A lacrosse coach is a lot more than someone who cruises the sidelines carrying a whistle and a stick. The best coaches use tactics, like practice plans and individual instruction, to help their players develop and win lacrosse games all season long.
How to Prep for Lacrosse Games
1) Practice Plans
Many youth lacrosse coaches walk into practice with a little more than a rough idea of what they’d like to accomplish. This is a sure way to make ineffective use of practice time.
- A quick talk
- Line drills
- Warm down
2) The Fundamentals
There are a variety of strategies coaches can use to improve players’ core lacrosse techniques, including teams drills, individual instruction and scrimmages.
The trick for experienced and novice lacrosse coaches is to find teachable moments within practice. For example, several errant shots during a scrimmage might be a good opportunity to demonstrate proper shooting mechanics.
Coaches and players alike mainly just want to win as many lacrosse games as possible. However, it’s important to recognize a team or an individual can overdo it on the field.
During the course of a lacrosse season, athlete burnout is common.
In youth lacrosse, it’s best to be cognizant of the duration and frequency of practices. With young athletes, there can be a point of diminishing returns. Players typically perform better when they have received ample time to rest.
4) Team Chemistry
Coaches also need a strategy to help their team develop chemistry. Although there is no magic pill for forming a cohesive unit, coaches should think about these five things before stepping on the sidelines:
- The team comes first
- Every player has equal value
- Everyone gives 100 percent
- Each player has a role
- Lead by example
5) Game Day Plan of Attack
After the team made it through tryouts and the pre-season, the real fun begins.
But before the first faceoff, coaches need to develop a plan of attack for lacrosse games.
From substitutions to man down defense, a coach must be prepared for whatever may happen in four quarters of the fastest game on two feet. Game plans will vary depending on skill and age level.
In the end, coaches who are diligent in preparing for practices and games are much more likely to taste the thrill of victory.