Youth lacrosse in Shelburne, VT

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INTRODUCTION-Below are recommendations from U.S. Lacrosse on methods to teach lacrosse skills.
LESSON 1-    IDEA Method
The IDEA method presents a comprehensive methodology for teaching lacrosse skills.  A coach should try to implement each component when tackling a new skill, drill, or concept.  The IDEA method provides a framework from which the coach can build on.
I  Introduce the skill
Young players need to know what skill they are learning and why they are learning it.  To do this:
a)Get your players attention (speak slightly louder than normal and position the players so they can see and hear you)
b)Name the skill
c)Explain the importance of the skill (offer them a reason for learning the skill and describe how it relates to more advanced skills)
D  Demonstrate the Skill
Kids need a visual to understand a skill.  If necessary, you can have a player demonstrate a skill if they have proper technique.
E  Explain the Skill
As you are demonstrating the skill explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Use simple terms and if possible relate it to a previously learned skill.  If it is a complex skill try to break it down into parts. 
A   Attend to the Skill
Players should then attempt the skill.  Attend to the players as they attempt the skill by observing them and offering them suggestions.  Remember to use positive comments with players, pointing out what they did well and then offering suggestions on how to improve.
All coaches need to teach skills and develop drills in a progression from simple to complex.  The following is an example of a natural progression: a) players practice the skill alone; b) add moderate pressure on the player by having a coach or another player passively challenge him/her and; c)  go live or add competition.  Follow a natural progression of basic skills that a player can understand mentally and physically.  In other words, teach the cradle before you teach the dodge.
1) Have the player perform a skill repeatedly by him or herself.
Concept:  This gives the most exposure for trial and error and allows a self-exploratory process to occur.
2) Ask the player to do the skill with a partner.
Concept: Helps player gain insight by watching the skill being performed correctly or helping the partner with suggested corrections.
3) Introduce a passive opposition or defender to challenge the execution of the skill.
Concept: Increase pressure and complexity.
4) Raise the challenge of the skill and add more pressure by having the players compete for the ball and finish with a rewarding opportunity, like a shot on goal.
Concept:  Additional pressure and complexity.
5) Finally, test the performance of the learned skill in a modified “game” situation.
Concept: Should be specifically designed to include the skill as a factor in leading to a scoring opportunity or winning conclusion.


Daily practices should include some repeated opportunities to perform previously learned skills.  Use the progressive concept just covered to design your drills.

Key components to successful drill design include:
-Organizing practices and drills depending on age, skill level and experience of players.  For example, a drill designed for 13 year-olds might need to be modified for 8 year-olds, whose mental and physical ability to perform the skill is less developed.
-Repetition and variation of a particular drill
-Disguising drills and conditioning as games
-Using Partner drill-Introducing a defender after learning the skill
The manor in which the coach communicates the error to a player is vital.  It should make them feel good about themselves and promote a desire to improve.
-Use a positive approach in saying what should be done, versus a negative approach of what is not to be done.
-Be encouraging and praise the effort of the player first.
-Finally, give a simple and precise statement on how to correct the error.  Explain the cause of the error and why you are recommending the change.
What you are thinking…. Identify the basic mistake and correct positively.
1. Catch- That clueless player is moving the stick toward a ball as it touches his stick.
Nice try, be sure to give with the stick as the ball approaches.
2. Ground Ball- I told him 10 times before not to rake the ball like that.
You will get it next time, remember to scoop through the ball.
3. Shoot-  How can she miss the cage by that much.
Way to fire the ball.  Remember to shoot overhand because it is more accurate.
4. Throw- That is supposed to be a pass, not a bounce shot to your teammate.
Almost.  Remember to use a push and pull motion when throwing the ball.
5.  Defensive position- How can any player let the player with the ball run past her like that. You’re almost there, be sure to shuffle your feet and not to lunge.
FILLING THE EMOTIONAL TANK -Remember the 5-1 ratio of 5 positive comments for each correction.  See the Positive Coaching Scripts and Coaching Philosophy for more on Filling the Emotional Tank.