The Success of Dave Mitchell and the Next Level Spartans
In January, one lucky winner received a free one-day clinic hosted by MLL Star and LeagueApps Director of Lacrosse Ned Crotty. Next Level Spartans, located in Bethesda, Maryland won the raffle shortly after LaxCon.
Ned and the LeagueApps Lax team were honored to work with Next Level and deliver a memorable experience to youth lacrosse players in the Washington, D.C. area.
Below are Ned’s observations from his time hosting the one-day clinic with the Next Level Spartans.
For success at the club level, you need two very important things- a coach who has the vision and ability to develop young players and players who have the desire and ability to improve each and every day. During our visit with the Next Level Spartans, we were able to get an up-close look at both and see first hand why this program has been so successful and why the future is so bright.
The first part of our day was spent meeting with Dave Mitchell and learning more about what his focus has been since taking over the program back in July 2016. Dave’s first love is the game of lacrosse and growing it the right way. In a day where not everyone can say that, he immediately separates himself, which can be seen in the number of players gravitating to his program and coaching style.
He focuses on the fundamentals of the game and teaching his players how to play the right way with freedom to make decisions within a structured offense. This, combined with Dave’s vision for the future are what make the Spartans one of the top programs in DMV (the DC, Maryland, Virginia metro area).
I was then able to get on the field and actually work with his players. First his 5th and 6th-grade players for an hour and then his 7th and 8th-grade players for an hour. I was careful not to jam too much into each session, as I wanted to make sure the players not only learned a lot but also had enough time to get reps for each skill I was teaching.
In both sessions, I was not only impressed with how well the players listened, but then how quickly they were able to apply what I was teaching. Both sessions were a huge success and you could tell the players walked away with a better understanding that it’s the little things that really make a big difference in our game.
It was a great experience being able to work with the Next Level Spartans and see first hand that they clearly have, arguably, the two most important things for success at the club level.