pressure team.   We had speed and athleticism, we could win face offs, and our offense was solid.  Coming off an 18-12 loss at North Carolina where we had an elaborate game plan that honestly made our guys think too much and play slow, we said "Never again."  If we're going down, we're going down swinging.

The move to pressure helped us take a very difficult step of pretty good to good.  We started winning more of the 50/50 games and created our identity.  During this four year run of pressure we won our league championship three times and twice garnered berths to the NCAA Tourney.

In 2006 we had our breakthrough.  Lead by incredible senior leadership of Billy McKinney, founder of HHH Lacrosse, Geoff Snider, future Canadian Hall of Famer, and Bart Sullivan who went on to coach college lacrosse for 5 years, we were outright champs in the GWLL!  We beat ND at home in a year they were a top 10 team as well as Ohio State in Columbus who were becoming a perennial top 20 team.  We finished the year ranked 12th in the nation and won a bid to the NCAA's for the first time  where we played a first round game at Maryland.  Even though we were one and done, we had made a great step!

My family with me after our first NCAA Tourney game at Byrd Stadium at Maryland.

2007 was a bit of a rebuild, but we kicked off the season with a huge win at Penn State who was a top 20 team and  finished with another big win at top 20 Penn in the last game of the season which put is into "Receiving Votes" for the final Top 20 Poll.  

2008 we went back to the NCAA Tourney as an at large birth.  The GWLL had three teams in the tourney that year; Denver, Notre Dame and Ohio State.  Again we played at Maryland and made a first round exit.  And again we finished the season ranked 12th in the nation.

2009 was one of the toughest years of my life.  I had built a great program, was the model coach in our athletic department,  had recruited several top 10 recruiting classes rated by Inside Lacrosse, I had raised 10 million dollars and built Peter Barton Stadium and built a program from nothing into national prominence.  

At that time, my staff was awesome; Jon Torpey, Head coach High Point University, Matt Brown, Associate Head Coach Denver, and Bart Sullivan, former Head Coach at Bellarmine University.   We were on the cutting edge of the game and on the brink of great things in Denver!  Below is Brownie, Torp and me with a couple kids!

Matt Brown,  Jon Torpey, and me with a few kids after a game in '09

Our culture however was not so awesome.  This is a long story.  In 'O6 we had finally overcome the dreadful "Club Lacrosse" culture I had inherited in '99.   Even now, look at the schools that started from scratch like High Point, Marquette, BU and Richmond, and look at a school like Michigan that started their program with the original players who signed up to play club lacrosse.  Building culture is tough no matter what!  

Looking back, this culture was deteriorating in '08, even though ostensibly it looked like a good year with a top 12 finish and a At-Large berth to the NCAA's.  I don't have a ton of regrets, but there is one: we had a freshman in '08 who was a 22 year old wildly talented Canadian, but a disaster of a teammate.  He was actually a pleasant enough guy to be around, but he wasn't willing to work hard... in just about anything.  But he was so good and he was a freshman who was ended up being an All-American that year.  It was one of those deals where we were winning, he was scoring, and we just hoped he would come around.

In '09 we as a staff couldn't take it anymore, Mark Matthews was a freshman, and we told the returning All-American if he played hard in practice, he'd play a lot in games.  He mostly didn't play hard and we just couldn't do it.  There were a few other Canadians, who weren't getting much playing time and they were all 22, 23, and 24 year old guys because back then, you recruited the best Jr A players and they were mostly 20 and 21 when you first started talking to them.

In '09, we had started strong with a win at Albany, and some legit talent, but we had some really bad attitudes.  By the end of March, we had problems.  Long story short, we had one of our 23 year old Canadians get arrested, the Canadians lead the younger guys to the bars after a road win, which resulted in suspending 20 guys for the next league game and we had our first losing season since '02. 

It was my job to clean it up, which I was prepared to do, but there was external pressure on the athletic department from trustees and somehow I had lost the faith of the A.D. and Chancellor.  I had turned down the Brown job several times and was as committed to DU as I could have been, but just like that I was in a weak position.

 I had a year left on my contract, but I wanted nothing to do with a lame duck year so I resigned.  I'll never forget sitting my kids down on the stairs and breaking the news.  Colin was in 5th grade and grew up with the program.  Emily was in 4th grade and Lucy was just a 1st grader and probably doesn't even remember.

