A Very Special 'Thank You' to the Catch! Community
August 8, 2014
How Catch! met the Thompsons - From the World Games to the Palisades
January 20, 2015
To see pictures of the Catch! TBL camp last weekend click this here - Photo Gallery
And if you'd like to hear the story of how we started working on this camp 32 weeks ago, the same week we held of our very first summer Catch! Session, continue reading below:
It was the first week of June last year, just two weeks after Miles Thompson shared lacrosse's highest honor - the Tewaarton Award - with his younger brother Lyle, when Skyler, Coach Pete and I got wind that the Thompson Brothers would be speaking at a camp only a couple of hours drive from LA that very next day. We tracked down the coach running the event, which wasn't difficult - lacrosse is a small community - turns out the coach went to Salisbury Univ. with Skyler's sister and soon to be Catch! Girls Coach Natalie. Natalie gave us his contact and the next morning we were in Coach Pete's Prius on our way to coach alongside some of our favorite players.
At the end of an incredible weekend coaching and getting schooled through countless on field demos (see that video here) Skyler and I engaged the brothers about returning to California to do a camp with our brand new company Catch Lacrosse. The brothers were interested, in that kind of lukewarm way you might imagine 22 yr olds to be interested when they'd just been sky rocketed to superstardom in a sport they've been playing since birth. Everyone on planet lacrosse was asking them to make appearances but after our weekend coaching alongside them and listening to their now legendary talks of the game, we knew they synch right in tune with our visions of how the game is meant to be played - for fun or as they say on the Onadaga Iroquois reservation "to make the creator happy."
It was two months later, the World Games had begun in Denver and Skyler and I were glued to the projector in our home office watching the Iroquois play. All four Thompson Brothers were on the field at the same time while being coached by their father and Sky and I looked at each other and said "we have to make this happen." We decided the risk to take was for us to buy one plane ticket to Denver and try to link up with them somehow, we'd figure it out when we got there. We handled the decision of who got to go the way we always handle tough decisions. Rocks, Paper, Scissors. I won a heated best of 3 game so Sky booked the ticket in my name and I was off in the morning.
At 5am I was in an uber on the way to the airport and Coach Pete, who had already been at the games for a week, picked me up at the Denver airport by lunch time. We made it to the stadium in time to see the Iroquois beat Australia to win their first ever medal at the World Games. Seeing the Thompson's play live was unlike any experience watching the sport I had enjoyed before. Even though watching them on TV is the most exciting the game has ever been, seeing them in real time game speed is an absolute must if your given the opportunity.
It wasn't until later that night, at the very end of the 4th quarter of the Team USA/Canada final, that I found the man I had come to meet. Standing an enormous 6'7" was Bill O'Brien selling Thompson Brothers t-shirts by the hot dog stand in the big stadium. I approached him, not knowing he was the Thompson's business manager, to ask about a certain "siren cheer" I've heard him make dozens of times on TV. About 10 minutes into our conversation he gave me his card and we were both intent on making a Catch! / Thompson Brothers Camp happen in LA.
Though we had only opened the door for what the next 6 months would hold of detailed work and planning, I felt tremendously accomplished. I called Skyler as soon as I got out of the stadium and we were buzzing with ideas. The next morning, reminding ourselves of what we tell the players when they lose focus on the immediate task at hand, "Success is made up of tiny victories over long periods of time, and we must enjoy the each step" Pete and I took a long drive, once again in his Prius, up Estes Park in Boulder Colorado and played catch at 15,000 feet.