One Ohio Wesleyan alumnus and student-athlete has taken his love of the sport from the well-groomed turf of Selby Stadium and brought it to Philadelphia through a program called Cradle Lacrosse. Dylan Brown ’09 has helped the program evolve into to the great success that it is today.
Cradle Lacrosse and its parent company, NXTsportsTM, are dedicated to “developing new and exciting programs and concepts that will bring outlets of fun and learning to kids and teens of all ages.” NXTsportsTM provides novel lacrosse programs for boys and girls ages 4-16.
Cradle Lacrosse is run by Peter Lawrence, head lacrosse coach for the University of Hartford. Brown is now the Philadelphia Regional Director of Cradle Lacrosse.
A sociology/anthropology major at Ohio Wesleyan, Brown uses the skills he learned in the classroom, on the field. “Not only are you dealing with 4-10 year olds, but also their parents, your fellow staff members, new locations, and the managers involved with making those decisions. You need to conduct yourself with patience and discipline to deal with a lot of different aspects [of the sport],” says Brown.
During a typical week, Brown compiles a lesson plan of skills that he and his staff will be teaching to the kids. Brown takes his vast knowledge of the sport and simplifies it for the age group that he is working with.
He is obviously doing things right. The enrollment for Cradle Lacrosse has grown to more than 500 athletes. This feat isn’t enough for Brown, who has high hopes and more visions for the program. “My hopes for Cradle involve expansion, to other areas, cities, and most importantly, to include various financial backgrounds,” says Brown.
Cradle Lacrosse has also expanded into the inner city area, called Cradle in the Community, offering free clinics for children who cannot afford to join the program at our other locations. Brown is also in the early works of forming a relationship between Cradle and Boys and Girls Clubs in the hopes of being able to offer free sessions to its members.
“Our growth and success would not be what it is without Dylan’s commitment and passionate coaching. The kids and parents really love his coaching” says Lawrence. He admits to being a huge fan of Brown’s. “It takes a special person to get through to four- to eight-year-olds. Coaching older kids is far easier than the young guns. Dylan has a ton of patience and energy. The key to success with this group is keeping them on task, yet having fun. Dylan is great at putting the fun into the fundamentals” says Lawrence.