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* March 26, 2014
* Lacrosse is a team game with lots of scoring.
* Athleticism, skill, teamwork, and heart leads to success. Not physical size or strength.
* Coaches are enthusiatic, willing, and sincere.
* Good coaches coach, to see growth in personal confidence and respect for others.
* That's me, my daughter and our Xavier Club team, 2008! 
 
 

I hope this website is helpful.
Contact me, and if I cannot answer your question, I will try to find someone who can.
I moved from coaching to officiating five years ago. We need more young officials.
Please encourage your players to stay involved!
 
Bill Strietmann

 

 
 
 
 
 
Getting Started - The Basics of Coaching.
1.   Be yourself. Many players just want to be on a team and get a t-shirt with something cool on it. They want to have fun, be with their friends, or try something new. They don't need a lacrosse expert, just a friendly coach. The main job of a beginning coach is to be the organizer. Ask for help from other coaches that currently have a team. Contact your local officials and ask for someone to come and explain the rules to the players and THEIR PARENTS. 
2.    www.uslacrosse.org  Go to the "US Lacrosse Shop", and buy the book, "A Baffled Parents Giude to Coaching Lacrosse". Good consise information.
3.   Watch local high school lacrosse practices and games. Most coaches will help you; especially when you remind them that your players may someday benefit their team! Ask, if they might loan a couple of their experienced players to run a practice. See what drills they are doing. Some drills will be too advanced, so pick the easy ones. Particularly, watch their warm up.
4.   Join US Lacrosse. Take the US Lacrosse Online Coaching Course.
5.   Attend some local clinics. See what pracritce drills they employ. 
PRACTICE.
1.   Practice shooting every practice!!! Free position shooting, and receiving a pass near the goal and shooting. 
2.   Try not to have  a drill with alot of girls standing around, waiting in line.
3.   Keep your instructions ("talking") to a minimum.
4.   Be yourself. Be creative. Make it fun.
Example. Every year toward the ens of the season our Freshman HS team had "Paddleboat Day". Since we practiced at a local park, and they had peddle paddle boats, we took the day off, paddled, and ate pizza. Years after their season was over, they remembered the fun they had paddleboating. Not their won-loss record. Go to a zoo, rent bicycles, or just have pizza delivered. There is no way that skipping one practice will make an iota of difference in someones lacrosse skills. The benefits of recharging enthusiasm and team bonding are paramount in coaching any sport. 
5.   If it's important to them, it's IMPORTANT. One practice, I couldn't get the high school girls to do anything. I finally stopped and asked what was up. They were trying to decide what color shorts to get. Green, white, yellow, black??? It took the whole practice to decide. I knew that if they didn't get it resolved, they wouldn't concentrate on anything. I let them get together, have their discussion, and make their decision. They went with black shorts. Coaching means being aware of their concerns (regardless of how important younthink it is), flexible and adjusting.
Communicating with girls.
1.  No one likes to be openly criticized("yelled at"). Especially girls. During games is the best time to teach. But, teach/coach the right way. When you see something that should have been done differently,  quietly call the player to your side, and calmly explain. Explain what you saw, and ask them if they thought there might be a better way of ....shooting, passing, defending, whatever it was. You might be suprised that they were thinking the same thing but were unable to execute because... their teamate wasn't looking, the defense was guarding them too closely, ???. Yelling from across the field will shut a player down by embarrassing her. Please be careful.
2.  Players need to know when they have done something correctly! Especially during a game. 90% Encouragement; 10% Instruction.
3. During a game I shout "good idea", if players try something and it doesn't work out. Your players need to know; 1. that you are watching. 2. that they are executing correctly, And 3. that you appreciate their effort.
4. Smile! Tell them! Let your players know that you are enjoying their efforts.
5. Make it fun, even when they lose. Be an example. Congradulate the other players and coach on their win. 

Practice
1. Warm up. Jog a lap or two. (5 min)
2. Stretch. (10 min)
3. Shuttle lines. Pass and catch; rt handed, left handed.  Ground balls; towards and away. (10 min)
4. Drill A. 3 person weave, ending in a shot. (10 min)
5. Drill B. 3 vs 2, ending in a shot. (Light defense, object is to pass, receive, and shoot) (10 min)
6. Drill C. Catching and shooting at full speed.  (Pass from side of goal, pass from above 12m) .(10 min)
7. Drill D. Steal the bacon. Two lines, coach throws the ball away, and two players compete to get ball. Winner works towards goal and shoots. (10min)
8. Scrimmage. 20 minutes.
9. Free position shooting. (Shooting and goalie practice. Shots should be where the goalie isn't. If no goalie is available, coach says as player is going to goal-"upper right, lower left," etc.) (10 min)
10. Sprints. Relay races are more fun! Odd vs even birthdays, seniors vs juniors, ???(10 min)
11. Jog lap to cool down. (5 min)
12. Stretch.(5 min)
13. Announcements.  (at end of practice).
Note; vary practice drills to what your team needs.
Ask if anyone has a drill they learned at a clinic that they like...

