Coaching Physicality In Youth Lacrosse
Former collegiate lacrosse player and current youth coach Sean Carscadden (@seancarscadden) is the Partnership Manager for PCA-Bay Area. In this clip, Carscadden talks about how to handle coaching physical contact in youth sports. Men’s lacrosse is a game with physical contact, and US Lacrosse adjusts rules depending on age, which allows for increasing amounts of physicality as players get older. Carscadden doesn’t shy away from teaching the physical side of the game, but he emphasizes smart physical contact and sportsmanship. At practice he encourages his athletes to use their hands instead of arbitrarily hitting players by swinging their sticks.
The other challenge of physicality at the youth level is varying degrees of readiness for that contact. He teaches kids to read situations, and instilling the sense of which opponents are ready for various levels of physicality and contact, as opposed to those who appear unready for that amount of contact. If he notices a kid hitting too hard or not appropriately evaluating a physical contact situation, he turns that into a teachable moment and provides guidance on when, and how hard, it’s appropriate to make hits.