The IMG Academy lacrosse program will debut its holiday camp December 27-29, 2011 at its campus in Bradenton, Florida. The camp will feature guest coaches from a number of elite college and professional programs including Florida Southern (Marty Ward) and the Iroquois National Team (Mark Burnam).
“I’m incredibly impressed with the structure and content of IMG’s lacrosse program,” said visiting Coach Marty Ward. “There are very few programs that have the vision to prepare lacrosse players for the changes and opportunities emerging in the college game today. Recognizing the convergence between the indoor (box) and field versions of the sport, the IMG Academy lacrosse program is incredibly well-positioned to prepare players to compete collegiately.”
Marty Ward is the head men’s lacrosse coach at Florida Southern. A two-time, All-American goalkeeper at Limestone College, Ward helped the Division II power compile a 55-9 record, as well as reach the NCAA semifinals all four years of his career.
In 2006, Ward was the starting goalkeeper for the Iroquois Nationals program that finished fourth at the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship, and he was rated second in the nation in saves. In 2007, he was named Player of the Year in the Carolinas Virginia Athletic Conference. Ward was also selected to play for the Iroquois Nationals again in 2010 at the World Lacrosse Championship in London, England, but a passport dispute with the British government prevented the Iroquois team from leaving the U.S. and the team had to withdraw from the tournament. Following his playing career at Limestone, Ward stayed on at his alma mater as a student assistant coach for the 2008 season.
Coach Mark Burnam grew up outside Syracuse, New York and played at Henniger High School, where his team won the 1980 New York State Championship and he received team Most Valuable Player. Attending Syracuse University, he was a member of the 1983 DI National Championship team. Burnam played professional lacrosse for the Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Nighthawks, and Syracuse Smash of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and played in the Canadian Indoor Lacrosse League for the Tuscarora Thunderhawks and Akwasane Thunder. He is a five-time member and team captain of the Iroquois World Cup National Team and was appointed the defensive coach for the Iroquois Nation Team in 2010.
Said Burnam, “The player development program at the IMG Academy lacrosse program is on the cutting edge of training concepts, principles, and practices…its TOTAL ATHLETE philosophy complements the program in ways that ensure that players optimize their capacity to learn and play the game at the highest levels.”
Ward and Burnam will join IMG Academy Lacrosse program Director Bill Shatz and his team of coaches for the duration of the holiday camp. Shatz, who assumed his role as lacrosse director in November 2011, is one of the founders of the elite Tampa Bay Fire Lacrosse Club, and has served the organization as the President and head coach of the U-19 team, where he has assisted dozens of players in going on to outstanding academic and athletic collegiate experiences. He is also the co-founder of the American Indoor Lacrosse Association, where he served as the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of this international organization with the mission of extending the NLL-style indoor lacrosse game throughout the United States and globally.
Said Shatz of his coaches, “Without question, our coaching staff is the foundation upon which the skills, strategies and tactics of playing the game at a high competitive level are conceptualized and taught. Their ability to take IMG’s programmatic innovations, distill them into practical principles and concepts, and assist our lacrosse athletes achieve significant competitive results through a unique player-centric approach separates our program from all the others.”
This year’s camp, open to boys and girls ages 10-18, will focus not only on on-field training, but will also include elements of mental conditioning, video analysis, strength conditioning, nutrition and more. Players will leave with a comprehensive plan for future development.