We are a lacrosse team, and we need lacrosse players. Evaluating talent from top the bottom isn’t the easiest thing to do in only a few days of tryouts. Therefore, I began to take a smaller approach to reviewing talent at tryouts. I focus on two things, Basic skills and Situational awareness.
Basic skills can be addressed and reviewed in a few different ways. First, I will typically do a wall ball challenge. I don’t mean run through the entire circuit. In tryouts I don’t care about your cross handed and behind the back passes. In tryouts, I want to know how quickly can you catch and throw 50 right handed and 50 left handed. This typically does a good job of shaking out the players with the best stick skills from those not quite there yet. We time this event so I have an objective number to review. Basic skills can often be seen in simple drills as well. Ground balls are very important to see, and line drills can be great to see them pass and catch while moving their feet.
Situational awareness is simulated through game like activities. Things like 3v2, 4v3, 4v4 drills. I want to see when they have an extra man will they make that one more pass for the best shot, or does tunnel vision kick in. Do they communicate well on defense and get themselves and others in the best position to defend. Sometimes, I’ll throw in drills that frankly don’t make sense. The objective is to see who can and who can’t follow the rules laid out. Essentially, can they follow direction while under duress. Through situational awareness you can observe how much they know about the sport of lacrosse and do they put themselves in the best position. Also, do they put their team in the best position. This is a great way to find on the “field generals” that will be important to you as the season goes on.