What I had learned in my 11 years at Denver was how to build a program from scratch, recruit at a championship level, fundraise, and develop players.  I remember thinking to myself, "Man, if this were a business, I could have sold it and left with more than just a great experience!  I won't make that mistake again.

Of course the Legendary Bill Tierney came in, kept Matt Brown on staff and went on an epic run!  It was a tough pill to swallow for a while.  I recruited the guys he was going to the Final Four with, and I cleaned up the riff raff just before his arrival, which was akin to diving on a grenade.  All-Americans Mark Matthews, Alex Demopolous, Jeremy Noble, Cam Flint, Jamie Faus, Chase Carraro to name a few, were my recruits!  See the pic of three DU All-Americans I recruited.

Canadians Jeremy Noble, Cam Flint, and Mark Matthews all made All-American at DU.

Recruiting

I always loved recruiting, I had a tireless approach, and I was good at it.  I was good at creating excitement about our program, I was good articulating how a player would fit and why Denver would be a good fit, and I was good at evaluating talent.  Evaluation is an inexact science and I certainly wasn't always right, but I had a knack for projecting.

My last three recruiting classes were ranked by Inside Lacrosse's Top 10 classes, but the proof was in the pudding.  The cupboards were full at Denver as they made the playoffs, including three final fours with the players I recruited.

3d Lacrosse was built on player development and recruiting support and college coaches know that I'm not going to recommend a player who isn't in the ball park.  Same goes for current day with JM3.  Coaches know if I'm strongly recommending a kid they should take a good look. 

The Influence of Box Lacrosse

In 1988, my junior year at Brown, the Gait Brothers changed the lacrosse landscape forever.  Twins from Victoria BC with a never before seen combination of skill and athleticism dominated DI lacrosse and the imagination. The level of creativity that Gary and Paul brought to the college game in the late 80’s has truly never been surpassed.  When we played ‘Cuse my junior and senior years it was not fair!

In 1993 I played for the Boston Blazers of the MILL now the NLL.  At the time I was the assistant at Yale. In my second box game ever we played Buffalo in the old Boston Garden. This dude I had never heard of scored goal after goal.  He had five or six that night and scored them in the most incredible ways!  One play he somehow rolled the ball between the goalie’s legs, but kept cradling his stick as he lifted his hands looking like he still had the ball.   “Who the hell is this guy?  How have I never heard of him?”  It was John Tavares.

Our goalie that season was Marty O’Neil, future HOF’er who grew up in Victoria, BC.  He was ridiculously hard to score on.  One day he asked me if I played offense in college.  “Yes!” I replied exasperated.  “I was an All-American attackman.”  At the age of 26, Marty taught me how to shoot with deception.  “My biggest regret is not playing box in the summers growing up” I thought to myself.

Here's a pic of me and Marty from the US Lacrosse Convention 2019 where he surprised me with my Blazers Jersey!

Marty O'Neil, my goalie from the '93 Boston Blazers had a surprise for me at the 2019 US Lacrosse Convention!

In the summer of 2000 as the head coach at the University of Denver, I made my first trip to watch Canadian Jr A lacrosse as Orangeville played at St Catherines in the Ontario semi-final.  I was astounded by the level of play; the skill, the intensity, the physicality was unreal. What I couldn’t know at the time was there were more than 15 future pros and a several future HOF’ers in this game: Patrick Merrill, Bill Dee Smith, Mark Steinhuis, Matt Vinc, to name a few!  Playing top center of the Orangeville power play was a 6’4’’ lefty named Brodie Merrill.  When I found out he was a defenseman committed to Georgetown I thought, “He could score 50 goals in DI lacrosse and he’s a Dman!?”

A few months later I received an email from a BC kid named Matt Brown.  “I led the league in hat-tricks,” the 17 year old wrote.  My first Canadian recruit joined the Denver Pioneers in the 2002 season, led the team in goals every season and paved the way for Canadian/First Nation box players such as Geoff Snider, Mark Matthews, Wesley Berg, Jeremy Noble, and Cam Flint, and Zack Miller, leading Denver to DI dominance and the 2015 National Championship…. And that kid from BC has become arguably the best offensive coach in college lacrosse melding the best practices of two games into one.

