Cory Childs founded Frog Lacrosse in 2014 to start a program that focused on training and teaching the game of lacrosse. Prior to starting Frog, Cory was the director of True Minnesota Lacrosse, and the founder of Minnesota Frost Lacrosse in 2007. Cory’s playing career included Prior Lake high school where he was Captain of the team and MVP for three years. From there Cory moved on to play NCAA D3 lacrosse at Trine University and Carthage College.
You can read an overview of the interview with Cory Childs or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q: Tell us a little about what you're working on at the moment?
A: So Frog Lacrosse Cross is my actually third travel program back in the day we started Frost Lacrosse when I was actually 18 years old, so I was young, I got into it as a hobby, and it turned out to be kind of a career path for me... Today we’re working on our marketing content and a newsletter that we’re about to start putting out on a monthly basis... and of course there's a National Lacrosse Convention coming up so we’ve been working on our plans for that.
Q: What is the vision and mission behind Frog Lacrosse?
A: Yeah I mean when I first started this it’s always been the family and the cultural approach where we understand that this is a big commitment not just for the players, but the siblings, the parents, or the grandparents and so at Frog Lacrosse we wanted to embrace that. So when we first started out it was okay what can we do, or do different from other club teams where we feel like we're including everybody, getting feedback from everybody, so we’re a very feedback driven program and we want to kind of instill that atmosphere that hey it’s not just player and coach, it’s the whole family sacrificing time so how can we get everyone involved.
Q: Tell us a story about one of your proudest moments in your coaching career?
A: The most current one we went to a tournament out in San Diego called out of Legends National cup and it was an incredible weekend. We got to go to San Diego, the tournament event was extremely well organized, and then we had three teams out there, two ended up making the championship game, and the other ended up making the top four out of 15 teams in their bracket. So when we look at that weekend, we went out to the meeting location, tournament was organized kids enjoyed it, and we also did well, and the parent culture on the sidelines - there was no drama, everyone was supportive of each other. So when I look at this weekend, it’s exactly what we want to be at Frog Lacrosse because we’re competing at a high level, we’re having fun while we’re doing it, we’re learning and everyone’s getting along, and everything is running smoothly. So that weekend for me really was a big point at Frog because kind of replicated exactly what we want to do at each tournament, each event that we attend.
Q: Tell us a story about some of the challenges you faced in your coaching/athletic career and how you overcame them, or maybe you still are?
A: I’ll do the one that kind of happens consistently, and that’s managing expectations. You have you know 200 athletes and families in our program. Everybody comes from different viewpoints and has different feedback, especially because we do seek so much feedback from the families in our program. So for me it's how do I go through that feedback and figure out the consistencies of okay is it consistently good or consistently negative? What points do we need to focus on and how do we try and keep everybody happy, while also using our expertise to kind of give our input on how things should be done or ran, and basically trying to keep everyone happy... So they might not agree with it, but at least we on our side can give you know facts about why we’re doing something.
Q: What do you think has been the key to your success that other coaches could learn from?
A: I think it all starts with creating and developing relationships. Just being helpful in the community... Do things just cuz that's what you should do, you should be out there helping everybody. Don’t ask for anything in return. People can really tell. Most people understand if you care. So basically, when you’re going out there and coaching, just be honest with people, be sincere, and go out of your way for them because you know by doing the right things, I’m a big believer in Karma. Good things will come back to you.
Q: What wisdom have you picked up over your years of working in the sport industry?
A: ...It seems these days sports can be viewed more as a means to an end. And I think the more I coach, the more I’m out there, the more tournaments I go to, I just want people to understand to enjoy that moment and really develop the little moments on a daily basis. I mean, people are so worried about the next chapter that they aren’t focused on what they need to be doing in the current moment. So you’ll talk to some kids about recruiting and all that, but it’s like what did you do to get better today? Because all those little tiny positive habits that you’re doing are going to build up naturally to help with that bigger picture. So that’s one thing I’ve noticed is there’s this fear of the future and try to really live in moment, enjoy watching your kid play. You don’t really know how long it’s going to last, you don’t know how many years you have to watch them play the sport...
Q: How do you think technology is changing the way you work and coach?
A: It kind of changes everything. We’re long past the days of managers carrying around a binder at the field. Between the software we use with you guys at Upper Hand and the Basecamp software we use for communications, it’s everything streamlined and on our cellphones, where 90% of what we do is probably electronic… Basically waivers, registrations, everything is now online, which takes so much away, you know planning wise, and monetizing everything, it’s so much easier to function as a club program.