The game of lacrosse becomes more enjoyable as you become a better player. And since the game of lacrosse is by no means easy, this means you have to put in work BEFORE you can really just focus on having fun and playing the game. Maybe that’s a harsh message, but every minute I spend coaching high school kids reinforces this fact.
The kids who have the most fun at practice are often those with the best skills, and they are usually followed by the players with the most developed athletic abilities. There are the kids who are good-natured no matter what, and they’re always a blessing to have on a team, but I can’t rely on all the kids just being happy-go-lucky. I need my players to put in more effort than that.
What can you do as a player to make sure that you’re getting the most out of practice, and the sport of lacrosse?
- Work On Your Skills On Your Own!
Lacrosse is NOT easy. It takes time to develop good stick skills, and you have to do this on your own. In practice, the coaches want you to be learning “the game”, so you need to be able to catch, throw and scoop with confidence. If the coaches want you to be able to catch and throw with two hands, you had better be able to. Lefty line drills are no fun, and frustrating, if you don’t have a left hand. It’s YOUR job to come to practice ready to go. Wall ball, catch with friends, etc. Make it happen. Good stick skills make lacrosse 4963678 times more fun.
- Bring A Positive Attitude!
Showing up to practice and then moping around because you keep throwing bad passes, or are not catching the ball, is extremely frustrating for both your coaches and your teammates. If you’re throwing bad passes or not catching, you have not put in enough work. The only person you can be mad at is yourself. But moping around practice, swearing, throwing your stick around… all these things will help you find your way to the bench. If you won’t work hard on your own, you WILL work hard at practice. And a bad attitude only makes things worse. Don’t be mad at practice because you didn’t come prepared.
- Be Supportive Of Your Teammates!
Some of the kids who want the most support from their teammates also give the least amount of support, and are the harshest critics. The golden rule comes into effect here: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. You could also quote Thumper from Bambi, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s the coaches’ job to tell players what to do, not yours, and if you want support, you need to give support. During game time, it’s you and your team against the world, so build strong bonds and trust during practice.
- Focus On Yourself!
Focusing on yourself does NOT mean being self-centered. It means that you can control one thing out there: YOU. No one can truly control anyone else. You can’t make a teammate catch the ball. All you can do is throw him the perfect pass. You can’t make a teammate throw you a perfect pass. All you can do is give your best effort to catch whatever he throws at you. Your coaches are paying attention. Let them deal with it. Focus on YOU, and giving your best, and others will follow.
- Be A Leader!
Every point above comes together into this final point about being a leader. You don’t have to talk a lot, or be yelling and pumped up all the time. You just have to lead by example, put in the extra work and enjoy yourself. Others will see your happiness and success on the field and want to imitate it.
It’s not just the Captains or Seniors who are leaders. EVERYONE on a team is a leader at some level. When the best athlete on the team sees the worst athlete on the team being lazy, the best athlete might take it a little easier too. So the worst athlete just led the best athlete. Everything everyone does matters.
Games are the most fun when you play hard and play well and win. Practice is the most fun when you prepare to do those things in a game and learn the sport at a deeper level. Follow the guidelines I’ve laid out above and it could happen to you too.
LACROSSE IN OTHER NEWS:
- Weston, MA (2-0) playing with a target on their back | Wicked Local Weston
- Syracuse goalies STILL duking it out for starting spot. Crazy | Syracuse.com
- Since 2010 SEVENTEEN Universities and Colleges have added DIII men’s lacrosse, and SIXTEEN have added women’s lacrosse, in the Midwest | insidehighered.com
LACROSSE VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
The goal is pretty decent. The announcer is NOT Stuart Scott. No matter how hard he tries.
GREAT LACROSSE PHOTOS:
Looks like I can’t move to New Hampshire any time soon as my license plate of choice is already taken!
I wonder if Kyle Harrison has gotten these Beets By Dre yet?
When you do a little farming and preserving, you get a little funny sometimes. Beets by Dre. Love it! Props to Canadian Laxer, Andrew MacMillan, for the photo!