"A Coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime."
At Carlsbad Youth Lacrosse, we are grateful for our coaches. With intentional focus on our mission, we are confident there is no limit to our success. As it’s said, “it takes a village to raise our youth” and we are proud to represent Carlsbad amongst the very best. As youth coaches, we have a profound opportunity and responsibility to create a positive environment that cultivates young athletes on our lacrosse fields. Collectively, we will harness opportunities to teach life lessons while preparing our teams to win on the scoreboard.
cornerstones: Positive ENERGY. Best EFFORT. Unity through TEAMWORK.
How we lead, matters.
Establish why the work you are asking your players to do, matters and teach them how to employ it to be successful.
- Learn your players' names quickly
- Greet your players individually and encourage them to greet you
- Curb your ego - Be approachable - hold your players accountable & allow them to hold you accountable
- Encourage your players to praise and motivate each other and be the example
- Be supportive, we all have ailments that vary day to day
- Ask for each player to give their best that day
- Establish your team’s identity
- Set a collective team goal for the day and season
- Thank your players every day for their positive energy, their best effort, and the teamwork they brought to the field
- At the conclusion of the day, encourage your players to THANK their parents for their support
Our energy doesn’t rise for games.
We sink to the level of our practice. It’s a coach’s responsibility to cultivate deliberate high energy, up tempo, and max rep practices. Practice makes us! Pressure is a privilege; practice is a privilege and practices are where we win. The game of lacrosse is fun. Practice should be challenging. Competitors practice to win, to never get it wrong, not to get it right once or just show up and have fun.
If a player is not having fun on the lacrosse field, they are likely playing the wrong sport.
Keep their attention. Think: 10% explanation, 10% demonstration, 80% repetition, and continuous positive reinforcement. Encouraging athletes with positive reinforcement helps them hear and heed the necessary corrections. With that winning combination of truthful, specific praise and constructive criticism, athletic performance improves and so do the chances that kids stick with sports longer and learn all the valuable life lessons inherently available through organized competition.
Optimism is the core of mental toughness “BELIEVE”. If one player “believes”, you can, if the entire team “believes”, you will. Focusing on what you can control is the key to performance and success. It’s one play at a time, every moment matters, working to capture our collective best even when it’s hard to do so. Great coaches teach this! And a tremendous body of research backs this up! The scoreboard is an important part of youth and high school sports…but still just a part. Winning is neither everything nor the only thing. However, in the infamous words of Nacho Libre “I want to Win!”.
It's OK to fail.
When the mistakes happen, as they will, use that moment to teach. The best way to limit repetitive mistakes is to coach them up when they come off the field. As coaches we must understand that the player knows they made a mistake, you know it and everyone watching knows it too. It’s how we handle this moment that matters most. Now is the time to bring your players attention to what they need to do to be successful when they find themselves in that position next time.
Every player has an “Emotional Tank” that works like the gas tank of a car.
When the tank is empty, we go nowhere. When the tank is full, we can go nearly anywhere. Athletes with full Emotional Tanks feel connected to their team and coach, which enables them to learn, perform and compete better! Offer balance and direction. “Do this… correction” NOT “Don’t do that!” or "What are you doing?”. Correction and constructive criticism should be followed up with praise when the player demonstrates success. There is so much success to be had in only a few seconds on a lacrosse field…a ground ball, great pass, assist, goal, save, check and turnover to name a few. Celebrate all of them.
Lacrosse and team sports in general, provide a great framework for cultivating ethical behavior. Winning and losing gracefully are hallmarks of people equipped to live in and lead a civil society. And learning to treat people with dignity, especially under the pressure of competition, is one of the most valuable life lessons sports can offer.