How To Choose The Right Club Team
Choosing the right team can be challenging. To make it a little easier, we've broken it down into key things to look for in a team and what you absolutely must avoid.
1. Qualified coaching staff. Clubs should have more than one coach per team. Coaches should be certified by US Lacrosse. The higher the certification, the better. The best coaches will also have NFHS or NAYS certification and training, lots of experience, and will learn constantly through participation in regular professional development activities.
2. ALL coaches should have current state and national background checks that include fingerprinting. Coach background checks should meet roughly the same standard as K12 teachers.
3. Clubs that promote positive coaching to pursue winning while also teaching life lessons through sport.
4. Clubs that strive to develop each athlete to his or her full potential.
5. Clubs that have staff who are qualified and willing to help high school athletes navigate the college application and recruiting processes. Club coaches should also be willing to speak with college coaches on behalf of their club players.
6. Clubs that focus on tournaments where players will get seen by college coaches.
7. Coaches that model respect on and off the field.
1. Clubs who think experience playing college lacrosse is all it takes to be a coach. Coaching is a lot like teaching. It takes time and effort to learn and develop the right skill set. Good coaches never stop learning.
2. Clubs that don't care enough to require coaches and team managers to get (and maintain) background checks. There is no excuse for cutting corners where athlete safety is concerned.
3. Coaches that routinely initiate and engage in physical contact with the athletes. Coaches must maintain appropriate boundaries with their players at all times.
4. Clubs and coaches that use conditioning as a punishment. This is never acceptable. Learn why in this article by Professor Anshel of Middle Tennessee State University.
5. Coaches that use negative reinforcement, belittle or intimidate athletes to achieve results.
6. Coaches whose off field behavior, including social media, is inappropriate for general audiences.
7. Clubs that have a win at all cost mentality. Sooner or later corners get cut, rules get broken, and the athletes get caught in the middle.