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Showing posts from August, 2018

Reflect: Lessons learned to be a better lacrosse coach.

With tryouts now in full swing and a month to sit back and reflect on my successes and failures as a coach, I decided that it's time to put out my lessons learned from the 2017-2018 lacrosse season. A year ago, getting ready to start my first season as a head coach at the U-13 level, I was full of confidence and optimism. I was finally going to be able to apply all of my beliefs and hypotheses on what would mold a highly competitive youth team. We certainly had some successes, but there is plenty of room for improvement, and that starts with me, the coach. Dunning-Kruger Effect The Dunning-Kruger Effect suggests that most people suffer from illusory superiority; that is, people with low ability have a tendency to overrate their talent in a given subject matter. Have you ever heard that most drivers would rate their driving skill as above-average?  Having been successful as a defensive coordinator in the 2016-2017 season, my confidence in my ability to be a head coach

Effort Counts Twice

I do my best to read a little bit every morning. My reading interests are generally tied to psychology, sociology and economics; that is, different topics that influence our motivation. Having hit a bit of a lull in my regular reading, I decided to thumb through one of my favorites, Grit  by Angela Duckworth. In the book, Duckworth covers all of her research on motivation and achievement. She has boiled it down to "grit", rather than talent, is a much better indicator of future achievement. What is Grit? Grit is that sense of stick-to-it-iveness. That inner calling to dust yourself off after a failure and try again. That motivation to put in hours upon hours of practice with one specific goal in mind. In the book, Duckworth discusses the four pillars of grit (interest, practice, purpose, hope), but for now, I want to focus on her leading point: effort counts twice. Effort Counts Twice As lacrosse coaches, I think it's easy to let first impressions seal the deal

Tryouts! (How to make my team)

It is the beginning of a new season - which feels completely bizarre considering that last season has just ended. As a coach, I am trying to compile my lessons learned from the previous year and immediately turn them into action as we get into a new season. With every season, there is some churn in our roster which gives us an opportunity to invite new players to join our team. My goal for every season is to have my team firing on all cylinders by the end of April/May. This means I've got plenty of time to work and develop my players over the course of the fall, winter and early spring. While stick skills will help immediately in the fall, I would still probably give a hard working athlete with average stick skill the advantage over an average athlete with great stick skills and a questionable attitude.  With all that said, here's what I'll be keeping an eye out for at tryouts: The Good Ground Balls -  Ground balls are the single biggest indicator of a har