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IMPACT BEYOND THE FIELD


SOMETIMES WE UNDERESTIMATE OR EVEN IGNORE THE SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITY COACHES HAVE


TO ASSURE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT, TEACH THE SPORT CORRECTLY AND ESTABLISH A


POSITIVE CULTURE.


he most important people in a child’s lacrosse experience are the adults in charge. I grew up with coaches who used sports as a way to motivate a child, to teach life lessons. It wasn’t all about winning and losing. It wasn’t all about sport specialization. It wasn’t all about getting recruited to play at the next level. The nurturing I received through sports and the adult male role models who were my teachers and coaches were incredibly formative for me, because my dad wasn’t around in those days. The vast majority of coaches understand their reach. Look at some of those whom we have chosen to profi le in this edition, and you’ll fi nd them to be wonderful examples of coaches who connect with their athletes in a selfl ess and meaningful way. There are no more important qualities in a coach than personal humility, kindness and respect for others. These are the coaches whose positive impact on our kids will go far beyond the lacrosse fi eld, and isn’t that what we want?


Still, sometimes, we underestimate or even ignore the


signifi cant responsibility coaches have to assure a safe environment, teach the sport correctly at each stage of a child’s development, and establish a positive culture. Coaches — even those who have played the sport at a high level — need the proper training to do this well. To that end, each level of our nationally recognized Coach Development Program incorporates the tactics and strategies required to be an effective coach. But the program also broadens the learning experience by including expert instruction in the areas of health and safety, sports psychology and communication — knowledge required to be a transformative coach.


In his book, “Inside Out Coaching,” author Joe Ehrmann challenges every coach to ask of themselves, “Why do I coach? Why do I coach the way that I do? What does it feel like to be coached by me? How do I defi ne coaching success?” There’s no better way to start a season.


— STEVE STENERSEN uslacrosseceo


2 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE April 2017 USlacrosse.org


LETTER FROM THE CEO


©BRIAN SCHNEIDER


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