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AEL Coaches Selected to Represent World Lacrosse in Orlando, Florida

From May 14th through May 17th Cristina Vélez and Melissa Pevey, two longtime coaches at the Asociación Española de Lacrosse (AEL) development program, Lacrosse Para Todos, will head to Orlando, Florida to represent both Spain Lacrosse and World Lacrosse and offer an introductory 6v6 coaching clinic to attending coaches. Both Vélez and Pevey were selected to participate in the clinic after completing and excelling in World Lacrosse’s Coaches Developer Academy (CDA) where they learned how to deliver high-quality coaching clinics. The course they will give is prepared and presented by the CDA graduates about “how to effectively introduce and reinforce new playing concepts to your athletes” in a 6v6 context.

The first ever CDA was conducted for free during the months of January and February 2021 by WL for their National Governing Bodies (NGB). The AEL was able to send 3 representatives to the academy: Cristina Vélez as the AEL’s Development Coordinator, Diego Díaz as the men’s game representative and Melissa Pevey as the women’s game representative. The latter two were chosen among various candidates by the AEL’s Board after reviewing all of the applications.

Pevey says of the CDA that it, “Not only prepared me for the various aspects of coaching, but also how to teach people how to coach!”. Both Coaches completed modules during the course that covered subjects like ‘Positive and Effective Communication’, or ‘How to Host a High-Quality Practice Sessions.’ Every Friday during the 6-week long course the coaches practice the skills they learned during the week on other attending coaches through a zoom meeting. The course included representatives from over a dozen countries on 5 different continents and when it concluded, Spain’s representatives were amongst only four that were selected to go to Florida.

World Lacrosse (WL), as the international federation for men’s and women’s lacrosse, hopes to get the sport of lacrosse played by all countries worldwide, and even getting to the point where it is an Olympic sport. To do so, they strive to continually develop the sport which is why they launched a 6v6 format in 2020 which will be one of its biggest focuses in the next few years to come. The fact that they have chosen two of our very own coaches to present this new format and spread their message is something we are incredibly proud of and goes to show just how much talent we have in Spain and what kind of future is in store for lacrosse in this country.

WL could hardly have chosen two better participants to represent Spain on the global stage. Vélez has a long and impressive history with Spain lacrosse. After growing up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, USA and playing the game of lacrosse there, Vélez moved to Spain 9 years ago. Since then, she has been actively involved in the world of Spain lacrosse, spending 5 years playing for the Madrid Women’s club, 2 years on the Spanish Women’s National Team, and most recently 2 years as the Association’s Development Coordinator and head of Lacrosse Para Todos, Spain Lacrosse’s development project. Pevey has also been invaluable in the growth of lacrosse in Spain since she arrived two years ago. Working as language and culture teacher during the day, she regularly volunteers her afternoons and weekends to train the next generation of Spain’s lacrosse players for Lacrosse Para Todos.

Both Vélez, and Pevey have expressed excitement about the upcoming trip and what it could mean upon their return to Spain. “I’m excited to represent Spain lacrosse alongside coaches from other countries at World Lacrosse,” said Pevey. “This opportunity will open many doors for Spain Lacrosse giving us the chance to host our own similar events here in Spain and help grow the game.”

Velez echoed these same sentiments when she said, “I’m honored to be representing both Spain Lacrosse and World Lacrosse on this international stage, alongside other incredible coaches from around the world including my teammate and fellow Lacrosse Para Todos coach Melissa Pevey. This is an incredible opportunity for 2 members of the Spain Lacrosse community to get unmatched experience to bring back and be able to host our own tournaments and clinics here.”

Although their itinerary in Orlando looks to be jam packed with lacrosse, the duo is looking forward to some of the other perks Spring in Florida might bring with it. “I hope to at least catch a tan while in Orlando,” Pevey jested.

If you wish to learn more about Lacrosse Para Todos or World Lacrosse, you can visit their websites through the links provided below.


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