Just a few years ago, Cam Holding was playing lacrosse at the professional level. Now he is the head coach at Michigan State for the club lacrosse team.
Coaching a club team brings its own set of challenges.
Holding, who is originally from Canada and now lives in Grand Rapids, has a long history with the sport of lacrosse. This goes back to when he was 3 and his dad began to coach him. He’s since been a player for the Colorado Mammoths and the Canadian national team.
After tearing his ACL, he recently began making the transition from player to coach.
“I’m done playing and I’m able to coach fulltime now,” Holding said.
Two years ago, the team was searching for a coach. During that time, a former player that Holding coached was on the team and told him of the position.
“I moved to Dewitt in 2005 and I used to coach a kid that played for the club lacrosse team,” Holding said. “He mentioned that they were looking for a coach two years ago. I just kinda tossed my name in the hat, went through the whole interview process and got it from there.”
Now in his third season at the helm, Holding is becoming more acclimated with how things are run within club sports. Out of the many club sports offered at MSU, men’s lacrosse is completely student-run.
That means Holding is there only to coach, but he does try to help and support the team in any way that he can.
“Everything is run by four players on our team and they manage everything,” Holding said. “I try and help and support as much as I can but it is student-run. In the NCAA, they have people who handle the travel and schedule, where our guys do all of that on top of their school work.”
There are a lot more opportunities the varsity student-athletes have compared to the club sports athletes. The same can be said for the coaches.
Club athletes generally do not have access to a team trainer, a practice facility or tutors.
“Every player on our roster pays at least $3,000 to participate and on top of that they pay for their transportation,” Holding said. “Also, facilities is another adversity, and access to them at certain times.”
While some club sports coaches may not be paid, Holding said he does receive a salary — but it’s not enough for him to make a living from.
“We are paid but we all still have other jobs,” Holding said. “We do this because we love it.”
Holding also the support from his players, and a huge part of that is due to the success he and the team had since he took over as the head coach.
Jess Todd, a midfielder and graduating senior on the team, said he’s seen a noticeable difference in the team since Holding became coach.
“Coach came in my sophomore year and he’s done a lot for the program, and knows a lot about the games,” Todd said. “He is such a good reputable source.”