Ten Summers In Canada

My wife is from Buffalo and her parents retired to Niagara on the Lake, ON which is the next town over from St Catharines.  I had a brilliant idea: Our son Colin could live with grandma and grandpa and play box lacrosse in Canada!  Sara's parents were on board, next we had to find a team.  Colin showed up in June of 2010 just after 6th grade and didn't have a team to play on yet.  He tried out for several teams, the Pee wee #1 team, the Peewee #2 team, the House League team and the Bantam #2 team.

Thankfully, Colin landed on the PeeWee #1 team with Head Coach Sean Allen.  Colin played five seasons with St Catharines and this was a game changer for him and Seanny has become one of my best friends. 

Box lacrosse  is known for creating an environment that can't be matched in field lacrosse in terms of development, that Canadians have shot 20% better than Americans for the past 10+ years, and yet hardly any US kids make the commitment.

I remember sitting next to my wife at Provincials in Colin’s first season and saying, “Sara, did that Six Nations kid just punch Colin in the face?” She replied, "Yeah, I think so!"  The box lacrosse environment teaches more than just finishing and two-man play.  Maybe most importantly it teaches compete level, toughness, and standing up for your teammates.

Colin's St Kitt's team currently has five kids who are pro players in the NLL and at least five more who will be pros when their college careers are over.  Just think of your your kid's youth team, then think about 5-10 going pro!  That's what minor lacrosse in Canada is like!

Me, Colin, Walker Allen and Seanny Allen after winning Bronze at the Final Six Bantam Provincial Championships.  Colin also made 1st Team All-Ontario that year!

Go West Young Man

In Ontario once you finish playing Midget, which is a 15 & 16 year old league, it's on to Juniors, a 21 and under level of play.   The St Catharines Jr A program had Colin's rights, but Seanny Allen, who had moved up to GM and Head Coach of the Jr Athletics wasn't sure if he had a spot for Colin on the Jr A team.  I was fine with this as I wasn't that excited about my 17 year old son hanging around with 21 year olds anyway!  That said, the Jr B program was not an option.  Jr A was something to consider, but the Jr B team was a mess and I didn't want Colin in that program.

In British Columbia there was a 17 and 18 year old Intermediate League which was a step between Midget and Jr's.  I told Seanny If he wanted Colin, he could have him but otherwise he would play Intermediates as the Coquitlam Adanacs had offered him a spot.  Intermediate was exactly what we were hoping for; great coaching from Pete Tellis, great players and great competition. One of the highlights of the summer for Colin was his first "Tilt" as you can see in the video below. (He's in the purple and gold jersey)

 

Colin's first tilt!

2016 Coquitlam Adanacs

The Adanacs have been the class of the British Columbia Lacrosse Association since they won the 2009 Minto Cup, which is the Canadian Jr A Box Lacrosse National Championship.  With a great organization, minor program, coaching and funding, the Adanacs (In case you were wondering, Adanac is Canada backwards) were planning on pushing for a 7th straight return to the Minto.  

The Minto Cup format is a grueling sporting event.  BC as the host Province entered it top two teams, along with Orangeville and Calgary, the winners of the Ontario and Alberta championships respectively.  A round robin is conducted to determine a 1st place bye, a 4th place exit, and a semi final where #2 plays #3 in a one game play in to the Minto Cup Final Series in a best of five.

Coquitlam, which was the 2nd seed in the West, won the Minto Cup Championship in overtime Game 5!  Colin became the first American born player ever to win a Minto Cup.

A big goal in the 2016 Minto Cup vs Orangeville

Pure Joy from the Adanacs after winning the 2016 Minto Cup!  First American ever to win a Minto!

2018 Minto Cup

In 2018 the Adancas found themselves back in the Minto with the best team they had had in years.  The 2017 team that was swept in the Minto Cup Final by Austin Staats and the Six Nations Arrows was too young to compete.  The 2018 team still had "The Phenom" goalie Christian Delbianco, an amazingly unselfish and talented offense, and the most athletic and well coached defense in the nation.

The Brampton Excelsiors were lead by the best player in Jr A, Jeff Teat.  Teat and Brampton ripped through the round robin with Teat scoring 14 goals and 14 assists in three games!  Are you kidding me?  It was insane!  Everyone thought Brampton would walk away with the title, but Coquitlam was better than people thought!  

