US Lacrosse Practice Resources:
Some YouTube Drill Favorites:
Q: Where can I get the poly lines that were used at the clinic?
A: The poly lines came from two sources, depending on curved or straight. Though I am sure there are other sources, we used Amazon.com and purchased Front Row Experience for the curved lines, and GameTime Athletics for the straight.
Q: How can we make a practice plan meaningful to multiple levels of players?
A: Most teams are faced with incorporating multiple experience and talent levels into one practice. The best advice is to be imaginative and flexible. Challenge your new players, unless they show signs of weakening self-esteem. Pull small groups of players who need practice on the same skill, (ie weak handed catching) and put them together to practice that basic. Even your best player has something which needs improvement. Mix your groups up, challenge the more experienced players to SEE the field and be the voice. Lacrosse is a team sport and cannot work when players take the field as individuals. Encourage players to make the "correct" choice in practice, even if Susie can't catch a ball. This is important in their game IQ development. When there is one coach and multiple ability and experience levels, level your groups and rotate them through a series of drills. Visit each group during each rotation and make corrections. Be ready to add or remove something from the drill according to the group involved.
Q: How do you create a practice plan?
A: There are multiple resources available for sample practice plans, including USLacrosse (http://www.uslacrosse.org/resources/practice-plan-archive.aspx) A good rule is to have a practice be 1/3 conditioning, 1/3 stick skills, and 1/3 scrimmage or situational game play. Of course, using disguised conditioning in your stick skills is an easy way to keep the players moving and motivated. As your season progresses, you should be increasing the game concepts instruction according to the team's play on the field.
Q: What is the biggest mistake you see new coaches making?
A: It depends on the age level. At the youth level, coaches should look to the future, even though it is sometimes difficult. For instance, you can teach a fast talented player to run it up the middle and score most times, but once she gets into high school play against a good defense, they will shut her down, force her to a non-existent weak hand, decrease the angle on goal, and the former "star" is left frustrated and with a lot of forcing through and charge penalties. At all levels I there should be increased defensive teaching, and instructional focus on body position and off ball movement.
Q: When your team keeps losing, how do you keep them motivated?
A: I would add the same question for a team that keeps winning. Creating team and individual goals prior to a game and during halftime is a great way to keep players working to achieve. Whether it is shutting down a leading scorer, completing two passes in a row, or working on non-dom hand, all can be worked into a game. To challenge a team running away with a game, you can practice man down situations by keeping five players below the restraining line, instructing your best shooters that they are only to score on an assist, and running "plays" that you have worked on in practice.