OFFENSE Basics
1.   Fast breaks lead to many goals. I yell "green light, green light" to let the ball carrier know that she should continue busting toward the goal. If she is not confronted by a defender, she takes the shot. Less experienced players have to be told to "be selfish/take responsibility, don't look to pass to, until you are confronted by a defender. 
2.   Attackers need to keep the area in front of the goal open. Attackers should position themselves outside of the 12 meter fan. "Stop jamming up the middle!"
3.   A pass should be made to a player who is further down the field, and wide open. It is quicker to pass than to run the ball. Assuming adequate skill.
4.   A pass should never be made to a player standing still, who is guarded by a defender. The teamate recieving the pass should be moving toward the pass.
5.     The most effective pass has a low arc, that is passed just above the head of the player catching the ball.  
6.     An effective way to get ahead of a defender, is to step between the defender and the passer.
7.     Jogging on a cut through the 12 meter fan and 8 meter arc, will usually be an easy way for a defender to cover the attacker, and/or steal the ball. Cuts should be made at full speed. This is important to do in practice. Do not practice bad habits. 
8.     Shoot  high or low, left or right. Not at the goalie.
9.     Shots should be made from in front of the goal. Not from the side. Unless you are very, very skilled.
10.    If a player does not have a good shot, don't force one. Possession of the ball is paramount. I yell “patience, patience". Make every shot a high percentage one.  
DEFENSE Basics
1. Chill on checking. It is the job of the defender "to stop an attacker from getting to the goal". This is done with footwork and positioning to get in front of the ball carrier. As soon as a defender tries to check, they commit their feet, and a good ball carrier will roll around them.
2. When possible, double team an attacker. Again, prevent the ball carrier from getting to the goal.
3. If the attack is outside the 12 meter fan, leave them alone. Let run around all they want, unless you are losing and need the ball back before time runs out. Stay in front, and prevent them from getting close to the goal.
4. Defensive players need to talk to one another. "I've got #3", "Switch", "Help".
5. Mirror the ball carriers stick with your stick. Try to intercept a pass, or block the passing lane of the attacker with the ball. The defensive players stick should not be moving from side to side, or towards the attacker stick. It must be outside the "sphere" (7inches away from the opponents head).
6. Zone defense vs Man on man. Zone defense is becoming more popular because it reduces the number of shots in a game. Man to man is easily understood. Zone defense requires knowledge of the "3 second and shooting space" rules.
7. Like basketball, there is a "charging foul" that is assesed to an attacker who forces their way through a defender. A defender is entitled to space. The attacker must go around a defender who has established a position.
8. Never give up. Even when an attacker gets around a defender, the defender must continue to put pressure on from behind.A check from behind is legal at the appropriate level. As long as it is away from the body, and out of the sphere.
9. Stop the ball. Stop the ball carrier. If a ball carrier gets around the primary defender, and is headed to goal, another defensive player needs to let the opponent she is guarding go, and pick up the ball carrier. Stay out of shooting space; approach from the side, with your stick in shooting space, BUT your body outside.

WHERE TO PUT YOUR PLAYERS 
 Ask your players what position they want to play. Some kids just feel more comfortable playing offense or defense.   
Attack.  Ball carriers. They have the best passing and shooting skills. They are usually very quick. They can handle a double team. They have to be patient, and wait to take a "Good/open" shot. 
Midfielders. They must have endurance; they run from goal line to goal line. They attack and cover defensively. They have excellent ground ball skills. They are aggressive, and fight for loose balls.    
Defensive Players.  They have to have quick footwork and be athletic, because they will be covering the opponents best shooters. They must communicate with teamates; when the switching to cover the ball carrier and cutters. They need to stay between the attacker and the goal. Their objective is to keep the ball from the goal, NOT to check. 
Do not make the mistake of putting less athletic or less experienced players on defense.

Emergency Contact Information 
Every player should fill out a basic information sheet. Most important is cell numbers for parents; should there be an injury. It is important that you have this information at practice as well as games. I have witnessed three concussions, three broken ankles, one snapped forearm, and a couple cuts requiring stitches. Some were lacrosse injuries, some rugby, some soccer. YOU MUST BE PREPARED.  911 is the first call, the second is to the parents.
 
Concussions
Most states require concussion education. Most states offer concussion education online and takes an hour or two to complete. Error on the side of safety. Concussions are very serious. In Ohio, if a girl is knocked unconscious, we must call 911 to have her evaluated. Having a blanket in your car to keep her warm in cold weather is a must. Plase become educated.

 
 
 

Lacrosse Links 
US Lacrosse - www.uslacrosse.org
Xavier University Lacrosse - www.xavier.edu/clubsports/lacrosse-women/index.cfm
 

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