Q&A with Milton (GA) Girls' Coach Tim Godby

Despite a background in basketball, Tim Godby took the reigns as head coach of the Milton (GA) girls' lacrosse program in 2005. Having never played or coached lacrosse before, Godby quickly became a student of the game, visiting clinics all over the region and talking with as many local coaches as he possibly could. Plus, by discovering similarities to basketball in regards to concepts and strategies, the transition proved to be natural. Since Godby became head coach, the Eagles have captured five state titles, including a convincing 14-4 victory over rival Lassiter in the 2010 championship.

In this week's high school lacrosse Q&A feature, staff writer Adam Warner talks with Godby about his transition from basketball coach to lacrosse coach, how exactly he gets his team prepared each day, and how he built a lacrosse powerhouse in less than five years.

Talk about your background and how you eventually came to be Milton's head lacrosse coach.
"I have a background in basketball and coached at the high school level for 10 seasons. In 2005, they needed someone to coach girls' lacrosse at Milton and I accepted the position. I was able to learn the game quickly because it's somewhat similar to basketball. I really picked up on the concepts of offense and defense from the very onset."

Before you were named Milton's head coach, you had an extensive background in basketball, not lacrosse. What did you do early on to study lacrosse and learn about its strategies and schemes?
"I studied the game and read a lot of material. I talked to other coaches and went to clinics across the region as well. We also had a few parents of players on the team that had played the game and helped out. Once I became more familiar with lacrosse, the more I realized it was like basketball. I'd go to clinics and even hear coaches talk about watching basketball teams play."

You've had success as a lacrosse program since the very beginning of your coaching tenure. What do you attribute most to the team's success?
"It's not really one thing, but rather a combination of things. First, we had some really talented players when I started coaching. But we also had a lot of support from parents and administration as well. As for me, I'm always trying to study and learn the game and finding opportunities for girls to play and develop their skills. It's the hard work from a lot of different people that enables us to be successful."

Milton has won five of the last six state titles. What do you see as key factors in sustaining success over time?
"We continue to try and get better every year and not be complacent just because we have won in the past. We work extremely hard at developing our youth program. We spend a lot of time trying to get more kids interested at a younger age and really grow lacrosse in the community. We are fortunate to have a large youth program and it allows us to build on our success each year."

Talk about a typical week of practice for the team. What's particularly emphasized?
"We really like to make practices competitive and fun for the girls. If the girls are losing focus, we try to make things competitive and get them working harder. For instance, we'll initiate a ground ball drill and keep score. If the players get the ball, they get credit for takeaways. If they lose the ball, they'll do pushups or sprints. It really motivates them to work hard. When we come to practice, the coaches are prepared and we expect the girls to be prepared as well. We want to play at a championship level and that's the mindset. We aren't a "rec" team. We're trying to win games and be competitive."

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