Creating Success in the Game of Lacrosse

Sep 24, 2015

For those who don’t know, lacrosse is a fast-paced game full of long sprints and abrupt whistles. Using a stick, the objective is to run down the field and score, whether you pass the ball, dodge or sprint by defenders. As one might imagine after reading this description, lacrosse and baseball are two completely different sports. But what is similar between both sports are the principles behind it. Sportsmanship, teamwork, and work ethic are all things that can be applied to each sport.

The Badges for Baseball Coaches Manual is the cornerstone of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation programming and covers the life lessons that Cal, Sr. taught to his kids and players. One lesson the manual discusses is sportsmanship. A key to uncommon sportsmanship is, “It is important that we learn to win and lose with kindness, consideration for our opponents, and humility in our words and actions.” In lacrosse, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, after the game there is always a cheer for the other team. After the cheer, you should always shake the opponent’s hand to congratulate them on playing good game.

Teamwork is another value from the manual that is applied to lacrosse. One lacrosse player cannot single handedly scoop up the draw, sprint down the field dodging by every defender, and score on the goalie for an entire game. There has to be teamwork involved in order to create success on a team. One key to uncommon teamwork is, “To be successful, we need to be good teammates, on and off the field.”

How do you define being a good teammate? I see it as being supportive and having your teammates’ backs no matter what. Perhaps your teammate just took a shot on the goal and the goalie saved it. Now your teammate is hanging her head because the other team has the ball. Rather than getting down on her about taking a bad shot, you can be positive and say, “Keep shooting, you can do this. I know you will make your next shot!” This can bring back confidence in your teammate that was lost after a bad play.

In order to be great in lacrosse, you must have a good work ethic. You have to be able to push yourself in the offseason in order to be successful during games in-season. The most accomplished lacrosse players are the ones who go out and engage in extra shooting, run additional sprints, and practice wall ball every day.  (Wall ball: When you pass to yourself repetitively on a wall, which greatly improves your stick skills). The Coaches Manual defines work ethic as, “Our ability to dedicate ourselves to take on a task or goal and complete it no matter how difficult it may be.” If you have a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, it will lead to much success.

After reading through the Coaches Manual, it is easy to see how values that are used for sports like baseball and lacrosse can also be used in your everyday life. Like what Cal Ripken, Sr. would say, “Baseball’s just a walk of life. Everything you do in this game you do in life, and everything you do in life you do in this game.”

  • The Badges for Baseball Coaches Manual is available in our Materials section (find it faster by filtering for “Program Materials”).  Just make sure you’re logged in or create your free CRSF Portal account to access it. 

Have you paired the lessons in our curriculum with other sports?  Share how you’ve done it in the comments section!