What Is the Best Lacrosse Coaching Style?

Every Player has their preference

denver-mens-lacrosse-coach-bill-tierney Legendary lacrosse coach Bill Tierney is seen in the image above Being a long time player, with 4 siblings that all played lacrosse, I have seen or experienced just about every coaching style out there. Sure, as a player I have my own preferences but, there are definitely positives and negatives in every one. After having at least a dozen head coaches and assistant coaches, I have decided that all coaches are some mix of these two different ideologies: The Drill Sargent: This coaching style is one that is prevalent in all sports at all age groups. It’s the same style used by NFL greats like Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick. However, it’s also used by NFL failure Greg Schiano. These coaches have one specific goal in mind, and that is Results. To achieve the results desired, these coaches tend to use a lot of negative reinforcement. They tend to have a strong, convicting personality and demand respect from their players. In my experience, I have seen this style work well for the most part. Players are very responsive to it and they tend to get better. The problem with this style is it is mostly based on using sprints as a weapon against the team. Coaches use running as a fear tactic to control the team. While teams may find success, many of the players are often miserable and dread practice, causing dissension and lack of motivation. The Players Coach: This style of coach is a difficult one to pull off. It involves a lot of positive reinforcement and sparing negative reinforcement. Player’s coaches tend to be great listeners and often compromise with the players on conduct rules, running, working out, and punishments. This coach tries to pick and choose his battles with the team. An example of this is when the coach lets the team go half speed for practices and joke around with the understanding that everyone will go 100% and be rested for game day. The problem with this style is teams will often take advantage if the leniency. They become lethargic and can play like they practice. It is undeniable that some players respond better to different coaching styles. Others can be overwhelmingly frustrated and confused by the same exact coach. As a rule of thumb I would say that any coaching style can be adjusted to so long as a coach is consistent. Coaches should feel out what their style is, and stick to it. Doesn’t matter if it is the dictatorial style, the player’s style, or some breed of the two, it will not be perfect for everyone.

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