Welcome to 5 Blue!
Westport PAL Girls Lacrosse
Welcome to Westport PAL Girls Lacrosse 2023 Season!
My name is Bryn Reilly, and I am the head coach of Westport 5 Blue! Just like your girls, I also played for Westport PAL beginning in the third grade and throughout high school. I then went on to play at Providence College as a defender! I have been coaching with PAL for the past eight years and look forward to a fantastic season with your girls!
We are fortunate to have multiple people helping out with the team this season. Our assistant coach is Megan Leblanc, who plays midfield for the Fairfield University Stags. We also have two parent coaches, Jeremy Metz and Heather Talbott helping out!
I wanted to take a moment to share our coaching staff’s philosophy, team goals and rules, and key tools to help you navigate our season. There is a lot of information below. Please take the time to read all the way through!
Please note this week's modified practice schedule
Monday, March 20, 2023
Staples High School - Ginny Parker
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Wakeman - Field B
6:00 - 7:15 pm
Please join me for a quick parent meeting during the last 15 minutes of practice this Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 pm to meet each other, discuss expectations, and answer any questions!
5 Blue Practice Schedule
Staples High School - Ginny Parker
Wakeman - Field B
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Arrival/Pick-up time: Please arrive at least 10 minutes early for all practices and at least 30 minutes early for all games. Girls should be READY TO START = dressed, goggles on, mouthguards in, and ready to warm up. As any championship player will tell you, arriving on time is arriving late.
Please be on time to pick up your daughter after practice or make alternate arrangements for pickup. Your daughter cannot be left alone with only one coach. The coaches are required to wait until all girls are picked up, so please be respectful of their time, too and be prompt for pick up.
Team Pages/Schedule: Please familiarize yourself with your team page.
On our website, click on TEAM in the top banner. Choose your team, i.e., PAL Lacrosse 2023 > Travel > Westport PAL 5 Blue.
In the left-hand menu, choose SCHEDULE. On this page, go to “Options” and select “Calendar Feed” to add your schedule to your personal electronic calendar.
Commitment, Attendance, and Communication: We expect all players to put lacrosse first during the spring season over other sports and activities. Players are expected to attend all team events, including practices, games, team meetings, team dinners, and program events (special Staples Varsity games) unless indicated as optional.
We are big supporters of playing multiple sports and strongly believe players should not choose one sport to play, especially at the youth ages.
All absences and partial misses must be communicated timely to your head coach. Head coach emails can be found on your Team page and in this email. Two days before every scheduled event, you will receive an RSVP notification from Westport PAL that you always need to respond to - it only takes a few seconds!
At the bottom of this email --------->
click YES or NO to indicate if you are coming. Please do this for every practice and game. Coaches will use this to plan practices, starting lineups, and game strategy, so your participation is greatly appreciated. Our goal is to teach the girls commitment and respect for their team and teammates.
In addition to the RSVP, please email your head coach and let her know your daughter will be missing with as much notice as possible. Excused absences include school, religion, family, and health. Unexcused and/or un-communicated absences or lateness will result in less playing time.
Playing Time: We offer equal playing time at the 5/6 level to all who follow our guidelines for being a good team member: Attendance, Attitude, and (effort toward) Aptitude. There are a few reasons a player might receive less playing time: missing practices or games, arriving late/leaving early, not communicating absences, not following coach's rules (being kind and respectful to teammates, coaches, refs, and opponents, working hard and staying focused, helping clean up, etc.).
Positions: We encourage players to play multiple positions, especially in Grades 3-6. From 6th grade forward, most players start to specialize as the coach sees fit. In 7th & 8th grade, players can expect to play where their coach deems them best suited or most needed for the team.
Goalies: Goalie is arguably the most important position on the field. Despite popular opinion, goalies should be one of the most athletic players on your team, and coaches of all sports encourage their best players to step in the goal. Unless there is a designated goalie for your team, all girls will be expected to play goalie for at least ½ of a game. If your daughter shows a talent OR an interest in the position, we encourage YOU to encourage HER in this position. We will offer Goalie Training sessions on several Fridays this Spring. Be on the lookout for an email shortly with more details!
