I imagine that title got your attention and it wasn’t designed to trick you, I am going to give you a free playbook. Why would I do that? Wouldn’t my opponents use it against me? The short answer is; maybe, but I don’t care.
Despite the goal of this website, which is to help coaches and players learn how to get better at the fundamentals of the game, the “secret sauce” of a great team has nothing to do with tactics, it isn’t your “X’s & O’s” that makes your team great, there is no great offensive or defensive system that makes your team great, its the people that make your team great, end of story.
Every year coaches spend literally hundreds of hours (and in some cases dollars as well) combing through the internet in search of the “best” drills or “ultimate” practice plan (feel free to use these search words) that will spell victory for their team and produce that championship team. And each year many end their seasons wondering why those tactics and systems didn’t produce the results they sought.
Here’s the thing, its not about what we know about a sport that will make the big difference, yes you need to be competent in the sport but all sports are really not all that complicated. Its about developing a positive team culture that provides a support network for all of our players to learn and grow in a safe atmosphere where they know they are important to the team in some way. When players feel safe in their roles then you have build a foundation on which you can grow each player because they can take risks that will lead to learning and skill development.
So many of us have spent a ton of time worrying about how to come up with the right mix of drills and plays that we’ve spent very little time if any at all on putting together a plan for how to bring our team together and start to build relationships that will provide the foundation for players to learn and more importantly, take risks and grow.
The playbook I refer to in the title of this post is located free on iTunes as an ibook. What you will notice is that it starts with a chapter on what it means to be a great teammate. I used the book “The Hard Hat” by Jon Gordon to develop the “21 ways to be a great teammate” and that is where I believe a coach should start in putting together a positive team culture that will produce what I hope we all are looking for and that is a great experience in our sport for all of our players. Only one team can win the state or national championship each year, and if your team sets that as their goal each year, you will end each season disappointed more often than not. The rest of the playbook has some tactics, some videos, our off season lifting and conditioning program, all the things you’d expect to find in a playbook so feel free to use what you find valuable, but understand that all of those things will not make a bit of a difference if you don’t have a positive team culture where players support each other and understand and embrace their roles.
The playbook can be found on itunes by searching for “mason lacrosse”, or you can go to https://limpert.atavist.com/mason-lacrosse and both of these methods will give you full access to the playbook. Or you can just view the .pdf version located here 2016 Mens Lacrosse Playbook