Nationally renowned lacrosse coach Ted Garber joined campers Wednesday at the IMG Academy lacrosse program for a day of fun and instruction in Bradenton, Fla. He and Academy director Kevin Finneran have been friends for many years. When Finneran approached him and asked if he would spend some time with his campers, Garber jumped at the opportunity:
"The IMG Academy lacrosse program is a great idea because it's the right place for instruction and attention to fundamentals and techniques. The best players in Major League Lacrosse are those who focused on instructional camps."
Garber blames the travel team 'phenomenon' as one of the reasons why this exciting sport has seen limited growth over the last few decades. Instead of focusing on instructional camps, many parents are more apt to sign their kids up for trendy traveling teams.
"I tell parents and kids all the time - Don't place all your marbles on the result. You need to be process-oriented. You will fail if all you care about is collecting wins."
Garber knows a thing or two about success. His father, the legendary Dick Garber, ruled the sport in the Northeast. As a player himself, Garber played and lettered four years at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). He coached UNH for a number of years before becoming the head coach of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) like his father before him. Combined they led UMass lacrosse for four decades, winning more than 300 games. The school's lacrosse field is named Garber Field. Brett Garber, Ted's son, continued the family legacy at UMass. He now plays for the Chicago Machine.
In regards to the sport's newfound growth, Garber says,
Outside of the Northeast, there's the potential to play year-round. Lacrosse is a combination of fundamentals and techniques from all other sports - basketball, soccer, tennis, ice hockey, football. The only thing that can hurt its growth is if talented athletes only play lacrosse. The best lacrosse players I know are those who continue to play other sports. Multi-sport players pick up on all of the innuendos of the game.
Coach Finneran shares Garber's belief in mastering the 'little things.' Finneran couldn't have been happier to have Garber on board this week to emphasize that message:
Ted Garber has a tremendous ability to explain and simplify the game to reach players of all levels. He's the kind of guy who can touch all calibers of player and have an effect.
Everyone - every coach at every level - can learn from a Ted Garber."