Equipment: All girls must wear/bring to all practices and games:
Uniform jersey (games only)
Pinnie (practices AND games)
A molded mouthguard - cannot be clear or white
Clearly-labeled water bottle
Weather-appropriate clothing (gloves, hats, rain jacket, long warm pants, multiple layers, etc.)
NO JEWELRY is allowed on the lacrosse field. Taped earrings are not allowed per US Lacrosse rules.
They need to wear cleats for grass fields - soccer cleats are fine, or deeper turf shoes. On turf, they can wear sturdy sneakers, cleats, or turfs of any kind.
Weather Cancellations: Practice is ON unless you receive a system notification. Practice changes will also be posted to your team page. Practice is only canceled if there is lightning in the area or if temperatures are below freezing. We will try to send notifications by 2 pm each day, but the coaches may make the call at the field if the weather changes. Please check your email often if there is questionable weather in the area.
Please note: Westport Parks and Rec is responsible for the fields and may close the grass fields. We will move the practice if we have a turf field or indoor space available.
Coaching Staff: All PAL girls lacrosse coaches have taken hours of formal training, including Positive Coaching Alliance/US Lacrosse Coaches Training, NYSCA, CONNY Rules Test, CPR and First Aid, background check, and Concussion Training.
Most importantly, we love this game and sharing our knowledge and love with your daughters. We aim to build confidence, teach sportsmanship, teamwork, and respect for each other, opponents and refs, and help them find joy and life lessons on the lacrosse field as we each have. We will keep them safe and ensure that every one of them has a positive experience.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to address the coaches. You should encourage your daughter to speak to her coach first. If, however, you still would like to speak to the coach, it is best to email them to arrange a time that works for you to speak. They do not have time during practices and games to talk to parents - they need to be focused on the practice and/or game that is going on.
PAL GLAX Program Goals
Have Fun - We want the girls to have a great time playing lacrosse! Lacrosse is known as "the fastest game on two feet" for a reason. Every player has the opportunity to create plays and make major contributions to the team. Our job is to make sure the players learn to love the game, and they can only do that by enjoying both practice time and the games.
Be a Great Teammate / Good Sport - This is one of the core beliefs of the PAL program. Being a great teammate and showing good sportsmanship is required of all of us, parents included. We will teach the kids how to be great teammates, encourage each other, to compete with 100% effort, and win or lose as a team and with class. Poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated at any time.
Play Hard - We expect 100% from the girls every time they take the field. Working hard is not mutually exclusive from having fun. Coaches will never get on a player for making a bad throw, dropping a pass, or making a bad play. We will be less tolerant of walking on the field in games or practices and not giving a full effort.
Learn The Fundamentals - Every player, whether at the 5th grade, Staples High School, or collegiate level, must focus on fundamentals daily. As the season starts out, there will be a lot of errant passes, dropped balls, and scrums around ground balls. It can be frustrating for the players, but it is all part of the learning process. Please encourage your players to persevere as they learn the game. You cannot become a good lacrosse player without good stick skills.
Fundamentals Progression - We will focus weekly on the fundamentals of catching and throwing, picking up ground balls, cradling/stick protection, and the basics of playing offense and defense. As the season progresses, we will add more in terms of team offense and defense.
Important Note - It is critical to remember (please remind your child) that picking up ground balls and being able to make a pass is the most important part of the game. More often than not, the player does the little things that truly help her team win a game as opposed to the player that puts the ball in the back of the net. Being a hard worker and team player is far more important than scoring or winning.
Fields: Please Keep The Field Clean. We will ask all of the players to help clean up the field after each practice and game. Players will be asked to collect clothing, pick up balls/cones, and make sure all water bottles are removed from the field.
Parental encouragement: Please be a positive influence from the sideline. We ask you to cheer on your daughter and her teammates. Only use positive words of encouragement, please!
Please refrain from coaching from the sidelines, as it may be confusing for the girls or contract what their coach has told them.
Please note that parents are not allowed on the field or team's sideline during practices or games unless they keep score, timing, or are an official assistant.
If you have any questions, please contact me via email.
I look forward to an amazing season!
5 Blue Head Coach