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Five Significant Steps In Building Culture

Step 1, Empower your players.  That means giving them a voice. It means giving them ownership. Build a coalition of your most respected athletes and open the dialogue — listen to their goals and explain your own, and don’t keep secrets. A confident coach shares her ideas… everything from tactics to workouts to gear design and not only asks for real feedback but incorporates it. Show them that it isn’t about your ideas, it’s about the best ideas. And when their ideas make the cut, you’ll have a team that’s not only bought-in, but enforces the plan. It’s a championship roadmap that you design, together.

 
Step 2, Take it easy, and be yourself.  Maybe the most overlooked aspect of coaching. Let your team know that you are a real human, not a drill sergeant! Accept that there is a responsibility that comes with the position, but let your players have a peek at “who you are” … they need to know that their coach is not unlike them. That means sharing personal stories, embarrassing moments and funny situations. You may not have finals to worry about, but we still have things that we must handle each day and the lessons we learn are important to pass on to our players. This is a leap of faith, but depending on the team’s maturity it allows the relationship to keep flowing, and it allows you to bring a balance of humor and discipline to your team.

 
Step 3, Celebrate the little things.  And give recognition for the ingredients that you value. It’s not about scoring goals, it’s about the little plays that lead to success. It’s the 2nd and 3rd assists, it’s about boxing-out on a groundball, it’s about ALL-IN PLAYS…diving to save a possession…beating an opponent to the endline. It’s rushing over to help a teammate get back on his feet. Salute your players for all those “little things” and make sure everyone hears it.

 
Step 4, Demand that players play the right way, all the time.  Decide what that means, to you. Maybe you insist that they ALWAYS roll to the outside, or that they ALWAYS scoop with two hands. Or they NEVER put their palms up to a referee. Just be consistent. “You know, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I let you get away with that. If I let you do that now, you’re going to get your butt kicked in a game.”

 
Step 5, Break up the doldrum!  **This is the art of coaching** And it runs a broad spectrum… Pre-game practices, for example, can bring on some nervous jitters — Coach Amplo always plucks two random “celebrities” to do a shooting contest vs. our varsity goalies, with the whole team there to cheer. It could be two parents, two volunteer coaches, or two local kids who snuck onto the field to watch practice. It doesn’t matter — just find a way to inject some humor into the moment. Coach Dino is famous for randomly surprising his Duke guys with ice cream cones, instead of a scheduled run test. Just get creative! At our high school practices, we make a habit of stopping drills to point out redtail hawks whenever they circle over us. Before long, the players start giving the hawk-call to every manner of seagull, crow and turkey vulture, but the message is received:  as long as we can laugh at ourselves, we’re golden. And that’s the whole point — never let the pressure exceed the pleasure…


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Internship Opportunity | Director of Digital Media

Job Title: Director of Digital Media
Company: Amplify Lacrosse
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

About Amplify Lacrosse

Amplify Lacrosse is one of the Midwest’s premier sports event management companies. Through our two signature brands: Amplify Lacrosse and Team Amplify Lacrosse, we organize several regional tournaments, leagues, camps, clinics and elite level travel lacrosse teams competing across multiple age levels from youth through collegiate prep. Our goal is to build the region’s most comprehensive lacrosse programming- spreading the popularity of the sport to new athletes and maximizing opportunities for those who already play it.

About This Position

Amplify Lacrosse is seeking a motivated, self-starting individual to spearhead an exciting digital media and production position with us this summer. The position, which will run from approximately early June through early August will not be a typical internship. We are looking for a qualified person with experience both in video capture and editing/production capabilities. This person will be responsible for attending several Amplify Lacrosse events on a weekly basis and turning around high quality video content for distribution via our online channels. These types of content include:

  • Capture and production of short, 3-5 minute instructional videos hosted by Amplify Lacrosse Senior Coaches for distribution on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more.
  • Attendance at Team Amplify practices, travel to tournaments and capture of video for editing and release on a Facebook for a weekly documentary style “show” (5-10 minutes in length).
  • Capture of film at tournaments, select team events and various leagues for production of season end 5-7 minute “commercial” style videos for use in marketing content.

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:

  • Self-starter, responsible with minimal supervision/no direct office hours.
  • Ability to turn-around high quality/high production value content in a short period of time.
  • Experience with both video capture and editing.
  • Access to necessary equipment (Amplify Lacrosse is willing to purchase certain equipment within reasonable request).
  • Hands on experience with standard development suite (Premiere, After Effects, etc)
  • A passion for sports, sports video.
  • Ability to travel approximately 1-3 times over the summer to locations like Denver, Colorado, Atlanta, Georgia, the Wisconsin Dells and Chicago. We will cover all travel, hotel and meal costs.

