By Eric Black
When Brian Langtry first moved to Colorado 20 years ago, few people were involved with lacrosse at the youth level. Aside from a handful of coaches and a high school scene dominated by only a few teams, lacrosse was a largely-unexploited sport.
“Then everyone went all-in on the club scene,” Langtry said. “And I felt like there was a piece of development that wasn’t really getting done.”
Langtry, a Long Island native who played over two decades of professional lacrosse, noticed that while there was a lot of team building going on, there wasn’t a big enough focus on individual development. A few years ago, he began training players on the side before their parents spoke up, wanting more. They told him he should start putting club teams together and when his brother, Rich, doubled down on the thought, Langtry committed to the idea.
Today, 6 Star Lacrosse has boys teams at the 2023, 2025, and 2026 level with tryouts for 2024 and 2027 teams set to take place in August. At the core of each of their practices is specialized training based on what each specific player needs to work on or what the team struggled with in their last game. Langtry’s commitment to player development and training is what he believes sets 6 Star apart from other programs.
“I spent 16 years as a teacher, knowing that each kid needs something different,” Langtry said. “So I try to look at the player as an individual and meet their needs.”
Langtry played attack for two seasons during his lacrosse career - his senior year of college at Hofstra and his last year with the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, when he was 35. In order to adjust to playing the position, Langtry focused in and studied the game.
After starting in the MLL when all midfielders had short sticks, he had to break down how to carry against a long pole, especially in the latter stages of his career. To do so, he began to watch more lacrosse, something he still does today. If he’s not going to a high school or youth game he’s watching college games, either live or taped.
“I played 21 seasons of professional lacrosse, and I'm not exactly the most athletic person on earth,” Langtry said, laughing. “So I know the skill aspect of the game.”
Langtry’s love of watching lacrosse extends into his coaching and training, as at least once per season he’ll break down video of his team’s game, minute-by-minute, writing notes as it goes on. Then he’ll send it out, notes and all, to the players and their parents for them to review. In the fall, he’ll even go over video with the parents and players himself.
During practices he’ll use Coach’s Eye, an app that allows him to film a player shooting and break down their body movements. It allows him to determine the technicalities of how they’re shooting, like if they’re snapping their wrists or not. With help from Chase Clark, another coach in the program, 6 Star also does Black Diamond training, which involves offensive and defensive groups splitting up. The defense goes with Clark while the offense follows Langtry, then the players begin playing 1-on-1, 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 before shifting to a full-team situation.
“Practices are really intense, I personally have my hand in everything,” Langtry said. “...My goal is to make every individual player better, and at the end of the day the wins will follow if every player is improving.”
Langtry explained that he’d rather have five more kids join 6 Star than have a team win a gold medal or a t-shirt from some tournament. The growth of Colorado lacrosse at the youth level is what’s most important to him, and so far he’s making a difference.
There weren’t many kids committed to the sport when Langtry first started coaching in the area - rather, it was more of a “fun sport” that they played on the side. Now, he’s seeing players get to the point where they’re being serious and seeing their potential opportunities with lacrosse. Quality-wise, there’s a long way to go to get to the level of play of their peers on Long Island, but the gap is smaller than it used to be.
“I couldn't have played on these teams, like my sixth-grade team,” Langtry said. “When I was in sixth grade I wouldn't have made this team, in Colorado, and I lived on Long Island. They're just a lot better. The level of everything has been raised.”
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