Lessons Learned From Coaching College Lacrosse

Written by Sam Herman, Ohio Regional Girls Director

I believe working in the world of athletics is one of the best professions you can choose. The opportunity to be a college coach right after graduating was a blessing. There are many lessons I’ve learned from coaching college lacrosse, and I am continuing to learn each day, but a few lessons I thought were worth sharing to help others learn as well.

Energy Matters

The energy that you bring is the energy given back to you by the players. When your staff walks out on the field, there is an instant vibe that the players catch from their coaches, whether you realize it or not. As much as we want the energy and the competitiveness to stem from the players, we as coaches can help kick start it and change the attitude within minutes.

Learning Style 

I like to break it down into visual, auditory, or physical learners. A visual learner may learn best by watching someone else or watching a film. An auditory learner needs something explained out loud to execute. A physical learner is someone who needs a physical walk-through of the drill or skill to understand. You can also have a combination of learning styles. In the end, taking the time to understand what type of learners your players are, allows you as the coach to maximize their learning potential in an individual, a practice, or a game.

Player-Coach Relationships

I believe getting to know your players off the field can lead to better player-coach interactions and team chemistry. Something as simple as an Instagram post for their birthday can make them feel special. As a college coach, you don’t need to know everything about your players but having a connection point other than lacrosse, I believe, helps you better coach the individual. If you can maximize the individual, it maximizes the group.


You can walk into practice with a perfectly planned and written-up drill, but there is a chance it may not play out how you envisioned. Be patient, think on your toes, and adjust accordingly. This is true for all aspects of coaching like travel, food, equipment, and film sessions. Things may not always go according to plan, but how you react will impact the overall outcome.

Coaching is my passion. I get to continue to grow the game and help young women maximize their potential both on and off the field, and it will always be something special to me. I am grateful that I get to do it every day.