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Rising Stars: Meet Madeline Lewis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madeline Lewis. 

Hi Madeline, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I started coaching lacrosse in Florida in 2017, after a lifetime of playing the sport growing up in Maryland. I recognized that outside of the hotbeds, there is a huge need for sustainable lacrosse programming, for the athlete’s benefit. 

I wanted to create lacrosse programs & events that athletes could count on to be a valuable & lasting experience: A travel program dedicated to getting better and better, which would be organized and work with partners to grow the game of lacrosse and competition in Florida. Events that players can count on learning new concepts, new skills, gain a new role model and have a WHOLE LOT OF FUN at. Resources for youth programs so we can grow the baseline of the sport; so, we aren’t just swapping players between programs and dividing the sport/ burning out athletes…. but growing the sport at a grassroots level. 

With founding 10X- I had a mission and core values in mind, and those values have been at the core of each program, event, player community, attendee community, and parent community. We are all unified in our love for the game, passion for creating positive leadership in lacrosse, communication, integrity, and effort. 

10X Lacrosse events and programs are truly something special – our staff, coaches, and attendees put our full hearts into the product that we put out on the field. We believe young athletes deserve this- they are the future of the sport, future lacrosse coaches, and future citizens of the world. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not always been a smooth road. 

Youth Sports are hard- there are a lot of stakeholders to consider with our services- namely the parents and players. Sometimes a “client” (player or parent) does not align with our core values, and this can be a detriment to the community culture we are trying to cultivate. At this point, I have to communicate to them that we cannot provide them what they are looking for- and often times these conversations are very emotional, because (of course) that parent feels very emotional towards their kid. It’s even harder when the kid isn’t to blame and the parent is not a culture fit. But we do our best to remain professional, think about the big picture, and learn that you can’t always please everyone- and that’s okay. 

I also have struggled with the time it takes to gain trust in veterans of the Lacrosse Community. The boys’ side of Lacrosse is much larger than the girls’ side of the game. A lot of these veterans who have been hosting programs and events in the community aren’t used to a young woman coming in and providing the service we do. Even after seeing 5 years of consistent and well-organized programming from me and my staff, I still have a hard time gaining trust in those Community Members. To combat this, I focus on the supporters (and there are many more than the critics), focus on what I can control, keep my head down and work through it- in the end, I hope that the critics come to realize that we just want what’s best for the lacrosse community and the athletes we serve. 

I hope to pave the way for more female leaders in lacrosse and make it easier for those future leaders to gain trust and support of this community. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am most proud of the role model I can be for not only the lacrosse players I serve but also the coaches who work in our programs and events. Many of these coaches are just graduating college (often times leaving their life as a college athlete) and starting their careers. I can provide a positive example of hard work & love for the work that you do to these young adults. 

I am the only lacrosse program founder in this area who is a female. I am proud of this and proud that children can grow up coming to the field and seeing a woman in charge. I am honored to be this role model for them. 

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States! We expect to see a lot more growth and support to keep growing the game, providing lacrosse programming locally, and resources to do so. 

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