These are five things that I want players to think about as they enter this season. If you are coaching this year I would like you to comment on other things that will help players this year too.
As you enter this season you have to have the right attitude. You have to be willing to learn and ready to listen. If you have the right attitude, you will do a lot more of the small things without knowing it. I have one player on my team last year that had the best attitude. It really took me over a year to realize that it was his attitude that was the reason for his improvement.
2. Work Ethic
If you are willing to put in the hard work then the results will show. Apart of your work ethic is practicing the right way. You need to be aware of the time you have to get better and use it well. I understand you have a lot going on with your life, I went thought it, but when you make time to practice or have practice use that time to the fullest. Last year at the start of my season the guys on my team wanted to goof around a lot, I didn’t mind it sometimes. But they didn’t want to goof around during a drill or a time when we had to be productive. Some of the biggest improvers on my team last year were players that had a great work ethic. So, adjust your work ethic to make the most of this season.
3. Ability To Understand The Game
A problem with a lot of new teams or teams that aren’t on the east coast or teams that aren’t successful is they just don’t understand the game that well. Everyone that plays lacrosse should always be learning about the game. That goes for coaches too. To understand you have to learn why teams do things. For a lot of newer and unsuccessful teams they don’t understand the right way to play the game because they don’t have the talent or personal to play lacrosse the right way. So, the first thing to do to understand the game is to ask questions to other coaches or players. You can always ask me, if I don’t know I will do my best to find someone who can. After that watch a lot of lacrosse games to analyze what the teams are doing and why. And if you do understand the game pretty well, you need to help your teammates get a better grasp.
This is another area that you can always improve your game by being a better communicator. It is easy to think for yourself, but to play team defense takes a lot of work and communication. This communication develops on the practice field and translates to the game field the better you are at it. I also think you need to work on you communication with your coaches too. If you don’t understand something they want you to get, talk to them about it when they have free time. They will help, because they teaching to something for a reason, which is to improve your game and help, the team win. If you communicate with you teammates off the field, about when you are going to practice on your own or training your team will get better faster. Keep the communication lines open so that your teammates know they can call on you for help too. You will find yourself practicing more, too.
5. Don’t take things Personal
Trust me a good coach should tell you things that are going to make you mad. But, do not take it personal. As a coach I do want the players to like me, that is how I get them to push it when practice is rough. But, some players need to hear things about their game. An example is I always tell players to scoop a ground ball with two hands. We had a couple of kids I will yell at lot about this. I hope they didn’t take it personal. I was just trying to make them and the team better. This is a good thing to know, you kids might think us coaches are out to get you but we aren’t. We just want to help.
Try to improve in these five areas and I know your lacrosse game will improve greatly. Leave me a comment and tell me your results.
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