I was lucky enough to have a chat with a local area HS coach, now retired, at a youth event in our community. His grandson was getting started in the game and he came to support him. I asked him to give me some words of wisdom, based on his vast experience which included a stop at the state finals during the 90s. His message was a simple one. "If you don't have a good stick, you don't play". In today's world of playing time drama, and the unfortunate "entitlement" era being upon us, parents and players alike feel showing up is enough to get in games.
It's important to communicate to the parent and player precisely where their stick skill level lies.
These are students and understand grades, tests and being evaluated. We are doing every player a favor by evaluating and grading them. Giving players a goal and a plan always beats the "you need a better stick" comment.
The great news is lacrosse is one on the few sports that a lesser skilled player can catch up and even surpass fellow players with wall ball. It only takes three 20 minute sessions weekly to vastly improve and gain a spot on the next line.
There are plenty of great wall ball routines on line. You Tube for example is loaded with great routines. I like Casey Powell's stuff and Rhino Lacrosse, but there are numerous other great demonstrations to see.
Here is a wall ball workout I use. Print it, laminate it and hand it out. By the way wall ball is a great pre-practice drill, but I don't see cutting into practice time with wall ball. Teach players to do this on their own time. It why the great ones are great.
1. 5 yard drills
a. quicksticks b. one hand quicksticks c. quicksticks changing hands with ball in midair
2. 10 yard drills a. 1 hand throw catch and cradle b. throw, catch, face dodge (don’t switch hands)
3. 15 yard drills a. throw, catch, split dodge (switch l to r or vice versa)
4. 10 yard drills again a. backhand (right hand high on stick, stick on left side,or vice versa) b. throw behind the back, catch in front c. fake overhand, throw sidearm (15 reps each hand) d. Denvers (10 reps each hand)*
5. Try to learn some kind of new stick trick for about 10 reps with BOTH HANDS.
Now get on that WALL!