The Adanacs prevailed with another Minto Cup Championship in four games!  There was actually insane drama around this event with Jeff Teat and his dad, the head coach, suspended for three games, the suspensions being overturned, and the officials walking out on the event!

If you want to hear a detailed account of just how crazy and F'd up Canadian Box Lacrosse is, listen to this!

 

A podcast on the craziness of the 2018 Minto Cup where the Teat's were ejected, reinstated, and subsequent referee walk out.

Watch all the Adanac goals from the 2018 Minto Cup!

 

 Playoff beard in full swing!  This was such a good time!  Not many can say they won two Minto Cups!

 

3d Lacrosse

 

I resigned at Denver in early May 2009.  I was 42 and at an income level where I wasn't going to take just any assistant coaching job and start at the bottom.  I also didn't want to move my family.  I never thought it would come to this, but college coaching wasn't going to be in my plans.  I spent that month talking to everyone I knew to see what was out there outside of lacrosse.  It wasn't a great time to be looking!  Denver had offered me a job in Advancement, but there was no way I was doing that.  In the back of my mind I knew I could start a lacrosse business and by the end of May that's what I did.

Over the years lots of people ask how the name 3d came about?  Well, 3 is my favorite number and I really wanted a nice looking 3 in the company name so I played around with it for a while until I came up with 3d Lacrosse.  It had a ring to it, it was clean and I liked it.

My business plan was simple: first, build three big events and make monthly income through a product I also invented "Workshops" where I would consult with programs and work with the teams and the coaches.  Second, I tried where I could to attack opportunities that DI coaches were prohibited from doing by NCAA Rules. 

Denver Shootout

As the Head Coach at DU I had started many for-profit camps one of which was called the "Denver Team Camp."  I had moved this event off campus to the newly built Dick's Sporting Good's Park in Denver and operated it under the Run & Shoot Lacrosse LLC banner.  This camp spun off around 75k of profit and would be the platform on which I would build 3d.  I had wisely and promptly negotiated and signed a contract to rent the entire Dick's facility of 24 fields for that key 3rd weekend in June .

 

3d Spring Break

My first initiative after locking down the Denver Shootout was to start a spring break program.  I knew that teams from all over the nation and every NE prep school took a trip to Florida for preseason lacrosse.  I had recruited in the NE prep schools for years and had confidence I could create a better program than what existed at the time.  I leveraged the concept of lacrosse expertise and consulting.  If you come to my spring break I will help your program improve, I will work with you in any capacity: a man up play a drill, you name it.

My wife had worked in event planning the sports marketing industry in the 90's and was able to organize this massive undertaking while focused on sales and the on-field lacrosse.  We were a great team and together we built the business.

Fast forward a few months, 3d Spring Break had 31 teams, $750,000 of revenue and while it was incredibly heavy lifting it jumpstarted 3d into a legit company.

ESPNU Lacrosse 

My good friend John Vassallo, executive producer at ESPNU is the same guy who hooked me up in 1993 when I needed access to NESN footage for my USA Lacrosse Progression Project.  I was looking to get on TV to help grow my 3d brand and college lacrosse in 2010 was kicking into high gear as far as games on TV!  My first game ever was Duke at Georgetown, right after the first ever 3d Spring Break.  I went on to call 25 games over the next four years.  It was an incredible experience and if it weren't for coaching HS, I would have kept it going, but my passion is coaching and I just couldn't miss those days.  

With legendary Coach Emmer, I called the epic Army win over Syracuse in the 2010 NCAA's

3d Select

When I was at Denver I was the first Division I Lacrosse coach to start a club team.  By NCAA Rule, coaches are allowed to own a local sports club as long as all participants lived with in a 50 mile radius from campus.  I saw this as an awesome opportunity to coach and really get to know prospects.  This was before the major proliferation of club teams and events in the summer 2005.  

I called the program the Mile High All-Stars and we went to a couple events per summer and had two teams.  Everyone wanted to be on the Mile High Club Team!  It was the best team in Colorado with by far the best coaching!

