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My Personal Philosophy On Coaching

Do you know what your coaches philosophy is?

Honestly, I don’t know if a coach has ever shared what their core principles are with me but I’m going to share mine because every coach needs to operate from a core philosophy.

I want you to know what drives me and how I approach coaching girls lacrosse at the high school level.

You could say it’s a core set of values that drive us in what we do.

My simple philosophy is this.

Make a difference and do something great.

Of course, it goes deeper than that.

Are you a coach? How would you describe your philosophy?

Are you a parent? Have you ever heard from your child’s coach about their coaching philosophy? I hope so.

I know some awesome coaches who may not necessarily have thought deeply about their coaching philosophy, but if asked they’d be able to tell you in an instant what’s important to them (at least I hope so).

On the flip side of that there are others who probably don’t have clue.

One of the greatest lacrosse coaches I’ve studied is the amazing Janine Tucker (former Head Coach of Johns Hopkins Women’s Lacrosse Team).

Her work and contributions to the game are outstanding but I learn great things from many different coaches.

But she always starts with coaching philosophy as the driving force in the team approach.

For me personally, I live by my values and it is our values that drive us in life.

I’ll keep this short for you because my coaching philosophy is simple.

Here’s my core philosophy on coaching lacrosse.

1-TEAM FIRST.

The team comes before the individual because we have to have a unified team. If we don’t have that, we have nothing.

Lacrosse a team game and we will play as a team.

We do what is best for the team, first and foremost.

Every player is important and has a role. No team wins with one player.

I once heard a parent say to a small group of starters that “they” (the small group of top players) were the team. To me, that was incredibly stupid to suggest that a few key scorers were “the entire team.”

No – every single member of the team is the team.

Everyone is successful when individuals play together.

Yes, some players may contribute more to scoring, assisting, or whatever. But the team is the team.

Every player must have the team mentality to truly be successful.

There is no player that is better than the sum of the team.

Team first and always.

(*I want to also mention that building a positive team culture is also extremely important to me. Not only is it important, it’s the most important thing to get right. Team culture is of such significance that it is best served in another article.)

2-PLAY TO WIN.

You play to win the game. We compete to win.

However, lessons will be learned from defeat and progress can and should be made from a loss.

One of my favorite concepts is “you win or you learn.”

While I want to win every single game, I know we learn more from a defeat than any blowout victory.

That is fact.

When it’s game day, it’s “go” day.

Lay it all out there with the objective to win until the final horn sounds.

Play to win, there is no other way to play.

3-HAVE FUN.

We have to have fun. Because if we don’t enjoy it, kids will want to quit.

I’ve seen kids that aren’t having fun and that’s not where we want them to be.

Yes, it will be hard work and everything may not go as expected all the time, but playing the game will be – and should be – a fun and amazing experience.

When each game is over, we want to say to ourselves, “that was fun” and mean it.

It’s not always sunshine and roses, I know. But we have to have fun and enjoy the game. We have to.

Create an experience that’s fun and engaging.

4-BEST EFFORT ALWAYS.

The one thing every player can control is their effort.

Always give your best effort.

Teach nothing less.

  • hustle
  • grind
  • have grit
  • sprint
  • outwork your opponents

Laziness and slacking is never acceptable in my coaching philosophy and approach.

I’m sorry but athletes have to work and grind.

Athletes that work the hardest tend to be the athletes that I respect the most.

This is a big one for me because I believe in the value of hard work.

When players come to practice and, certainly, in games – our job is to have them bring their best effort.

Always. No exception.

You will never lose by giving it your best.

5-DEVELOP PLAYERS.

Here’s why I really enjoy coaching.

I believe the true role of the coach is to develop their players.

I mean, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

I like to develop each player and move them one step closer to their potential.

Of course, there is the harsh reality that not every player works hard and wants to develop. And that is sad because I can’t help them if they are not accountable to contribute to their own development.

I do work to find ways to better connect with my players and help them find their strengths and develop their areas for growth. Connecting with some athletes can be very hard – especially with the ones who don’t put forth the effort or have bad attitudes.

But I can usually find that every player has their own unique strengths and areas to improve on.

And player development is critical at each and every level of lacrosse.

I coach to truly “make a difference” in players lives to help them become better athletes and better all-around people, both on and off the field.

Player development is a core concept of my coaching philosophy when I have players who are coachable and truly want to improve.


My philosophy is simple.

Let’s quickly recap.

  1. TEAM FIRST
  2. PLAY TO WIN
  3. HAVE FUN
  4. BEST EFFORT
  5. ALWAYS IMPROVE

If you’re a parent or player, now you know my philosophy and what my core principles are.

Believe me, these 5 things guide what I do each day that I have the privilege to coach.


If you are a coach, how would you describe your core philosophy?

Think about it because that is what keeps you moving forward and will contribute the most to your success (whether you win or lose).

Once you have your philosophy – you should share it.

Coach Scott

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