“Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception. This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones” (http://www.economist.com/node/13354332).”
Have you planned obsolescence into your lacrosse game? Are you practicing with the correct technique every time or are you taking shortcuts during practices, games, and on your own time? If you have dreams of playing at the next level. Whether that be a travel team, your school’s JV or Varsity program, or college lacrosse you cannot plan obsolescence into your game. If you do, you will never make it to that next level.
I do not mean to sound harsh, but the truth is simple: players that practice as consistently and as perfectly as they can are the ones who will reach their goals in lacrosse. You play how you practice and you’re game will eventually rust out if you do the following regularly in practice:
- Scoop the ball one handed instead of getting low with two hands
- Let your stick hang to the side after a dodge
- Shoot sidearm (I know it looks cool, but until you can shoot it overhand you don’t need to worry about sidearm)
- Checking without moving your feet on defense
- Twirling your stick when running down the field
- Not stepping to the ball as a goalie
I could continue, but you get the point. Poor habits in practice lead to lacrosse skills that are obsolete. However, the basics are always on the cutting edge. If you master the basics, the foundation of your game, you can then experiment as you gain mastery of lacrosse. Believe it or not, there is a time and place for scooping the ball one handed, for raking the ball, for shooting sidearm. I don’t encourage my youth players to do any of these things because they have not yet mastered the basics of their game.
We as coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all of players coming out to play lacrosse do everything as well as they possibly can. They don’t have to be perfect straight out of the gate, but they need to have the fundamentals down. In all levels of lacrosse, but youth especially, the coach must be eagle-eyed to players taking shortcuts because they are tired, feeling a little lazy, or too cool for school. If you let your players take these shortcuts, you are allowing them to cement poor habits into their game before they’ve even stepped on the field in competition. Don’t allow your player’s game to break down and rust. Be vigilant as a coach and always insist that players do everything they can to enhance their game.
Here’s something I tell my players at nearly every practice: “I don’t care if you miss the ball, just hustle to get it and get right back into the drill.” Don’t allow your players to focus on their mistakes, reward the hustle if they miss the ball and you ingrain something in them much more important than any lacrosse skill you teach. You ingrain the desire to forget about the mistake and get back into the drill, which will serve your players well as they grow in this game.
FYI – If you’re in the Atlanta area, I offer private and group instruction. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your player is interested in lessons. I specialize in the fundamentals, defensive technique, and speed and agility training.
Featured Image Credit – www.flickrhivemind.net