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Coaches Corner

20 Tips to Becoming a Better Lacrosse Player

Do not read any further unless you agree to the following;

 “The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.” Mia Hamm

 1. Desire. You must really want to become better & love the game. This needs to come from you. No coach or parent can do this for you.

 2. Willingness to work hard - when you want to and when you don’t.

 3. Believe in yourself – Everyone has potential but few develop it. Understand that you have just as much opportunity to become a great player as any other athlete in any other part of the country.

 4. Don’t be a LaxBro. You are not in Annapolis or Long Island at the beach  - You are in Arizona with no ocean, waves, or sand . . . So only posers pretend to be LaxBros in the desert. Don’t be that guy . . .

 If you are ready to get better – Here you go;

Listed are different things that will help you become a better Lacrosse player. Many of these are things other players your age do in other parts of the country where Lacrosse is big. Some you already know and some you probably don’t.

 Remember – Practice how you play. Practice hard, play hard. Practice soft, play soft.

 “I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” Michael Jordan

 1. Wall Ball, Wall Ball and more Wall Ball. Focus on good mechanics, then reps with good mechanics.

 2. Play other competitive sports. Participating in other sports makes you a better overall athlete both mentally and physically. Play Football, Soccer, Basketball, Hockey, Wrestling, Swimming, etc. Don’t become one dimensional, especially at the High School Level.

 3. Run. Simulate Lacrosse types of running; stopping and starting, short sprints, cutting, lunges, and karaoke. Our personal favorite is the Syracuse 440. Find a soccer or football field. Run from endline to endline 4 times and repeat that 3 times with a 5 minute rest in between. Syracuse runs these at 63, 68 and 72 seconds respective. That's what it takes to play DI.

 4. Run with your stick, gloves and a ball. Simulate playing.

 5. Strength & agility training. See your coach if you are serious about upgrading your strength and agility. P90X this summer?

 6. Fundamentals – develop your stills & fundamentals correctly. Bad habits and lacking fundamentals will significantly limit your ability to improve & compete at higher levels. Remember all the times coach corrected you this past season – Did you respond with an excuse or come back next practice with a new skill?

 7. Shoot 100 balls a day - everyday. Many DI coaches tell players this over and over again. It's about dedication. Time & room, and on the run. Drop 10 balls at a time, scoop at full speed, split and shoot on the run. Tennis balls work fine.

 8. When you run (if you don’t carry your stick) take a Tennis ball and dribble it like a basketball with both Right & Left hands.

 9. Find a field. Take your stick, gloves and ball and pick up ground balls. Drop, kick, hockey, scoop, cradle out and repeat.

 10. Watch great Lacrosse players and teams any chance you get…Hopefully you DVR’d all the NCAA lacrosse games if not You-Tube is a great resource.

 11. Play lacrosse any chance you get. Attend summer camps, leagues and indoor. College players are back for the summer - find them and ask for help

 12. Experiment – Especially when you are playing summer league, at camps or indoors. Try new things.

 13. Always practice what you cannot do. Develop your weaknesses until you have none.

 14. Minimum exercise everyday is push ups, pull ups and sit ups. Goal is 100 each every morning.

 15. Develop your on your off hand. Go to the wall and only use your off hand; including ground balls.

 16. Work on your hand eye coordination; Stick tricks are great for this. Catch and bounce the ball off your sidewall, butt end, etc. Goalie? You must learn to juggle - today.

 17. At the wall perfect your dodges. Have at least one or two that you are confident will work in almost all situations when you need them.

 18. Jump rope! Probably the most forgotten about cardio exercise also works all your muscles, strengthens legs and core, develops great power and balance, rhythm, etc. Just ask Manny Pacquiao.

 19. Play pick-up games of Basketball. It’s no coincidence that the inventor of Basketball (Dr James Naismith) played lacrosse in college. The offense and defense concepts are still the same after more than 100 years, and the best dodges and cuts come from basketball.

 20. Walk, then jog, then run up the many mountains we have at our disposal here in AZ. Grab a team mate and make it competitive. Time yourselves and beat that time every time.