Fast forward to the summer of 2010 and I realized two things: First, if I wanted to coach good players, I had to form a club.  Second, I wanted an option for my then 7th grade son.  So we formed 3d Select.  We had teams in Colorado and in New England.  My successful spring break had given me access to NE Prep School kids all of whom needed better coaching and recruiting support.

3d Select was built on a Box/Field Hybrid Methodology, consistently great coaching, recruiting advocacy and advice, as well as excellent customer service.  This model allowed us to immediately compete with any club in the nation.  If we had a good director, we could simply do a better job than our competition. 

Over the next few years we expanded quickly.  People came to us constantly!  Most of our acquisitions  literally were handed to us.  Yes we bought a few businesses, but it was easy pickin'.  Soon we had full time operations in to NorCal, LA, San Diego, Fairfield County, Dallas, Houston, Oregon, Hartford, Atlanta, Michigan, Virginia with head quarters in Denver.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention one guy who was like a rocket booster for the company: Dave Jenkins.  Jenks is one of the all time great guys who built 3d New England into a national powerhouse program and the strongest part of the business.  Jenks is a biz dev machine and literally one of the best guys you could ever be around.  His commitment to his customers set a tone for the company that we built around.

3d Colorado 2016

My pet project was coaching this group of boys!  They were all my son's age and as 3d was cranking up, this team was like my science project!  We played a ton box lacrosse, and I put endless extra time into coaching these kids!  I would say this was one of the more skilled youth teams of that era and was the flagship team in the 3d Select Days!  The video below was from this team's summer after freshman year running the Syracuse Motion Offense.  

 

Here's a list of where those players ended up:

  • Charlie Leonard, Notre Dame
  • Henry Adams, Michigan
  • Cole Boland, Loyola
  • Colin Munro, Georgetown
  • Keaton Komatz, Notre Dame
  • Coby Peteau, Colorado College
  • Anthony DeMaio, Maryland
  • Alec Barnes, Denver
  • Mikey Prior, Denver
  • Paxton Boyer, Air Force
  • Josh Melton, Salisbury
  • Matt Russell, Army

 

3d Blue Chip

Looking back, this endeavor was the most audacious and successful businesses we ever launched.  In the summer of 2001, Jake Reed started the Blue Chip Lacrosse Camp which was the first time a non college coach ran a recruiting camp which meant he didn't have to follow NCAA Rules.  This was significant because Jake could make his camp "Invite Only."  Instantly, Jake's camp was the best recruiting camp in the nation.

Jake Reed was the goalie on the '77 Maryland National Championship team, had coached college lacrosse as an assistant at Army and Head Coach at RPI, and became the long time Head Coach at McDonogh school where he won several MIAA Championships.

In December of 2010, I paid Jake a visit as I usually did when I went to Baltimore, and literally while I was sitting there, a thought popped into my head. 

I said, "Jake, you have the best exposure camp in the world.  You service 120 of the best rising seniors and rising juniors and the quality is as good as it gets, but I'm telling you there are a lot more good players!  You could double the size of your camps and maintain quality."

Jake and I continued to chat and came up with a joint venture called 3d Blue Chip.  Jake would still run his camp with 120 direct invites and 3d would run try out camps in January which would yield 120 more spots to double Jake's camp size.  The early recruiting phenomenon was accelerating and we were ahead of the curve.  We had a Tryout for a rising 9th grade, rising 10th grade to go along with Jake's rising 11th and 12th.

Similar to Showtime now, everyone wanted to go to Jake's camp.  I mean everyone!  Those who received their "Golden Ticket" invites to Jake's camp found out in late August and then everyone else could try out.

This was an incredible opportunity for 3d as a company because we were able to create incredible networks of clubs, coaches and families as well as show our prowess at on field coaching and organization.  Further, at its height we had 2000 campers over five weekends in January!

One of the huge benefits of this endeavor was the hiring of Matt Rowley.  Matt joined us in January 2011 and has proven to be a great friend, a workhorse in business, as smart and insightful as anyone i know, an amazing coach and incredibly passionate about lacrosse!  To this day I talk to Rowley multiple times per week.

Rapid Growth

The strength of our brand was a combination  of our on field model of teaching, coaching and consistency, combined with our off field organization.  We wet the bar for the entire sport, which had been littered with a lack of professionalism.  We were poised to do what had never been done: grow a youth sports company into a national enterprise.  Below is an article from the Denver Post.

