Mike Lazazzera (“Coach Laz”) has coached at every level of hockey including the NHL, AHL, IHL, ECHL, USHL, OHL, NCAA D1/D3, EHL, in China as well as High School hockey.
Coach Laz has a sports psychology and sports counseling background with over 5000 hours of counseling and mentoring ice hockey players and other athletes from the Pee Wee to Professional. Coach Laz has provided and implemented sports psychology workshops with various themes for a number of youth, high-school, junior, college and professional teams. He has a strong academic background and presently is pursuing two PhD’s; one in Performance Psychology and the other in Leadership.
Coach Laz also has extensive experience providing direction for players looking to make it to the “next level” – whatever that level may be. The 35+ years of coaching/mentoring/counseling experience has given him an incredible “network” of contacts/coaches all over North America and the world.
Mike is also runs a successful Sports Performance business called Mind Over Matter where he has helped many high-level athletes overcome mental hurdles and elevate their game to greatness.
Growing up in Virgina Beach, I started figure skating at the rink my dad converted from a Roller-Skating Rink to an Ice-Skating Rink – “Iceland” at the age of 4. I figure skated for 4 years and during those 4 years, I watched my brother play hockey with his buddy’s and at the age of 7, I started to become interested in the sport. For 2 years, I asked & begged my parents to allow me to play hockey and was always told that it was a sport for boys. After taking some time away from the ice (boycotting
essentially), my parents had friends over one night from Canada and they convinced my parents to allow me to play. After they left around 10:30pm, my mom woke me up to whisper in my ear “hockey practice is at 5pm on Friday!”
I grew up playing hockey with the boys, there was no girls hockey. The closest rink was 3 hours away, down in Hillsborough, NC or 4 Hours north to Maryland and Washington DC. As I got older, my parents grew concerned with the checking aspect of the game, so they got in touch with an all-girls team in Concord, MA “Assabet Valley”. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, and long weekends, my dad and I would drive from VA Beach to Massachusetts so I could play in at least 10 games during the regular season so I could be part of their team at the end of the year National Tournaments. During my time with Assabet, we won 2 National Championship Titles as a Pee-Wee and Bantom.
Once I started playing hockey with the girls, I was recruited and participated in (3) USA National Team Camps that took place at St. Cloud State University. I was also recruited to play Division 1 Hockey for
the Northeastern University Huskies in Boston, MA from 1993-1997. During my time with NU, we won 3 Beanpots and won the 1997 ECAC Championships, which then was the equivalent to the NCAA National Championships.
I also played Shortstop for my high school’s softball team in VA Beach (Salem Sundevils). As a Sophomore, I was named to the 1 st Team “All Beach”. As a Junior, I was named to the 1 st Team “All Beach” and name to the 1 st Team “All-Region”. My Senior Year, I was not only named to the 1 st Team All Beach and 1 st Team All-Region, but I was named the #1 Shortstop in VA and was named to the 1 st Team All State. I was recruited by many schools to play D1 softball, but all the schools were too close to home as I wanted to go “away” to school.
I grew up in VA Beach and currently reside in Palmer, MA with husband Jeremiah Hawk of 20 years. Our son Aidan plays for the U19 MLS Next Soccer team “Seacoast United” and attends The Center of Excellence (COE) Soccer Academy in Lawrence, MA graduating this spring. His plan next year is to take a GAP year while attending COE to continue strengthening his game with the desire to play D1 College Soccer in the Fall of 2024. Our Daughter Harper is a Level 3 gymnast at AAGDA and plays U10 Soccer for the town of Palmer. She will be at the gym 4 days a week this summer to improve her skills to move up to Level 4 next season.