After our selection process, the hard work begins. There are several factors that contribute to the long-term success of our programs. Before we dive in to those factors let’s define success for LtN.
Successful LtN programs have a group of engaged students, coaches and families who have fallen in love with lacrosse. This love of lacrosse provides our students and coaches access to opportunities on the field, in the classroom and beyond. Successful LtN programs offer the US lacrosse community the opportunity to learn, teach and serve.
The Keys to Success
The Kids Come First.
When making decisions about our programming we first think about who it impacts the most -our student-athletes. A great example is our LtN Scholars initiative. It was developed because many of our players were not in school. In our conversations with them we realized the reason was because there were too many barriers in their lives. Barriers that we could reduce, and in some cases eliminate. That decision was a no-brainer.
Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.
No two programs are the same. Schedules change. Cultures are different. Unexpected things happen. Our ability to be flexible within our structure allows us to tailor our programs to the context of the community we’re working with. Conforming our programs to each school, community center and country is critical to our success..
Train Local Staff
Developing local coaches play a huge role in our long-term success. They ensure that our programs are culturally relevant and are able to build relationships within the community better than any foreign staff or volunteer. In April 2018, we were forced to get all our US volunteers out of Nicaragua and our local coaches never skipped a beat. Programs continued as close to normal as could be expected when civil unrest shook the country.
Develop Local Partners
Working with organizations in the community allows us to stick to what we’re good at - using lacrosse to teach life skills. Through our partnerships we get access to fields and a safe place for our tutoring sessions. Partnerships also allow us to provide opportunities beyond lacrosse. Whether it’s English classes, leadership training or creative arts classes. The more we can offer our student-athletes the more they’ll love LtN and the more we can do what we do.
Our short and long term volunteers train and develop local coaches. They help recruit student-athletes and introduce lacrosse culture at our sites. Once they are home they help grow our network of supporters. Without them we would not be able to successfully launch and maintain our programs.
Get better every day
If we can improve a little bit every day our programs will succeed. Every volunteer and staff member is asked to leave our programs a little better than when they arrive. Doing this ensures that collectively we have a positive impact in the lives of those who participate in our programs.
Our network of donors, fundraisers and ambassadors
Without funding we wouldn’t operate. It is YOU, our donors, fundraisers and ambassadors that ensure we continue to create positive change in the lives of our student-athletes and coaches.
Do you have any questions or comments about our work? Let us know here!