Written by Chris Boyle, email@example.com Friday, 25 April 2014 00:00
When it comes to the highly-competitive world of school sports, most athletes find themselves scrambling to find an edge on the field and do what it takes to leave the opposing team eating their dust.
MDP Lacrosse of Hicksville wants to give players that edge. Owned and operated by James Montana and his partners Steve and Scott Bryan, the training facility first opened in 2011; however, they didn’t start working at it full-time until 2012, at which time their unique approach to achievement in sporting really started to take off.
According to Montana, who was born and raised in Hicksville, MDP Lacrosse specializes in individual athletic training for both girls and boys from second grade all the way through college. However, despite the name, the business isn’t simply all about just lacrosse.
“We also offer training in basketball, baseball, softball, football, soccer. Basically almost all of the major sports that you can think of,” he said. “So far, response has been unbelievable. The girls’ side of the business is really starting to grow. We’re starting to get more and more of them, and overall, things are really growing quickly.”
Montana noted that he has a background firmly rooted in athleticism. When it comes to lacrosse, he said that it’s almost second nature to him by this point.
“At the time when we started the school, I was transitioning out of my other career as an assistant lacrosse coach at Stony Book University, where I taught for six years,” he said. “Before that, I played lacrosse at Hicksville High School and later in college. After I graduated, I started teaching lacrosse for a living.”
Leaving Stony Brook for the uncertain future of starting his own business was a difficult choice to make, Montana said. However, the fact that he had a strong base in the field in the form of experienced partners helped him to take the plunge.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said. “Coaching college athletics can be very unpredictable. You’ve got to move everywhere, you never know where that next job is and that was part of the job that I really wasn’t ready for. So when Steve, one of my partners, presented the training system that he came up with that we now use at MDP Lacrosse, it was very attractive. However, there really aren’t a lot of people out there doing what we do, so we didn’t really have any guidelines to go by. Starting this business was a real feeling-out process.”
And that system of training that Montana touts? He said what sets MDP Lacrosse apart from any other training facility is that instead of simply running athletes through endless, repetitive drills and calisthenics, they specialize on the individual development of the athlete. The business' acronym stands for "Maximize. Direct. Protect."
“We have a system of rules that none of the other coaches or training companies have, rules that really just allow us to train the athlete and create positive physical, mental, and emotional habits,” Montana said. “When you work away all of the nonsense of the sports, when you can really train an athlete to become better physically, mentally, and emotionally, then they can perform at a higher level. We don’t replace teaching kids the strategies, we just help them become better athletes in any scenario.”
MDP Lacrosse has a small indoor facility located at 541 South Broadway in Hicksville; however, Montana is quick to point out that this location only caters to a limited numbers of students and is only used during the most inclement of winter months. The vast majority of the school’s training takes place in the outdoors at a field located in Levittown.
“Typically, we’re already outside by the middle of February,” he said. “We don’t really pride ourselves on the glitz and the glamour, it’s the knowledge that we bring. When we train indoors, it’s actually harder because of the limited space the students have to move around in. When we get outdoors, where is where we do most of our training, it gets a little easier because they have more space to move.”
Another unique aspect of the training that MDP Lacrosse offers is the incorporation of an athlete’s family. Montana said that it truly helps a student maintain the same high-caliber principles that they teach both on and off the field.
“The way we format training is that everyone starts out in individual workouts, just the trainer and the athlete, and we try to make it as mandatory as possible that the parents be there as well. This way the parents can be like the assistant coaches and learn what their children learn,” he said. “Depending on their commitment level and how they’re progressing through the system, then we introduce them to groups. We never introduce the individual directly into a group, but once they’re ready, we can truly help take them to the next level of success on the field.” Find out more about MDP Lacrosse, at www.mdplacrosse.com.