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Lacrosse Goalie Tips High Motivation Highly Skilled Quadrant

Bullets and Timestamps:

[00:00:25] Coach Edwards shares that the goal of the program and coaching is to help get athletes to the next level, especially young kids.
[00:01:07] Coach Edwards tells how teaching athletes individually one on one will cause the program to move on to achieve great things.
[00:01:27] Why you don’t want to serve the program but not the athlete.
[00:01:40] High skilled highly motivated kids surpass their peer’s skill level and need more of a challenge.
[00:02:00] The misfortune of kids falling into the “cream of the crap” or “top of the bottom of the barrel” stigma
[00:02:20] Coach Edwards’ experience being a highly skilled, highly motivated goalie and needing to look outside his peers for a challenge
[00:02:54] The responsibility of a coach toward their highly motivated highly skilled player to see past where they are currently
[00:03:32] Coach Edwards gets confronted by a mom for telling her highly skilled, highly motivated son that the shot he made wouldn’t make it past a better goalie
[00:04:30] Why it’s good not to let athletes be surprised when what they’ve been doing in games isn’t good enough if they’re trying to showcase.
[00:05:27] Coach Edwards warns coaches against being lazy with highly motivated highly skilled athletes.
[00:06:19] Help kids see past the team and past the program to the possibilities ahead.


Let’s talk about the highly motivated, highly skilled athlete. Whenever I coach, I have a saying that I share occasionally but mostly it’s in my head. That the whole goal of our program, the whole reason we coach is to help get an athlete to the next level. If you’re a division one college coach and you’re watching this, and you are getting your kids ready for program for your national championship, that’s one thing.  As a high school coach or someone who’s coaching somebody younger than that, the goal is to give that kid an opportunity and give them an environment with which they can then move up and make it to those ultimate goals.

I believe that on a one on one basis, if we help enough athletes individually, we’re going to have a program that’s then going to go on to do great things. We don’t try to throw together a program and then at the expense of individual development and hope it works out. To me that’s a recipe that serves the program but never the athlete.

So when we have athletes that are highly motivated, highly skilled, on a daily basis my challenge is to challenge them to take their game to the next level. Because then amongst their peers, they are at the top. So two sayings, and I’ll probably work on these in another video down the road. There’s “You don’t want to be the cream of the crap,” and “You don’t want to be the top of the bottom of the barrel.” And a lot of kids fall into this, right?

They are highly motivated and highly skilled to their immediate peer group. When I was playing goalie, I was the best goalie on my team. But for me to challenge myself, I needed to get away from my team to see just how well I was doing kind of on a global scale, because my dream was to play college lacrosse. I had to get away from my high school team to see how well I was doing amongst other goalies right? But my coaches on a daily basis had to challenge me by giving me a variety of shots that were of higher caliber than the ones on my team would give me.

And so as a coach, our challenge again is for this highly motivated, highly skilled athlete, is to help them see beyond where they are currently. I’ve got a couple of athletes in my program who are college bound, and my goal on a daily basis is to remind them of what that’s going to take. And again, our challenge as a coach is to create an environment within this group of peers that helps get them to the next level that’s off this scale.

I tell this a lot. I got in trouble a couple years ago, got a phone call from a mom of a goalie I was coaching and I was new to this program, didn’t know anybody, nobody really knew me, and we had an attackman who came in and scored a goal and I said “Hey, on a better goalie, that’s not going in.” And so what happened was, this kid came in, made a move, took a shot, kind of a weak shot, and it beat the goalie. And everybody was like, “Woo, yeah,” and I was like, “Wait a second. Hold on.”

Because this kid was highly motivated, highly skilled. And so the play he just made was good for that environment, however the way I coach and the way I think is that, alright, will that play work when that athlete is trying to get recruited or trying to get seen? If he tries to pull that play off in like a showcase event, he’s probably going to get stuffed by a better goalie. And if we don’t tell him that now, then down the road he gets surprised because what’s been working for him all of a sudden is no longer working.

So as a coach, my responsibility is to remind the athlete of the athlete who’s not here. So if you’re an attackman and you’re going up against a defenseman, in our program if that defenseman is not as strong as a defenseman you might see in Long Island or Maryland or a bluechip event or 3D or what have you, then I don’t know, I’ve got to tell you that that move is not going to work. And so conversely, if it’s a defender, and their goal every day in practice is to stop everybody, because if you’re stopping everybody, you’re at least the top at this level, but we’re trying to get you to the top at the next level.

With highly motivated, highly skilled athletes, I think as coaches we can get kind of lazy at times thinking, hey, this is great. Especially sometimes too when we travel the tournaments as kind of an elite team and we bring like 28 kids together and they’re all athletically gifted and they all have kind of a high knowledge of the game of lacrosse and out they go. There’s not a lot of coaching involved with that. You set up plays and say go, but on a day to day basis, are we getting those kids to the next level?

Because we train kids not just to be good here, not to be the cream of the crap, the top of the bottom of the barrel, we want them to be the top of the top of the barrel. Because if you shoot for the top of the top of the barrel, it’s like that silly cliché. If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll be one of the stars. But the truth is, I want our kids to see past our team, past our program to be better than what we have around us.

Because a rising tide raises all ships. So if we get our athletes better our entire program gets better, and that’s what this is all about. So those highly motivated highly skilled athletes, they challenge us as coaches on a daily basis to get them better every day. So highly motivated highly skilled. Leave your comments below.

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