Tag Archives: Coach Lou

Live Blogging Convention Day 2

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What a day. Coach Lou and I had an early morning workout to wake ourselves up. Then it was time to get ready for the opening of the convention. The whole place came together overnight. The live field was ringed with netting and loudspeakers were set up for the coaches attending. The expo featured dozens of companies who were selling all kinds of lacrosse swag and services.

Coach Lou

Coach Lou

Once we were settled, Coach Lou and I went our separate ways. He went to prepare for his presentation and I went to the officials side of the convention center. For six hours I was inundated with new material that will hopefully prepare me for the upcoming season. I must tell you, the caliber of officials speaking at this event is remarkable. I am sitting in rooms with guys who have 15+ years of NCAA officiating experience and they are listening to the same presentation by a referee who has 30+ years in the stripes! It is enough to make you dizzy.

After the officials presentations winded down I headed to the Demo Field to watch my Dad speak about “Six Drills for Speed.” He presented various drills that are designed to expose players to practicing quickly and up-tempo. These drills mimic game speed as good as you can get in practice, and throughout the presentation Coach Lou was throwing balls at players yelling, “faster, quicker!” Roughly 50-60 coaches were seated or standing in the bleachers taking notes, asking questions, or recording the drills. I am certain they will implement at least one of Coach Lou’s drills in their pre-season practice plans.

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Once Coach Lou was finished speaking I headed into the expo to check out the vendors. This was an experience. Bright colors, crazy logos, weird sticks and heads were all around. I felt like I was in the BrandsMart of Lacrosse. I passed by one booth that stopped me in my tracks. Wheelchair Lacrosse is a group headed by Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom that provides instruction in and exhibitions of wheelchair lacrosse. Inspired by wheelchair basketball these guys want to grow the sport of wheelchair lacrosse nationwide to provide another avenue of sport for disabled players young and old. Watching the video of these guys play and taking with Ryan and Bill was truly inspiring. You can look forward to future articles on this sport as AYL and Wheelchair Lacrosse move forward.

After making the rounds of the expo it was time for the keynote address by Jackie Joyner-Kersee. An Olympic Gold Medalist in 1988 and 1992 in the Heptathlon I expected her speech to include how she rose to her success. Instead, she chronicled her defeats and how they fueled her dream to become the most mentally strong athlete at the Olympics. She detailed how her support group of husband, friends, and coaches pushed her hard enough so she could win a gold medal. Her lasting message was that anyone’s dream can be realized but no one can do it on their own.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Mrs. Joyner-Kersee’s speech was a fantastic way to open up the convention and explain why lacrosse needs committed coaches and parents so the kids playing the game today will become the champions of tomorrow.

Now, I cannot go into too much detail of the night Coach Lou and I had after the convention wrapped up for the day. Suffice it to say, we had an enjoyable time yukking it up with all of his college buddies. Tune in tomorrow for a recap of Day 3!


Principles of Coaching

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I believe that if you take a few team Principles and leverage them around a program of creating responsibility, self-motivation, attitude and respect within each player, you will have a formula for individual and team growth and accomplishment.

Principle 1:  Have Fun

Every moment both practices and games should be fun.  Eliminate as much down time in practice as possible,   keep your drills as up tempo drills (no drill should last more then 8-12 minutes) (some drills can be as little as 3-5 minutes).  Don’t over coach.  Demonstrate the skill then get out of the way.

Principle 2: Have a Plan

Practice plans can be the coaches best friend.  Don’t have a practice if you don’t have a plan.  You can always improvise i.e. your plan is modeled for 22 players and only 8 players can make practice.  I cannot emphasize how important a practice plan is for your teams success.