This is a paid position. Amplify Lacrosse will pay in line for entry-level position of similar caliber. Employee will maintain 1099 Independent Contractor status for the duration of the position. Pay will occur bi-weekly.

Please send your resume and cover letter to Jaron Klopstein, jaron@amplifylax.com


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Coach Tips # 2 | 5 Steps To Ensure Both Parents & Athletes Maximize Their Experience

“Parents:  Best of frienemies”
-an idiot

This is an actual line. And actually, a very dumb one.

Every coach has or will hear a mom shout, “hit his stick!” or a dad yell for the full-field, empty-net shot. You know full well that lil’ Skippy is going to miss that shot and toss the possession away.

Sure, there are times when you can (and should) shake your head at parents, but don’t disqualify them. Parents trust you with their sons and daughters, they want to see you do well, and they probably foot the bill for this grand lacrosse experiment — they are the biggest shareholders in the program.

STAY ATTUNED TO PARENTS. You want their support! It takes five steps to let them in…

Step 1, COMMUNICATE YOUR AGENDA. Our standards, our goals, our calendar. Be detailed! How will your tryouts work? Who makes the team? Why did you schedule three really hard games at the start of the season? Do this at your big pre-season parent meeting. This is your chance to show parents that their coach is pragmatic and thoughtful. Discuss “the why” behind things, and they’ll have your back.

Step 2, EXPLAIN YOUR GROUND RULES. The door is *almost* always open. Concerns about your son, his studies, his social life, his health — I want to hear about it! We are caretakers, and a strong coach always knows the pulse of her team. But if parents want to complain to me about playing time, strategies or anything else on the field, please know that I will not accept it. If playing time is an issue, your kid should take responsibility and talk to me.
Step 3, BE PROACTIVE. Meetings, emails, texts, Twitter, the website… parents love and deserve communication, and they get most upset about scheduling snags and things that cause inconvenience. Field locations, practice changes, dress codes — don’t trust the player to communicate this stuff. Let your parents know directly, and be proactive about it.
Step 4, REVEAL THE PLAN. Send out an email in the days before each game. Let them know what you’re expecting from the opponent, what you’re expecting from your guys, how the week has gone, challenges overcome, etc. If you reveal the plan, they’ll trust that you have one.

Step 5, PUT YOUR JUDGMENT ON DISPLAY. You want parents to hear YOUR point of view, before they hear it from someone else. Tough on a kid one day? Text his dad. “Hey, I was hard on him today but he did a great job…” A little note goes a long way.

And feel free to explain to everyone why the empty-net, 60 yard shot is a bad idea. Remember, we’re in this thing together.

    ~ Small details build the foundation — be aware of EVERYTHING ~


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28 Questions For A Thoughtful Coach

As we enter 2017, here are 28 questions every coach should be asking themselves as they prepare for the spring.

**Are we happy with last season?

**How did we start, how did we progress, how did we finish?

**Where do we go from here? Having a lot of returning talent DOES NOT guarantee our success…

**Who are our athletes — How many, how old, what grade?

**What skill level are they at? Beginner, intermediate or advanced?

**What are their expectations?

**What are their parents’ expectations?

**What are MY expectations?

**What do we like about last year’s team, and what didn’t we like?

**What was my role in the good? What was my role in the bad?

**Did we keep getting smacked in the face by the same problem?

**How can we recapture the good things?

**WHAT CAN WE APPLY?

**What did we learn? …About myself? …About teaching / coaching? …About my staff? …About my students — their goals, them in crunch-time? …About my opponents?

**AM I ALL-IN? If I’m not all-in, how could my players and staff be all-in?

**A coach is a teacher, and a teacher CANNOT teach by rolling in and staying a day ahead of the students… How am I teaching??

**Being called “Coach” is a noble thing. Do I live up to the title?

~ Small details build the foundation — be aware of EVERYTHING ~


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Five Key Benefits of Box Lacrosse

1) Played in a modified hockey rink, confined playing area forces quicker decision making, confidence under pressure and sharper stick skills.
2) Missed passes and shots result in a rebound, so there is NO stoppage in play.
3) Small goals + big goalies teaches players to fake & finish.
4) No D poles — players learn to play defense with good positioning and footwork.
5) Unlike field lacrosse, players play on both sides of the ball and develop complete skills Continue reading