Here’s a list of a few things I think every coach could use when coaching lacrosse.
The whistle is a very important instrument and maybe the first you get by just walking through a sporting goods store. Oh yea, you think as you see a whistle and you just pick one up. This was my approach originally as well…but then I learned. There is nothing better than the Fox 40. Seriously. The sound it produces does very well to get attention of everyone, or you can do subtle tweets with ease. I also love the fact it’s plastic. I had a metal whistle for one day at practice because I misplaced my Fox 40. My lips were freezing against the metal case, not fun. The other reason I really like this whistle in particular is the rubber collar on it. This eases the impact on the teeth and makes it more enjoyable. It’s the little things, but this is the number one tool. Click here to see recommendation
I highly, highly recommend a coach’s clipboard with storage. As a head coach, you are always having to manage paperwork. Could be as simple as your practice plan (which I clip to the front) or as important as emergency forms (good to store inside). Then there are a number of items in between that you handle throughout the course of the year. Without this storage I have no idea where I would put all these forms/papers/whatever without them disappearing or blowing away. I have too many things to think about during practice and where I put some paper shouldn’t be one of them. Like the whistle, I highly recommend going plastic on something if possible. Metal versions would be durable, but I’d never want to hold them during those cold days. Click here to see recommendation
I prefer these low profile cones much more than the tall ones. Most kids somehow run over every cone you lay out in a drill and by going with the disc cones there is a chance you don’t have to reset every cone after one time through your drill. I would also recommend one with a carry case/mechanism. You will be carrying enough stuff to and from the field so the more self contained items the better. You don’t need to have multicolored ones, but with those different colors the cones can then mean different things. Green can mean go left and orange means go right. Or green could mean split dodge and orange means roll dodge. By having colors, each cone can have it own meaning or they could all mean the same. Bottom line, without cones confusion ensues. I highly recommend making sure this is early on your list. Click here to see recommendation
These are a great way to begin, end, middle, whenever…just add it to your practice. Agility is something that is needed for every position and can be a great add on to any drill. Carrying a ball through the ladders and ending with a ground ball is a very simple but great drill. Get a couple ladders and you can use this in your relay races encouraging competition through building agility and lacrosse skills. Make sure you find a ladder with a carrying case. This makes the management and storage of these ladders so much easier because they can get unwieldy. And when its in a bag, the ladder fits in a small space in your trunk to easily be brought out for any practice or pregame drill. Click here to see recommendation
This can help out on multiple fronts. First and foremost this is my go to during timeouts when I need to add a quickhitter play. I like it because of the size, it’s portable, but large enough to get the team on the same page. When you aren’t playing in a game, its great to show the team a drill. You can have everyone gather around as you draw out what a new drill will look like. Two caveats though. 1) Always carry extra markers. You will lose the one you have, or it will dry out (Good thing you have that storage clipboard). Always have extra. Here’s a quick link to a bulk pack: 12 pack black markers. 2) Think about how you’re going to erase. And trust me, you don’t want it to be your hand or sleeve. I used a velcro strap to go around the handle on the board and it went through an old towel. You could also use a golf towel. Click here to see recommendation
These are a must depending on your location. Those early practices or days where the dampness just chills the bone. These will really help out. Buy a large pack and leave them in your trunk. Throw them in your pockets, in your gloves, or in your shoes. Trust me you will love having a pack of these on hand. (Get it, sorry had to throw that pun in there). Click here to see recommendation
MUST. The most comfortable season I ever had was the rain season I finally invested in a rain jacket. Let’s face it we play a rainy time of year, you are going to get soaked at some point. Find a deal going on at your local sporting goods or department store and make the investment. Rainproof pants are a great addition too. I hate those 30-40 degree practices when you get completely soaked and you’re frozen. At least you can stop one of these elements, and for the other you have your hot hands 😉
That wraps up my list of essentials to start coaching lacrosse. I’m leaving a big one out of course with balls and a ball bag, but I’m going to make an assumption that your school/organization/team is providing that. These items above are things that may not come to you, or what you get may not be as good as something else that I think is worth the purchase.
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