January 20 - 22 will see Baltimore play host to the US Lacrosse Convention and once again Northern Soul will be in attendance at the event. Laxcon is geared towards coaches, officials and program leaders and is packed with live coaching demos, engaging and immersive chalk talks and amazing networking opportunities. On Saturday the convention opens its doors for Fanfast which allows players and fans to get up close and personal with their favorite players and favorite gear from some of the leading brands in the game.
Laxcon gives Northern Soul a great opportunity to meet up with our suppliers to discuss all things equipment related and we get to see some of the upcoming products for the upcoming year or two. As Europe's leading lacrosse equipment retailer its important for us a company to attend and meet face to face with the big names in the game as well as some of the up and coming companies.
The convention gives you some incredible opportunities to grow as a coach and I'd highly recommend attending if you get the chance and are serious about your development, as a European coach you'd learn more in a weekend than most people learn in a decade.
Our staff at Northern Soul have great memories from the Laxcon events we have attended over the years. This will be our 6th Laxcon and the first we have been to since Covid, although the convention told place last year it's fair to say it was very poorly attended by fans, coaches and more importantly for us, the big lacrosse brands. We've got a good feeling that 2023 will make up for last year.
One Lacrosse Convention we will never forget was 2016 when Storm Jonas aka Snowzilla hit Baltimore hard. We arrived early Thursday thinking the media had over exaggerated the incoming weather as it was not unusual and to be honest mild in comparison to the weather we'd left back in Manchester, England. There was a strange vibe that evening as panic spread around various hotel lobbies and bars as many people attending the convention seemed to be planning to leave Friday morning as they feared being snowed in. The party that evening hosted by Jerry Scott and Lorne Smith from True had way fewer lax folk attend which worked great for us as we left that night with a heap of sample handles. The following morning we spent dashing around hotels trying to meet some of our suppliers before they skipped town and yet there was still no sign of snow.
So we walked to the convention center early on Friday to find it a little sparse in terms of exhibitors, there was much talk of the impending storm but we were yet to see a single snowflake......until around midday. I don't recall who I was talking to at the time but I remember seeing a few people walking in the main doors of the convention hall who looked like that they'd been plucked from the North Pole.
As great as it is too see the latest gear, check out prototype heads that may or may not release, watch some of the World's best players and coaches give live demos, really Laxcon is about all the people you meet and the friends you make. Hanging out with lacrosse legends and just dudes who make you laugh out loud.
You really do see some very cool stuff during the Fanfest day of Laxcon. Cool custom gloves and helmets, sometimes more custom than you could have ever imagined.
Although the US Lacrosse Convention is a business trip, it's also a great chance to catch with old friends and to make new ones.
Over the years I've been lucky to be coached by and play with some incredible people. I always look forward to seeing these guys at Laxcon, although some of these former teammates rarely get chance to see each other, it's like we've never been apart.
Getting a one to one chat with some of the games best coaches is an opportunity not to be missed. You'd be amazed at just how approachable some of the legends are.