Peter LeSueur is back- guest blogging about Garden City’s newest lacrosse camp- the PAC (Performance Athletic Club). Pete is a GC native and co-founder of the PAC. If you missed our initial article about Pete and his lacrosse history, you can find it here.
As some of you may know, my dad, Paul LeSueur, ran THE Garden City Soccer Camp for over 30 years. It was common for young campers to eventually become coaches… and in many cases they eventually became the parents of campers. His camp spanned generations, and I was a part of it for as long as I can remember. I guess you can say that the passion for coaching and inspiring kids is in my blood and I always knew that I too wanted to share it with young athletes. I have been in and around the lacrosse scene my whole life and decided that I wanted to create the same memorable sports moments for young lacrosse players that my dad had done for young soccer players.
Motivation, Positive Thinking, Coaching and Confidence:
Over my sports career as a player and coach I grew to notice a serious problem in sports with coaches abusing their players. We’ve all heard about the worst cases of it, but generally speaking I think even the slightest bit of negativity limits players. I am so sure that coaching positively and motivating players is the “right way” that it disappoints me when I see kids’ dreams dashed at a young age. Not everyone can be the best player, but they can all benefit and improve through supportive coaching and inspiring mentors.
I’ve devoted a lot of time into studying cognitive science and the art of motivating people. I’ve practiced it with my players, fitness clients, friends, family and most importantly myself. I have realized the benefits of thinking positively and want to share that freedom with every child that I coach. As a stickler for the fundamentals of lacrosse, I’m positive that kids will learn skills and gain comfort with the lacrosse stick at the PAC camp. However, as long as every kid is smiling at the end of the day, my partner Tim and I will be happy because we know that giving the kids a chance to love the game is the best gift we can give.
Tim Goettelmann and I have been friends for a long time and were casually speaking about what we could do to add value to the youth lacrosse scene. Tim’s energy and enthusiasm was a strong motivating force in finally moving forward with all of the PAC ideas I had been dreaming up. Tim, a Manhasset guy that Garden City was lucky enough to steal, has 3 girls and a boy, and I have 4 nieces and 4 nephews in Garden City. Tim’s personality is larger than life, and he has been called “a big kid.” His excitement is spread among all the campers making the atmosphere better than any activity around. On a separate note, Timmy also runs Monster’s Kids, a non-profit charity that raises money for the North Shore LIJ Cohen’s Children’s Hospital. Monster’s Kids hosts the Woodstick Classic Alumni Game that you might have seen or heard about. We also held a youth lacrosse clinic the Friday night before the Woodstick Classic to raise money on behalf of Monster’s Kids.
What we decided was that we would focus on the fundamentals of the game among very young players BUT most importantly… we’d strive to make camp so much fun that kid’s would be able to fall in love with the game. In our first year we had a kid’s only camp as well as a “Family Fundamentals Camp” meant to bring parents and children together to learn the sport together, and more importantly for them to spend quality time together creating life lasting memories. This year we will hold the Family Fundamentals Camp in the fall. It was very well received and a lot of people have asked for it again. The feedback we received about PAC last year was extremely positive and it reinforced the belief that we were doing something great.
One of the greatest feelings I had last year was realizing that I was actually coaching and inspiring the children of my own childhood idols who played lacrosse with my older brother back in the 90s. At one point, I realized that there were generations of lacrosse players at my camp (similar to the history/legacy that my dad had built). Parents and grandparents, who my family had know for decades through lacrosse, were on the sideline socializing and watching their children/grandchildren having fun at the PAC camp. It was a beautiful scene depicting many of the positive benefits of participating in sports… fun, fitness, and lifelong friendships.