Do you want to know how to win in lacrosse? Do you want the formula? It’s quite simple actually.

Every kid who participates in a sport wants to compete. Obviously that means competing in an official game, against an opponent. But that’s not where the competition ends. There’s competition in tryouts, during practice (scrimmages & lacrosse drills), etc. It might help if the athlete recognizes that everyone has the same amount of time each day to improve. To improve he/she must devote ample time to their craft in the form of physical conditioning and stick skills. Time spent in front of the television or on-line is time lost that you can’t get back and that likely someone else will have taken advantage of.

However, if the athlete is to REALLY succeed he/she needs to understand that he/she is competing against himself/herself on a daily basis. Competing against oneself means working to improve each day over the last. How? Evaluate strengths/weaknesses, have a plan, execute the plan, re-evaluate…

Is this work always the most fun? Not for everyone. But I can tell you that participating on a team and being an instrumental contributor to your team is fun. In order to experience this you must prepare yourself to demonstrate your capabilities to the person/people who determine playing time, etc. What’s even more fun is to contribute to a winning effort. This takes even more diligent preparation and by each member of the team.

The single most unique aspect of the sport of lacrosse is the stick and how it is used. The single most effective way to contribute as a teammate and win as a team is to be proficient with your stick handling skills. If your stick skills help make you an asset on the field, rather than a liability, you will play. If you can perform while going full speed, under pressure from an opponent, in the tense atmosphere of a game, you will be a major contributor. If you can do that AND make the perfect pass across the field or make the feed to your cutting teammate with perfect placement or stick a shot in the upper corner of the goal on the goalies off-stick side while on the run, you will be a playmaker and a difference maker! If more people on your team can be in the second and third categories, your team will have a good chance of winning.

I firmly believe ANYONE can be a good stick handler if they put in the time and make a concerted effort towards that end. It does take time, dedication, determination, patience and lots of practice. Devote ample time each and every day to wall-ball, playing catch with a friend, and shooting on a goal. Make sure you practice with a purpose, focus on proper technique, use both hands and do so while on the move. This is the formula, now it’s up to you… and that’s the best part!