3D Lacrosse lands $5.23M in capital, says players are success metric

 
3D Lacrosse COO Greg Waldbaum, left, and CEO Jamie Munro.
 

All Good Things Come To an End

In the fall of 2016 I wasn't seeing eye to eye with my partner and eventually we agreed on an offer to buy me out.  I hadn't been thinking about moving on because I had strong ties and loyalty to my investors, but there was no way things were going to work out between my partner and me.  Looking back on it though, I think I was bored.  The business was turning into the movie Groundhog day.  I'm a builder not an operator and Entrepreneurship / Lacrosse are my passions, not professionalizing a company that had swelled to 75+ employees.  By February 2017 I had sold my shares and was set free with a non-compete that kept me out of the business I was in before: camps, clinics, tourneys, and travel teams. 

JM3 Sports

I knew when I was negotiating my non-compete that taking my knowledge and passion to a digital platform was the direction I was going to go.  I just didn't have any idea what that would look like.  The only thing I knew I would do was create a coaches education subscription model.

I started with three ideas:

  1. Video Analysis
  2. Online Coaches Training
  3. Working with individual athletes

Video Assessment Product

The video analysis began with my assessments of my friends' kids from high school and club game film.  With three full games of the athlete,  I learned how to edit and do a voice over with annotations too!  This whole process was painstaking, but the feedback was off the charts!  Everyone response was the same, "This is the best education my kid has ever had."  I knew I was on to something.  

Within a few months the JM3 Video Assessment product was in full swing.  One of the ideas I had was to create advanced stats for each player.  This was my way of giving a quantitive look to the athlete to go along with the qualitative breakdown of their film.  These advanced stats also created quality control with my editors.

Bryan Kelly is the Head Coach of powerhouse program, Calvert Hall.  BK is a great friend, coach and mentor to many and we shared in our love for the late, great, Dave Huntley.  Below is a testimonial from BK about the video assessment I did for his boys.

 

Video Assessments Of Some Great Players!

Below are a few assessments you might find interesting.  First is of UVA All-American Attackman, Michael Kraus.  Michael is a powerful athlete who helped UVA win the championship in 2019.  Like many players, Michael had a lot of opportunity to get better!

Calvert Hall's Jacob Kelly was one of the best attackmen in the class of 2018, won the Kelly Award for the best lacrosse player in Maryland, and went off to play at North Carolina.  Watch this assessment if you want to see what one of the top recruits in the country does well and what he has to work on.

 

Vanessa Ewing from Penn Charter School is headed off to UPenn.  Vanessa is super athletic and a little raw.  If you're interested in seeing what her eval was like click below!

 

JM3 Athlete Program

In the fall of 2017 I got started with my JM3 Athlete Program with five athletes, three girls and two boys.  I intentionally kept my number of athletes small for several reasons.  First, this was a new frontier and I  wanted to see how well remote coaching worked and what the best time allocation, technology, content delivery strategies would be.  The one thing I found out quickly was if the athletes did the work, played the pick up games and filmed them, their improvements were massive!

The success I've had with this program are incredible with kids making all star teams, All-American, and getting recruited.  Below is a list of the schools I've had kids commit to:

  • Harvard
  • North Carolina
  • Cornell
  • Ohio State
  • Northwestern
  • Mercer
  • Brown

 Most of the kids I work with are just getting going on their recruiting journeys!  I also work with several kids who are committed or in college already.

The way I like to describe what I do is put athletes and families on a New Trajectory of development.   This program does provide recruiting advice and advocacy when the time comes and it's going to be more competitive than ever!  However, if you're not good enough, there's nothing to talk about.  Being good enough is by far the #1 priority.  My job is to help kids become good enough.

The results I've had with my JM3 Athletes has been phenomenal on many different levels: recruiting, honors earned, huge improvements, access to better club teams, and a true understanding of the game and their game!

JM3 Athlete Recruiting 

It will be more competitive than ever to be recruited to play high level college lacrosse.  Things get more competitive every year anyway, but now with the COVID crisis, we have a log jam for the next four years with every college lacrosse player receiving an extra year of eligibility.  With out question, this will have a trickle down effect on the current 2021's-2024's.  College coaches will plan for the potential of 5th year players by saving money and spots.  We will see more re-classing as pretty much all 2021's will become 22's!

