July 30th, marked the official start date for Lacrosse the Nations in Costa Rica! Although we have been playing since March, formalized practice began last week with the introduction of the LtN Life Skills Curriculum and Nutrition Program to the kids’ practices. Every practice we play with between 15 and 20 students, ages 4-15, and so far have had tremendous success introducing them to the sport of lacrosse and getting them excited about the program!
Last week we integrated the idea of positive reinforcement by encouraging the kids to speak up whenever he or she saw someone do something well, and at the end of practice each student went around in a circle and said something that another player had done to impress them. Next week we’ll practice this same behavior by partnering two kids together to share compliments with each other after practice.
So far some of our favorite activities include steal the bacon, shooting on goal, and any kind of relay race. The kids tend to run especially fast when there are popsicles involved!
Although LtN’s newest international program has yet to host visitors, we have had the pleasure of playing with a local family (by way of Colorado), the Toltz’s. Randy and his son, Logan, who’s a high school senior here in CR, have been integral to the launch and early success of the program here. They are also responsible for the donation of 30 brand new Warrior lacrosse sticks! Between Randy, Logan, the LtN family, myself and our local coach, Michael Pantoja, we’ve managed to launch a program that will hopefully have a lasting and meaningful impact on the entire Potrero community!
A big thank you to our partner program, Abriendo Mentes (Opening Minds Latin America) Through their support we have effectively integrated a structured LtN schedule into the otherwise horribly unorganized daily life of the community.