Tag Archives: best

How To Have A Good Tryout

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With Coyote Tryouts coming up I have heard a lot of questions from players and parents about how to have a good tryout. The rules below come from my experiences trying out as a player, coach, and evaluator. Follow these rules and you will have a successful tryout, but remember, they are no guarantee for making the team. They will, however, improve your chances.

Rule #1 – Hustle Everywhere

  • Coaches and evaluators are looking for the players who hustle all the time. I don’t care if you are the bomb-diggity player of your lacrosse team. If you do not hustle you will not make a select team. So how do you show hustle everywhere? Simple – do not let a coach see you walking. Jog from your car to the sideline. Move with purpose from drill-to-drill. Run at a million-miles per hour when you need to slide or get open. I kid you not, there will be evaluators who write down: “Great player but does not run anywhere.” Prepare yourself for two hours of exertion – if you are not tired at the end of a tryout something is amiss.

Rule #2 – Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

  • This should go without saying, but you need to be prepared for a tryout. That means waking up on time, eating a solid breakfast, drinking water well before the tryout to stay hydrated, and having all of your required gear. Do not be the one player who comes up to a coach without a glove. That tells me two things. One, this player does not care about his equipment. Two, this player wants the coach to bail them out of trouble. Check your lacrosse bag when you pack it at night for all your gear. Then check it again before you leave the house in the afternoon.

Rule #3 – Pay Attention

  • The tryout moves with or without you. Coaches are going to explain a drill one time, then they will start the drill. Coaches will not waste time because one player out of fifty was not paying attention and needs them to repeat the instruction. Every time I see a player with wandering eyes while I give out instruction, I make mental note of their number, and it is not a positive mental note. Each player at a tryout should give their supreme effort to pay attention at all times. If you do that, you will not get left behind.

Rule #4 – Caution, Fast Objects

  • Coaches want players who can play fast. That means running hard, passing the ball quickly, and sliding with speed. They want Attack players who will V-cut as quickly as they can. They want midfielders to fly off the wing lines on a face-off. They want defenders to slide aggressively, and they want Goalies to get the ball upfield quickly. However, above all of this, coaches want the ball passed fast. I guarantee you they will not care if you drop the ball occasionally, so long as you are firing that ball out of your stick like a clown out of a circus cannon.

Rule #5 – Talk!

  • I hate silence at a tryout. As a coach, I am going to be completely hoarse by the end of the day, and players should be tired from moving their mouths throughout the practice. Coaches want to hear players talk constantly. That means saying “I’ve got your help,” “One more,” I’ve got your left,” “Fire, Fire, Fire!” The only time you should not be talking is when the coach is talking. When you are in a drill, make it your mission to be the best communicator out there.

Rule #6 – Don’t Wallow In Your Mistakes

  • You are going to make mistakes at the tryout. No one has ever had a perfect tryout, and no one ever will. Tryouts are meant to challenge a player, and challenge means adversity. You will drop a pass, miss a shot, or get beat on a dodge. Do not make a big deal out of it. The coaches are looking for a player who makes a mistake on one play, and then comes roaring back with a vengeance. They want a player who cares enough about a mistake to change their game to fix it, but does not concern themselves with a past mistake. Coaches want forward-thinking players. If you screw up, accept your mistake, and then fix it. Players who can do that prove to coaches that they deserve a shot.

Rule #7 – Do You Want It? (Also known as “fire in the belly”)

  • Some players try out, but they don’t really want to try out. Maybe their friends were on last year’s team. Perhaps their parents want them to play on a travel team. You need to have the fire to be on an elite team. I’ve been doing this for so long I can look at a player for five minutes in a scrimmage and tell if they have the fire in the belly to be on the team. These are the players who follow Rules 1-6. They hustle, they talk, they move fast, but above all they want to be at that tryout, and they show that through their actions.

Rule #8 – Leave Everything On The Field

  • While I do not guarantee that following Rules 1-7 will earn you a spot on a travel team. I do guarantee that if you leave everything on the field, you will have a successful tryout. Remember, if you put your heart into your game a coach will notice you. They may decide to wait a year, but you will be on their minds as a player who puts all the effort they have into the game of lacrosse.

I hope all of the players reading this are as excited about tryouts as I am. The other coaches and I will give you our very best, will you give us yours?



Personal Best

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Yesterday a truly astonishing moment happened to me. I ran one mile faster than I ever had before.

At 9:30 in the morning I had the cardiorespiratory test for Strength Training at Kennesaw State University. The test was simple. Run 1.5 miles as fast as you can. I slipped my Vibram Five-Fingers onto my feet and prepared for some pain. Breathing deeply at the start I took off at a modest pace as my body acclimated to the physical stress. After 7 1/2 laps around the Campus Green I clocked in with a time of 11:55. A fairly respectable time but I did not feel tired. In fact I was pissed off at myself because I felt I could have pushed harder on the last two or three laps. Fortunately this disappointment would not last for long.

Right after the cardio test I walked to my second class Walk/Jog for Fitness. I know, you are as astonished as I am that walking and jogging is a college class. Personally I cannot wait for Eating/Sleeping for Fitness next year. Everyone checked in at the classroom and we headed out to the Campus Green for yet another cardiorespiratory test! This time we were only running a timed mile of 4.25 laps around the green. This was a truly unique opportunity for me. My legs were still warm from the earlier test and I knew I could push myself harder, but there was a problem.

As I walked to the green my feet started hurting. Two well developed blisters on each of my feet threatened to put an end to my run that day. So instead of suffering I took off my Vibram’s and decided to run the mile completely barefoot. Toes on the cool concrete I slammed my hand against my watch and I was off.

Lap one and two were getting into the groove. Stuck behind a track guy and an ROTC guy in full workout gear I used them to keep my pace as high as I could for two laps. Crossing into lap three I kicked into another gear. I passed by the ROTC runner and settled in behind the track guy. Halfway through lap three I still had not tapped into my reserves so I drove harder. Passing the track guy I saw the start of lap four coming up. I told myself I was going to sprint the last lap as hard as I could. Once my foot crossed the line I started pumping my arms and breathing deep. Staying on the balls of my feet I charged forward dodging around people on the green. With a half lap to go I was hurting but I still had more to give. I dug a little deeper and found untapped energy in my legs. That carried me through to a quarter lap away from the finish. At this point my breath was ragged, my legs on fire, and my face contorted in agony. I wanted to leave all of myself on that last quarter lap. I ran harder than I thought I ever could and crossed the line with a time of 5 minutes and 40 seconds. My new personal best.

Here is the problem. Now that I have a new personal best I have to strive to beat it again. It may be next week, next month, or next year but I now have to strive each day to get past that best. With that in mind ask yourself what are your personal bests right now and how can you exceed them? Do you want to lift more weight? Do you want to get and A on the next test instead of an 88? Do you want to spend more time with your children or your spouse? Well the only way that will happen is if you commit yourself to doing it. Write down what you want to do better. It does not have to be a big thing it only has to be big to you. Then, once you reach it try and to go further. Who knows you might even surprise yourself at how good you can be.


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