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How to Stand Out to Your Lacrosse Coach

Being a great lacrosse player isn’t just about practicing your stick skills. Coaches can make great players, but you have to catch their attention first.

Straight from the mouths of coaches and elite players, Team STX athletes share their tips for standing out and making a positive impression. See what they had to say about how attitude, preparation, and determination can help you stand out.

Erin Slifer, Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Fairfield University


Ask your coach what you can do to get better, or ask them for one-on-one help outside of practice. This shows that you have a vested interest in improving and are willing to put in the hard work to do so.

Kristen Lamon, Women's Lacrosse Coach at Athletic Performance Inc.

Show up to practice prepared to listen and learn without allowing other distractions to get in the way. Leave everything behind you and focus on lacrosse alone. During practice, if you don't understand something, ask! Your coach would rather you ask and understand thoroughly than have you do something wrong and disrupt the flow of practice later on. 

Demmianne Cook, Women's Lacrosse Coach at Calvary Christian Academy (FL)  

Work ethic is something that always catches my eye as a coach. You can have the best stick in the game but if you don't work hard you’re not going to be as effective. Attitude is also huge for your coach. You have to be positive and expect the best out of the person next to you. If you let them slack off, you are hurting the team just as much as they are.

Shannon Gilroy, Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach at Vanderbilt University


As a coach, I suggest players put in the work when no one else is watching. That means take extra shots, get on the wall or work on your speed and conditioning. Great players are separated from good players by what they do on their own time.

Sloane Serpe, Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Yale University


You don’t have to have flashy plays; the smart and hard working individuals catch my eye. That means coming up with a ground ball in the middle of a scrum and taking care of it.

Lauren Benner, Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach at University of Louisville


One of the biggest things that coaches look for in players is their hustle and ability to react to a mistake they make. Stick skills can be refined, but hustle and grit cannot be taught.

Many mistakes made on the field are due to lack of communication. This applies to everything - on the attack, transition, on the draw, and dead ball situations. Even if it seems obvious to say something, be the one to start that communication, because talk is contagious but there has to be an initiator.

You should also make film your best friend. You don’t need to be the top player stick skills wise, but if you know how to read a play developing and can anticipate, it puts you ahead of the game and gives you an edge. Coaches really appreciate it if you’re able to pick up concepts easily because you have studied the game.

Kelly Barnes, Team STX Athlete

Every player is going to make a mistake, even top players, but the best ones can quickly work to get the ball back instead of getting down and losing their focus. 

Liz Hogan, Founder of 2Lacrosse Goalie Training


The intangibles are what make an athlete stand out to a coach. The kid who doesn’t put her head down after being checked, but instead goes back with a vengeance to get the ball. Or the player who, even at the end of the game, is still going full speed. Obviously being athletic is key and helps you stand out, but any coach can teach stick skills. It is very hard to teach work ethic, positive mentality, and a desire to want to win.

Stephanie Finley, Women's Lacrosse Coach at Greenhill School


Don’t let the mistakes you make on the field affect your play. Everyone makes mistakes, even at the highest level, but the best players know how to learn from them and move on.

Taylor D’Amore, Private Women's Lacrosse Coaching & Training Instructor

I truly believe it's your work ethic. Just have a continuous motor and you'll be able to separate yourself.  Be engaged throughout practice and go 100% in every drill, not just the ones that are fun or that you like. 

Sammy Cermack, Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Lehigh University


Listening to understand, and not to reply can define a player as coachable. When players really take the time to listen to the coach and then actually try to fix the correction, it never goes unnoticed. Our best players are the ones who are never satisfied and always listen to find ways they can improve.

You should also have a happy presence at practice. This means smiling when your coach tells you good job, or nodding your head when they give you constructive criticism. It also means cheering on your other teammates and being unselfish!

Kitty Cullen, National Director for Mad Dog Lacrosse


Ask questions when you don't understand something or are confused! A coach would rather explain something again then have you do the wrong thing! 

Abbey Friend, Founder of Friendly.Lax


Give 100% communication and 100% aggressiveness! :)

The coaches agree that a positive attitude and putting in the work outside of practice are key to standing out! Need training tips and ideas? Check out Taylor D’Amore’s Pop Series drill to practice your own stick work.