Lacrosse Tryouts – 6 musts to do to prepare

Getting ready for the annual review and evaluation of the team can be a very stressful time for a coach. Especially when you will be needing to cut the numbers down. I unfortunately had to share this fate with some quite a few individuals during my time and it is never, ever, ever, fun. I always hated this necessary evil especially knowing most of these kids won’t have a back up rec league option. But in fairness to the players that make it, this is a chance to set your team with the best possible crew to advance to playoffs. This is your chance to weed out the “drill killers” and those that will slow down your teams progress. However, this post isn’t about that process, but there is a lot to dissect there.

Here are the 6 musts to prepare for tryouts

  • Location and Time Set
    • Ensure your location is prepared for you
    • Prepare the location – cones, paint, goals, etc.
    • Do you have an indoor contingency plan?
      • The weather never seems to cooperate
  • Produce a tryout flyer
    • How do players know the when and where
    • Product a simple word document with the basic location/time information
    • Also include what to wear/bring. I’ve seen kids show up in just sneakers, t-shirt, and shorts. We were going outside in 30°F weather, and oh year, they needed lacrosse equipment!
  • Generate a player tryout spreadsheet
    • Have them register before so you can pre-populate a spreadsheet
    • Leave room for last minute adds
    • Add columns to the list for what you are testing for (40 time, 3 cone, mile run, etc)
  • Prepare a tryout speech
    • To me this is one of the most important thing as this sets the tone for the season. Here you clue players into the kind of coach you are and the team you want to run.
      • What kind of people you want
      • What kind of athletes you want
    • Communicate about the details of the tryout in front of them
      • What the tryout will consist of
      • How long it will last
      • What you are looking for
  • Develop your schedule
    • My schedule always consist of three days. In case of injury, illness, or just a bad day. The player could make up for it the next 2 days. I also made the focus of each day different so you can review all elements of the players
      • Day 1 – Focus on measurable athletic numbers
      • Day 2 – Situational lacrosse
      • Day 3 – Play games and announce teams
    • Always have indoor plans
  • Keep track of data
    • I’m a huge fan of data. Whenever making decisions that is subjective, it best to have objective data to back it up. Uncomfortable conversations after tryouts can sometimes be lessened based on objective data on where the player show up in the rankings.
    • I typically use my excel sheet to create an aggregate rank/score based on a number of drills. Priority was given to better ranking in aspects I felt translated the most.
    • In the below example you see the three key numbers I was tracking was a burpee test, 3 cone agility, and wall ball.

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