Principle 3: Everyone should play (Youth Lacrosse)

Youth sports should be a positive fun experience.  The statistics are staggering.  Almost 75% of all youth sports participants stop playing at the age of 13.  Most of this can be attributed to, warming the bench without equal playing time, practices that are disorganized or boring, no improvement of individual and team skills.  I am a firm believer that kids learn from their peers (good and bad) and if you only play your better players the other players will never improve.  Plus it is a great opportunity to have your better players become mentors

Principle 4: Teach every position

It is very important to teach every player each position on the lacrosse field.  This is especially true when coaching grades K-4.  Most 5-6 graders and 7-8 graders tend to gravitate to a specific position.  My rallying cry as a middle school coach is to “find a way to get on the field”.  Many of my players move on to the Varsity as 9th graders and because they can play multiple positions they find more playing time at the JV and Varsity level and the tend to contribute right away.

Principle 5: Emphasize the Fundamentals

All to often coaches skip over the most basic skills in the game of lacrosse.  I have the philosophy that everyone knows “NOTHING”.  While this seems harsh we re-introduce the fundamentals to all of our players like…how to hold a stick,  Build a foundation that will never break by teaching the basics properly.  Learning the fundamentals and perfecting the basics at every level are paramount for future success.

Principle 6: Skill Progression

When planning your season incorporate skills that will allow players to grasp fundamentals and concepts that build on daily accomplishments.  Start small and build to more aggressive skills.  Players will be able to piece together each component of the drills in practice and eventually to game situations.  It is no secret that when kids experience improvement, no matter their athletic ability, they will continue to participate and return to learn more.

Principle 7: Set Goals & Rules

Define goals that you have for them right away, especially with individuals. Let each player know what things you expect of him, what roles you would like to see him fill. A leader needs to use his system of beliefs to create the kind of character on the team that expresses who you are. This is how you, the coach will be happiest. You will naturally reinforce the things that they do that display the signature you put on the team.

Give your team a few rules about their behavior or what you expect of them. Make it gospel and build your team from there. If you don’t give them a few rules, then it is just recess. Don’t give them too many rules or they will lose focus. Sit down and decide what three rules you want. This will put a stamp of your character on this group.

Principle 8: Be POSITIVE

Being positive in my opinion is the most important Principle.  Kids get very frustrated when a coach is constantly brow beating them and yelling and screaming.  Bud Grant “Hall of Fame Football Coach” very rarely raised his voice.  His approach was to tell the player not what he was doing wrong but by asking him to try doing something a different way…as an example:  “hey John that was a pretty good play the way you hustled, next try try getting your hips turned up field and you will have better success taking away the top side”.  By giving a complement and then another solution the player will be more willing to try and improve.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

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‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through lacrosse.
No coaches were stirring
Not even Coach Lou.

The children nestled snug in their beds,
While their stick rested right near their heads.
Mama and Papa settled on back
As Mary Jo’s photos danced on their Mac.

With Fall Ball complete,
And all the players replete.
Because games lost and won
Were done with much fun.

They played through the cold,
But as the coaches foretold,
“If you play with your left hand
You will soon command!”

So the players listened,
They watched and they learned.
And every weekend they found,
That their game grew by a leap, and a bound.

But still some struggled
They faltered and fumbled.
Their teammates were there
Hands outstretched with care.

They grew as a team,
And to the parents it seemed,
That their children walked taller,
And held their heads higher.

For lacrosse is a game
Where one can exclaim,
“I played hard, I played fast
And I’m totally gassed!”

Driven home to rest
Mom and Dad can confess,
“This game is great,
He’s in bed by eight!”

As spring comes around
All the players abound.
For the games will come soon,
And they’ll start before noon.

So stay nestled in bed
But don’t stay their all day, instead
Get out with your stick
Until your passes are slick.

Then come out and play
We’ll be out there all day.
With family and friends
On all the weekends.

We hope everyone enjoys our take on a classic Christmas poem. This year has been a blessing to all of us in the Corsetti family. One of those blessings is that every weekend we get to see all of the people that brighten our lives. We hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season with their family and friends. We look forward to seeing everyone again when the Spring season arrives.

With Love and Thanks,
Coach Lou, Mary Jo, Caitlin, and Gordon