Coaching is not a one man job. I don’t care if your name is Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins’ Coach) or Jim Berkman (Salisbury’s Coach) you can’t do it alone. That goes for any level of coaching. If you want to win or be more productive the more qualified coaches the better. Think of every good team in college or pro sports they have coaches for offenses and defense, some even more. The big college programs and professional teams have different helpers doing extra tasks to bring players water. As a result the best way to get better at something is to watch the best and apply that to your team.
Last year when I knew I was going to coach for the first time, the first mission was to see if my friends that I understood and played sports could help me out. One wanted to help out right away, his name was Randall Palmer. He played football in high school and had free time after work. He was excited to say the least. Then my next goal was to get my other friend to Cory Spence, who will post on here now and then, to coach with me too. He has played football and basketball in high school. When Randall and Cory said they were going to help when they could I knew it was a good thing for the team. For many different reasons, first they understood sports and knew that the boys had to be productive if they wanted to get better. Second, they were willing to learn the game of lacrosse from scratch. Third, I trusted them with the boys if I wasn’t there. That is important, when looking for helpers/coaches you want to make sure you can trust them. Since they are going to be around the boys and parents hear everything from kids and every choice you make get analyzed.
I didn’t have time before the season to teach them much about the game. So, if you can get to your new coaches or helper before the season that will make things a lot easier. One thing I think this past summer was take the US Lacrosse Level 1 Coaching Clinic. I would suggest, no matter what level if you are a coach you should take that. It was great to be around a bunch of coaches and level from some of the best was a neat experience and will help your program a lot.
When our practices started last year I set up drills and had Randall and Cory run them. I would give them things to watch for so that they were still helping the player progress. An example would be, on ground ball drills I wanted the guys to get after players to have two hands on their stick at all times and for good body position. That way I could do more coaching during the drills and they could make sure the guys are being productive. Plus they were learning on the job. Then towards the end of drills I would go setup the next drill and when I was ready I would call them over and do the same process again.
Something else to think about is what your new coach’s backgrounds was in or even yours, because that can play a factor. As the season went on we needed to get away from the basics so since I played attack I would work with the offense and Randal and Cory would work with the defense. I would explain what needed to happen at first. With both Randal and Cory have sports background they knew how the basics of defense to JV players, and did a great job.
As the season went on I asked my high school goalie and good friend to come help out a couple of times. He did and that made a huge difference. Then I got a another friend to help out and be just a helper, that was nice because that just saved me a lot of time from doing things that wasted time during practice. And as the season went on the things fell into place and the team started to improve their skills just like my little coaching staff.
I tell you my story to verify that fact that anyone can coach if they have passion for the game. I hope this helps you get more people or friends to help coach lacrosse with you.
Coaching is hard enough, get help. It will make a difference, trust me. If you put in the same passion to coach your coaches as you do you players. It will make your life easier and your players will develop faster.
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