Coaching: Does Your Team Start Slow in Games?

Herein lies the answer to the question. Coach Daly from Tufts shared how he puts their work 10v10 in a different part of the practice plan almost every day. Coach Murphy from Penn loves to light it up right away and set the tone for practice with an 80-yard 3v2 back and forth at top speed. Our recent article with Coach Lawrence noted that he often loves to run an incredibly fast paced 2v1 to 2v2 drill for just five minutes immediately into practice to set the tone (see the Put Passion in Practice article).

One of my favorite coaches, Ted Garber, prepares his team to come out on all cylinders in games with a full-field drill that really makes players think. He also uses quick double teams out of every corner of the field (see the Get Game Ready 1-2-3 Drill in the article section of my site), again done at the beginning of practice on some days. We have heard this technique from almost all the coaches we interviewed this year.

It just makes so much sense. Where have I been for 30 years? That is why they are on television and I am coaching club.

We would all agree that players tend to play the way they practice. If we practice in the exact same format everyday, beginning slow and building throughout practice to really get moving in the second hour, perhaps we have solved the mystery of why our teams come out slow in some games.

The answer is to keep your practice plans changing and evolving with different drills run at a fast pace. But now we also need to change the sequence. That does a great job of preparing the kids to be game ready. It makes practices different and interesting. And it prepares players to deal with changes on the fly, giving 100% all the time.

This was the first year we tried changing the sequence, but always starting with a fast paced drill. The players loved the changes, and they played so much more aggressively in the first quarter. Now teams often spot us a few goals. It requires a minor change in the way you plan practice but delivers major results.

I would love to hear your comments and feedback. is a unique site for lacrosse coaches, offering drills and ideas from the greatest coaches in the country. E-mail your comments to

All of the previous articles on coaching and drills from Lax Coach Mike can be found on the Lacrosse Drills, Instruction, and Training page. His eBook is also available.

«  Previous    1 2


Create a free lacrosse website