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Coaching Youth Lacrosse Tournaments

As anyone who has coached youth sports will tell you coaching youth lacrosse tournament teams poses a different set of challenges to those of weekly league play. The coach's job starts long before the tournament begins. In fact, some might argue that the most important coaching decision is deciding which tournament to attend in the first place.

That, of course, depends on what your team is looking for. A low pressure team-building festival type tournament will certainly give them a different experience than high profile highly competitive recruiting event. It is up to the coach to decide well beforehand what type of tournament you want to attend and to “sell” that decision to the parents and players so that they all know what to expect.

The physical demands the players face are far greater during a lacrosse tournament where they're likely to be playing up to five games in one or two days. Managing issues like playing time, meal times and downtime all become much more important than they are during regular weekly games.

The fact that you have probably never seen the opposing team play before will also make your coaching life more challenging. Assessing the competition during warm-up and the first few minutes of the game are crucial as is the ability to switch tactics and lineups on-the-fly as the early stages of the game unfold.

Depending on the age of the team, all the excitement of travel, hotel stays, and new environments could make it very difficult for the players to focus on your tactical plan. And the fact that you have no practice time between games can make it difficult to fix problems from one game to the next.

In this part of the site we'll cover a lot of the issues that coaches face when their teams compete in lacrosse tournaments. From picking the right tournament in the first place to choosing the right tactics when you get there, and from making sure your players eat right on the road to ensuring they rest properly in between games, we will do our best to cover it here.

We will also be interviewing prominent coaches to get their insights into the specific challenges of coaching in tournaments.

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