So much of the game is mental. What goes on above your shoulders is something that’s often overlooked and rarely spoken of. We’ve all heard the popular buzz words “lacrosse IQ” and “game sense” that recruiters, camp directors and lacrosse coaches like to use these days. Lets focus on five ways to improve your mental approach to lacrosse, play better and win more games.
You are in control of your own destiny and can become as great as you want. Its all up to you. Success isn’t something that just “happens”. If you understand the “more you put in — more you get out” concept you are starting from the right place. It’s no secret that the best players in any sport have trained harder and more efficiently than the others. Some athletes are born with an internal drive and others need to kick start the engine. So how can you improve your drive to become better? You can start by creating a disciplined training schedule and committing to it. If you prove to yourself that you’re committed you will feel better about your game and will see the results. Once you see results, the once disciplined training schedule now becomes a super fun aspect of the game that is natural. As your game gets better your drive will increase and will carry over into all other aspects of the game. It also helps to create little competitions in your head!
Lacrosse is spontaneous. The action that occurs in a game is difficult to simulate — but its worth a shot and will make you better all around player in the long run. The way you train in the backyard will directly reflect your success on the field. Too many lacrosse players think that cranking a ball 200 times on an empty net is the best way to practice. You need to have an imagination and practice moves that are realistic. For example, if you are an X attack man, you should set the balls behind the goal and practice dodging into shots. Have a memory and remember the situations in games when you felt uncomfortable and practice those moments. Play a little game in your head and ALWAYS be moving. Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet and is never played standing still, so there is no reason to practice moves while you are flat footed. Watching more lacrosse will also help you learn the game and the body movements associated with it. Use the backyard as a sanctuary and safe place practice those moves you witnessed.
Confidence comes with preparation. Playing with confidence is something that coaches love to see and team mates find very ensuring. There is no doubt that the confident player is the best one. When the game is on the line do you want the ball in your stick? The best and most simple way to improve your confidence is to play more lacrosse. Confidence speaks to the ability to remain comfortable no matter the circumstances and is improved greatly by in game experience. Join a summer league, play in the neighborhood park, play box lacrosse, etc… If you have the ability to play against older players you will learn quite a bit about experience and how to overcome your fear of failure. Play free.
We have seen some great lacrosse players move on to the next level and completely go quiet. They don’t reach their full potential because they cant adapt to what the team needs. Lets just say for the sake of conversation that the best high school attack man in the country goes to college and the head coach says “we have a great attack line already in place but our team is really lacking talent in the midfield. So we are going to put you on the midfield.” This happens more often than not and only the players that can adapt and embrace the new situation will be successful. The best way to learn to adapt is to try your hand at all positions, even goalie. Although you may like some positions more than others the more universal you are will only help your chances of getting on the field and becoming the best lacrosse player you can be.
NEVER EVER FORGET the reason why we play lacrosse. If it isn’t fun and feels like work then you aren’t doing something right. You need to change your outlook. Every time you step on the field you should be positive and optimistic. We are so fortunate to be able to play this sport. If you are having fun it will be infectious and your team will feed off of that energy. Your bus trips will be fun, your early bird practices will be a blast and your championships will be incredible.
Thanks so much for checking in and we hope you give these 5 tips a try. Here’s to great lacrosse!