Coaching LaCrosse: Game Time Responsibilities and Talk Tips

By National Alliance for Youth Sports, Greg Bach

Part of Coaching LaCrosse For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Once you have prepared your players, learned strategy, and made it to your first LaCrosse game, it’s easy to think that the hard part is done. Don’t relax just yet. You still need to keep your game face on and get your players through the game. Here are some responsibilities you will need to handle, as well as some tips for talking your players through the game.

Pregame responsibilities

  • Arrive early to inspect the field for any hazards (broken glass, rocks, loose turf) that could pose injury risks to players.

  • Set the tone for good sportsmanship by meeting with the opposing coach and officials.

  • Make sure each player has all the necessary safety equipment.

  • Have the kids warmed up properly before the game begins, using a series of light drills that cover all the main lacrosse skills.

Pregame talk

  • Speak in a calm, relaxed manner, with a smile on your face.

  • Be brief.

  • Conduct the talk away from any potential distractions.

  • Stress the importance of having fun and displaying good sportsmanship at all times during the game.

  • Avoid using pressure phrases like “Let’s score ten goals today.” Kids can give you their best effort, but they cant control the outcome of games.

  • Build confidence by letting the players know that you’re looking forward to watching them perform.

Halftime talk

  • Highlight the positives of the first half, regardless of the score, and stay upbeat. Don’t dwell on any mistakes.

  • Zero in on a couple of main points that you want to get across.

  • Pile on the praise for the team’s hard work in the first half.

  • At the more-advanced levels, solicit feedback and suggestions on strategy from your players.

  • Encourage water consumption so that the players can rehydrate.

Postgame talk

  • Keep the focus on fun and what the kids enjoyed most about the game.

  • Never let the scoreboard influence what you say or how you say it.

  • Recognize the good sportsmanship your players displayed.

  • Accentuate the positive.

  • Conclude on a high note with a team cheer, and send the players home with a smile.