Upper Westchester Lacrosse Program, run by BLSA's own Rachel Milim, Director
Check out this article about how Lacrosse is thriving in upper Westchester communities, featuring Brant Lake Sports Academy Director, Rachel Milim, recently named president of the Byram Hills Youth Lacrosse Board.
March 8, 2018
Did you know that today is International Women's Day? Who are the mentors and leaders in your life? From teachers to coaches, celebrities to parents, there are many people who can influence your life in positive ways.
At BLSA, our coaches are role models both on and off of the field - a person looked to by others as an example. Their values, attitudes and behaviors are inspiring to our campers. We hope that each camper brings something they've learned from our coaches home with them to be used in their regular day life.
Celebrate International Women's Day - who is that special woman in your life?
2017 BLSA Slideshow
Please enjoy some of our highlights from summer 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a7P0m70Vvc&feature=youtu.be
Why I Play, Rachel Milim, Director
As I prepare to switch my mindset from school to camp, I began to do a little spring cleaning. I came across this piece I had written almost 15 years ago when I was a senior in college and I believe it applies to the core values we try to instill on our campers. At BLSA, our goal is to teach kids to have passion and love what they do, to have fun doing it and to be a team player. It is the reason why and how many of us are still motivated to play after all of these years:
WHY I PLAY
I cannot feel a single part of my body for I have been standing outside in negative five-degree weather for the past two hours. I have on thermals, wind pants, Under Armour, a sweatshirt, a hat and a pair of gloves. Oh, and let’s not forget my kilt and practice jersey. It has been snowing for a while now, but for the past ten minutes, it seems as if the snow is coming up from the turf rather than down from the sky; if that is at all conceivably possible. My coach has blown the whistle and the ball has miraculously fallen into my stick. As I begin to run down the field, I can feel the wind trying to stop me, biting my nose, forcing me to question my trek forward. Faking one way, then dodging the other, I gently place the ball into the top right corner of the net. As the whistle blows to indicate a goal has been scored, I run back to the center of the circle, slapping my teammates high-five with smiles all around. At the moment, I take a second to look at my surroundings and remember the reasons why I play.
It’s not about winning or losing, championship trophies, or who’s better than whom. It’s not about receiving a scholarship, earning post-season honors or making captain. It’s not about the athletic endorsements, the free clothing or being drafted. It’s about pride, teamwork, passion and determination. It’s about the blood, the sweat, the tears and the effort put forth during each game. It’s about that feeling of exhaustion and exhilaration knowing you have just given it your all.
I am an athlete because I portray these characteristics both on and off of the field. Before I am a woman, a friend or a student, I am an athlete and a teammate. My life would be completely unfulfilled had I not been involved in athletics for it has been my source of motivation. My passion for sports has only grown with age. I know that I will never be a professional athlete who plays prime time on ESPN, signs Nike contracts or is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But I do know that I will take each and every practice, game and high five with me throughout the rest of my life, for I have cherished every moment I have stepped out onto that field.
Rachel Milim, Director BLSA
Mentally Preparing for Camp
Spring has finally sprung here in the Northeast. Birds are chirping, the grass is greener and families are starting to get ready for camp. So, what exactly does that mean? Of course you need the proper gear, but camps provide you with a packing list. Once you’ve put name tags on all of your clothing, flashlights, goggles, toiletries, etc., you should be good to go, right? Not always! Some kids (and parents) need to prepare for what is about to happen - getting on that bus and leaving home. Whether it’s 1 week, 3 weeks or 7 weeks, first time campers may have that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, some minds will race, some of us might set into sheer panic mode. So, how do we mentally prepare for our first successful camp session?
1. Talk about camp with your child. Sharing camp stories will give you something to bond over with your child.
2. Talk to your camp director. There is a reason why camp directors do what they do and it’s because the LOVE their job. And they have this magical ability to set a campers mind at ease.
3. Connect to your camp's social media pages. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are just a few amazing ways to get an insiders view of what your camp is all about.
4. Have a positive attitude. SMILE. You are sending your child to an excellent camp, so be confident in the staff and let your kids be kids for a few weeks.
Many of our first-time campers are dropped off smiling, but with a bit of fear of the unknown. As we know, that is the greatest fear of all. Our goal is to have them leave with memories filled with unique experiences, many friendships made and an even bigger smile that will last them the entire trip home.
For the Love of the Game
If you’ve been on social media recently (and who hasn’t?), chances are you’ve seen Geno Auriemma, Head Coach of the University of Connecticut Women’s basketball team, comment on what he looks for in an athlete while recruiting his players. UConn hasn’t lost a game in two years and there’s a reason why.
We need to go back to our roots. We need to focus more on enthusiasm, being a team player, passion…and then the talent. Our culture today focuses on me, me, me and on being rewarded for independent talent and being the best.
As a parent, coach, camp director and athlete, it’s my priority to teach kids to love sports, to respect their sport and teammates, to have a positive attitude and to work hard to accomplish their goals. The rewards will come. Be patient.
To see Coach Auriemma’s comments, click here: http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-women/article/2017-03-20/watch-why-uconn-coach-geno-auriemmas-2016-womens-final-four
See you at the game!
Rachel Milim, Director BLSA
Back to Normal
It was a typical couple of days at BLSA. Clinics ran each morning, followed by the waterfront and leagues to finish out the day. This afternoon we competed in soccer and softball with team Bobby G and team Harry Herbert pulling out the wins. The girls have been improving tremendously in each sport and can't wait to show you what they've learned.
The weather was on our side today as we spent the afternoon at Great Escape. It was a much needed day spent having fun, going on rides and eating junk food. We ended the day with the traditional Green and Gray campfire where the captains of each team spoke and then jumped in the lake. We go back to the grind tomorrow with our morning clinics and afternoon leagues.
It was Gray who got to ring the bell at the end of the day. BLSA's contribution was a huge success. We couldn't be more proud of our girls.