With the fact that summer is going to be a least partially if not fully lost, college coaches will be in a position where they simply won't know the class of 2022 as well as they want to and advocates will become more important than ever.  If you listen to my podcasts, you will discover how well I know the majority of coaches in college lacrosse.  Having an insider in your corner is no guarantee, but it's helpful.

Will Your Kid Be Good Enough?

With the lost season and now the potential of a lost summer, how will your son/daughter keep improving?  By doing more wall ball?  By dodging cones and doing speed ladder work?  By shooting on empty nets.  I have create a backyard curriculum to go along with my Sandlot Model approach that has given my JM3 Athletes a huge leg up on the competition!  My athletes have made tangible gains in their dodging, shooting, and 2man games.  

Film Analysis

If you want a taste of the type of detail my JM3 Athletes receive,  watch this video assessment I did for UVA All-American Michael Kraus. 

Imagine getting this type of feedback every week!  

I used to offer Video Assessments as a product for the general public, but now I only do this for my JM3 Athletes.

 JM3 Athlete Zoom Calls 

I do weekly zoom calls with my athletes where we watch film together:

  • Film of what they're working on
  • Film of their games
  • Film of The Backyard Curriculum
  • Film of skills, drills and concepts I want them to learn

The bottom line is there are a lot of motivated kids out there that need help optimizing and learning.  The kids that do this will have a huge advantage over those that a simply pounding out #Reps.

If you are interested in learning more, email me at [email protected].  This program isn't cheap, but it is a game changer.  References are available.

This program is currently sold out, but you can learn more and get on a waitlist.  I will likely have an open enrollment opportunity in July. 

JM3 Coaches Training Program

One of my early initiatives was to build an online library of lacrosse coaching content.  I began with the "4 Coaching Secrets" webinar below and got started on creating massive amounts of content!

 

I performed three webinars per week for a month, then continued with two per week and eventually I had enough content where I could stay ahead of my clients.

In January 2019 I kicked off a few interesting initiatives.  First was a the first ever Virtual Lacrosse Summit, which consisted of 24 webinars in four days.  I have continued with the VLS each quarter ever since and have created hundreds of hours of incredible instructional content in men's and women's lacrosse, box lacrosse, strength and conditioning, sports psychology, lacrosse analytics and more!

I have now built the deepest, richest content library in the sport, which has been fun!  I love creating content and I have hundreds of colleges, high schools and youth programs who have subscribed in men's and women's lacrosse.

A Lacrosse Weekend

I started my blog in march of 2018.  I have always liked writing and I new that in this digital marketing world, writing a blog can be a great way to create traffic, build a mailing list and create trust in future customers.  The blog has remained consistent with it's themes of instruction, coaches education, college lacrosse recruiting, and interesting stories and insights into the game.  While this blog can be a bit of an anchor on Saturday mornings if I don't feel like writing it, it has also created much joy in my life as well as some rich content!

Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast

In May of 2018 I started my podcast, which I have to say has been one of the most fun endeavors I've ever embarked on!  The funny thing is these conversations are exactly like the ones i've been having for years with lacrosse coaches and players all over the world.  Only now, I record the conversations so everyone can listen in!

In just over two years, I've had over 300k listens and am at a 28k per month level!  The intent of this podcast was to educate coaches and parents on the great game of lacrosse and I think it's working!

 

Inside The 8 Podcast

Just a few months ago I started a women's lacrosse podcast with Colleen Magarity, Head Coach Penn Charter, former Northwestern All-American, 3x National Champion, former assistant at Colorado and WPLL pro.  Colleen is the best and we have an awesome time interviewing and talking lacrosse with many of the top women's lacrosse coaches and players in the world!

JM3 Sports In The Future

I love writing my blog (most of the time), I LOVE doing podcasts, creating presentations for webinars  on new interesting topics gets me out of bed in the morning!

My favorite thing to do, though, is coach the kids!  Watching the light bulb go on, seeing kids improve and being a part of their journey chasing their dreams is fun!

The next chapter has yet to be written, but if you're reading this, your son or daughter is a part of it and I'm grateful! 

Thank you!

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