06 Feb, 2016
Coaching Tips From Xcelerate Nike Camp Director Lynda McCandlish
Two-time NCAA Division I National Champion Lynda McCandlish is in her third season as the head coach of Oberlin women’s lacrosse.
San Rafael, CA - Xcelerate program director, Brian Lalley, had a chance to spend some time with Lynda McCandlish and gained some great insight that every coach should read. She shares her thoughts on practices, leadership, preparation, being positive and having fun. Coach McCandlish is in her third season as the head coach of Oberlin College women's lacrosse team as well as one of our Xcelerate Nike Camp Directors.
Get creative with ways to make your practices and your team better. "Lacrosse is so exciting because it's a consistently evolving sport. Don't stop learning, try new things and take risks! Be open to change and new ideas from yourself, your team, other sports, and outside influences," says McCandlish.
Lead by Example
Your players will follow your lead! "If you are confident, hardworking, passionate, positive and engaged, they will be too. If you want your players to put in the extra effort, you have to first!" McCandlish went on to mention, "When games get tough, your players look to you for what to do. Stay confident and they will pick up on your energy. It's hard for me to watch coaches who yell at their players in a negative way, yell at the refs, and totally lose their cool, and then wonder why their players aren't executing."
You can build confidence in yourself and your team by preparing for every game. Coach McCandlish stated, "Prepare your team for what they need to do, but also prepare by knowing the OTHER team. Focus on their team and individual tendencies. Lacrosse is amazing in many ways, but it is a sport where your game plan and strategy make a HUGE difference. So prepare and be confident in your game plan and work hard to prepare your team and yourself for different game scenarios."
"One of my favorite quotes is 'We don't lose, we either win or learn,' states McCandlish, "find a way to be honest with your team, but be able to look at the positive. Learn and find the positive and your team will do the same." Negativity and positivity are both contagious and as a leader it's your choice as to which you want in your culture.
Don't forget the FUN
As coaches, we can all come up with a long list of reasons why we do it. But at the end of the day, playing sports and coaching is a lot of fun! "Don't forget to incorporate fun into your program and practices and it will pay off in the outcome of your games. Players will appreciate you more and perform better when they are reminded to have fun and enjoy the moment."
Oberlin College, in Ohio, is now home to our latest top rated instructional lacrosse camp. Come join Coach Lynda McCandlish this summer at the Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camp at Oberlin College, June 20-23. With a perfect small college setting, campers will have the opportunity to personally work with Xcelerate Nike’s elite staff members, as well as, Oberlin Head Coach Lynda McCandlish. This camp location is ideal for all regional players in the area. Get ready to play the game at a high level and have some big time fun!