Teams with a long tradition of excellence and an even longer roster do not have to worry about loss of player time due to injury-they can merely reload and run another midfield line in the rotation. It is a luxury reserved for the UVa's of the collegiate game or the West Genesee's of the high school game. Most programs, however do not have that advantage. Thus, the mortal coach must get the maximum effort and performance out of a small number of athletes. Injuries that devastate a player can also devastate an entire roster as well as ruin a promising season.
In order to preserve your limited roster there are some warning signs: to know the signs is to prevent and eventually have a cure that will ensure some success at the end of the season.
The Warning Signs
1. Late Game Meltdowns - teams that reflect player fatigue usually demonstrate a pattern of meltdowns in the final minutes of the game; leads shrink without player anticipation; groundballs that have been gobbled up are routinely missed and overshot.
2. Missed Defensive Assignments -
Players who were step for step with their offensive opponent-now have made mental mistakes on their slides and have started to stand after a goal with their arms outstretched with their palms facing up.
3. Lack of Enthusiasm -
Players-especially captains who exit the field and hover by the water-or do not show/cheer for those on the field.
4. Laboring up and down the field - Players who seemed to have not only lost a step but their strides are awkaward.
5. Preponderance of Small Injuries - The player who never complains of injury begins to have small injuries. Injuries
nag. When standing around a player constantly stretches or attempts to circulate their shoulders
6. Weight Loss-or Insomnia -
Players who are fatigued are too tired to eat and/or sleep-thus the player may
mention that they are too tired to eat or have not been able to sleep lately -
1. Communication with players is key-know them you know the warning signs
2. Limit the fatigue players minutes in practice-your leader does not have to be first all the time or perform all the drills
3. In games-use your bench players early in the game; Use your bench players in non-league and non- rival games.
4. Incorporate Strength training into your practice-You do not need a weight room to be stronger.
John Kenney has coached at top high schools in New York and Michigan and publishes the LACROSSE COACH Newsletter. Now in it's third year of publication, Lacrosse Coach provides valuable information to coaches in every phase of lacrosse coaching and is the best source of regular information for the lacrosse coaching professional. Each issue features many articles on varioua aspects of coaching the game.
Lacrosse Coach is highly recommended by E-Lacrosse for any lacrosse coach. Just imagine a whole newsletter as valuable as the advice you've just read, published quarterly, covering all aspects of the game. And it's only $18.95 a year. You can just read Coach Kenney's monthly column here on E-Lacrosse for free and have a distinct advantage over those who haven't. But, what if the coach of the team you face next week is reading all of Coach Kenney's articles in the newsletter. In our opinion, one can spend 30 years accumulating coaching experience or spend the 20 bucks and trust John Kenney.
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