10 Fundamental Tips for Coaching Youth Lacrosse By Sara Noon at USLacrosse
Coaching a new sport can be overwhelming. As lacrosse explodes into new geographic areas and permeates the youth sports scene, the demand for qualified coaches will continue to grow. Even if you’re new to the game, you might be asked to step in and help out. While you might not be an expert on the X’s and O’s right away, there are universal coaching principles that can empower you to succeed in this role.
We’ve partnered with Dr. Richard Ginsburg, a noted sports psychologist and member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, to present the "Top 10 Tips for Coaching Youth." Ginsburg, who also serves as a member of US Lacrosse's Sports, Science and Safety Committee, challenges coaches to examine what they love about the game and to consider what inspires them to coach. He also encourages coaches to reframe their definition of success—with outcomes ranging from winning to having fun, from skill improvement to learning sportsmanship.
Using age-appropriate methods and understanding the developmental differences in youth of various ages and gender will help you, the new (or experienced) lacrosse coach, prevent injury and promote positive cognitive and motor development.
Here are Dr. Ginsburg's 10 tips for coaching youth lacrosse players, and youth athletes in general. For more on each of these principles, check back as we discuss one per day for the next two weeks.
1. Fun is essential.
Studies have shown a strong correlation between enjoyment of the activity and participation longevity. Kids remain active in a sport if they are having fun. Performance also improves when participants enjoy playing the game. (Tuesday, Sept. 23)
2. Teach sportsmanship early.
Coaches must seize the opportunity to impart good values (integrity, respect, compassion, etc.) and to model good behavior. (Wednesday, Sept. 24)