The League that Changed the Game in Atlanta
In 2008, the Northside “Surge" (then comprised of two coaches and 24 players) set out on a mission to break tradition with other area lacrosse leagues by doing something pretty logical, but not often practiced: Before having players take part in a single game, NYL would dynamically teach the sport – by men who actually know, love and play it.
Since that initial season, Northside Youth Lacrosse (NYL) has catapulted to become one of Atlanta's most successful youth sports leagues. In fact, since the Surge started, membership continues to rise each season. Many things account for this growth, but the primary factor comes back to parent word-of-mouth. Parents see our strong emphasis on learning, the passion our coaches have for the sport (largely due to their own impressive playing histories), the standards we uphold and ultimately, the notable improvement in player development season after season.
Northside Youth Lacrosse was designed with a difference: Dynamically teaching the game before actually playing one. Intensive skills are taught first. Drills then reinforce the concepts and their nuances. Strategy is introduced. And only after all this do players progress to competitive scenarios – first with controlled scrimmages among other Surge teammates – and then advancing to team play among outside local efforts, such as MAYLA (Metro Atlanta Youth Lacrosse League) or Newtown Park Recreation league.
Another Surge difference comes with not just how, but who. Our league's main coaches are men who've played the game (most in high school and college) with many still playing adult ball today. They may be assisted by high school or college players (or even an experienced team dad), but Surge players' weekly game plans and team goals are generated and delivered by seasoned, experienced, enthusiastic players. And although volunteers, they take their commitment seriously. Beyond weekly practices and games, our coaches also meet as a full group each season to enhance the program and ensure personal player and team goals continue to be met.
Beyond teaching the finer points of the game, we also strive to instill exceptional sportsmanship and a real spirit for the game. That's why our teams are intentionally comprised of a mix of players from public and private schools throughout Atlanta. Our coaches believe this to be the superior way to grow one's game; that is, not to be surrounded year after year by players you know...but to challenge yourself and learn from those you don't. At certain points in the upper age groups we do break into A and B teams based on ability; not based on school or more convenient carpool scenarios.
Finally, FUN. Our league continues to attract great families who appreciate the differences we offer, and support the league in many different ways. They help promote an energy at each level that's upbeat, positive – and contagious! As a result, the league has also expanded beyond the sport itself, with a depth of family involvement that includes local fundraisers (Children’s Hospital Concussion Center), the annual Surge vs. Surge Spring Season Finale (12 hours of LAX, laughs, food trucks and fun at the fields of NAHS), Surge|Swarm Family Nights at the Infinity Arena (symbiotic support between the pro and rec leagues) and team moms and dads that go above and beyond to volunteer whenever needed.