It’s Got to be Personal
We believe that the best coaches are those that do take the game and their team’s efforts personal. As a leader for a team, they connect personally to the team’s goals by wanting to become better themselves through achieving the goals. This creates an authentic energy for all players to want to jump on board and be a part of something special. As coaches, we respect the opportunity both players and parents entrust to us each week to teach Lacrosse and character skills that can last a lifetime.
We believe that coaches should be clear on what it takes to attempt to achieve any goal established by the team and that failure in an honest effort to achieve that goal(s) is possible. But, if each player works hard and puts the team first, they will have done all they can do and will feel a sense of pride regardless of the outcome.
We believe in both regular and informal communication between coaches and players and parents. We generally subscribe to the 24-hour rule that allows for any coach to be available to a parent for a discussion about a particular practice or game 24 hours after that practice/game. Players have real time, any time communication ability with coaches.
We believe it is essential for coaches to instill in each team and their players the idea of what a “good mistake” or an “advancing mistake” looks like. A good mistake is a mistake that will keep a team moving towards the stated goals and are the result of attempting to master particular skills or facets of the game which is part of the process of both player and team development. Failing to make mistakes in practices (and at times in games) can potentially be the sign of a team stagnating.
The Right Decisions, Not Always the Easy Ones
We believe one of the best ways for coaches and teams to connect comes when coaches made the “right” decision not the “popular” or “easy” decision. We want our players to see coaches struggling with tough decisions and making the right decision, doing the right thing.
We believe Lacrosse is as much about mental as it is about physical preparation. We want to regularly ask our players to stretch their abilities, to test their physical and mental capabilities in an effort to expand their game and we will “positively challenge” all players in this regard. We believe at the youngest levels that it is crucial for players to be moved around and challenged in various positions to allow for skill development and also the attainment of a greater perspective for the game, essential to long term capability enhancement.
Be Big in Small Moments
Finally, we believe that the true measure of any player, of any person for that matter is their actions and reactions when no one else is watching. Some players can turn it on at crunch time, others can be great clutch players. Each of these are enviable traits. But the true measure of character that we seek to instill is for each player to realize it is their commitment and passion to be big in the smallest moments that will truly carry the day. In Lacrosse, most goals start from the smallest most innocuous plays originated by a player doing his/her job. It could be winning a ground ball, making a good pass to start a breakout, clearing a missed shot to start a transition, or making a line change when a player is tired to get a fresh pair of legs on the field. Whatever it is, as coaches we seek to teach players that in Lacrosse, as in life, you can be defined by the things you do, the truly big things you do, when no one is watching or if they are, it would appear your efforts are either unnecessary or unnoticed.