Coaches Education Philosophy

As with most things in life, the best way to attain a goal is to make a plan and stick to that plan. This is no different in lacrosse development, and you as a team of coaches are responsible for sticking to that plan. Here are our 3 main focus points that are inherent in our philosophy.


The lack of a solid set of fundamental skills is extremely common across the country. There are many reasons for this, but we feel that there are really just 3.

  • Follow the Pyramid of Fundamentals (Link)
  • Players are not taught the basics of the game the correct way.  Plain and simple.  From simply holding the stick to driving to the goal from behind, most players are not given the correct instruction.
  • Drills are not run the correct way.  This runs from something as simple as balls not being placed correctly to stopping the entire drill to correct one players mistake.
  • Players are not taught skills in a well thought out progression.  They are rushed through to skills or drills that the kids think are cool, but do not have the skill set for which to be successful.

Skill to Concept Philosophy

This is a critical portion of proper player development.  This basically means that when you are teaching a player a particular skill, you always make sure to not only teach them what to do, it is important to teach them why you do this and what options you have when using that particular skill.  Once you run them through the proper skill development and all of the different options you have with that skill, this skill will then turn into a “concept” in their mind and body.  The idea of “Skill to Concept” is applicable to both individual and team skills.  Once this gets applied to team drills, we begin developing “Team Concepts”.  This basically is the basis for “Playing Lacrosse”.  We do not teach “Plays”, we teach players to “Play Lacrosse”.  The development of these Team Concepts is the ultimate goal, and we begin this type of training by the second practice session, if not the first.  Even at the lowest levels.


It is very common for coaches to boast they they teach “Progressions”, but rarely is that actually the case.  Teaching proper progressions is not as easy to plan as people think, and it is even harder to adhere to that plan. The most common mistake is running drills, where the kids have not properly learned the skills necessary in that drill.  A very typical example would be running 1 on 1 drills when we have not taught the kids proper dodging and/or defending, let alone proper shooting methods.  It is also important to understand that when you teach in progressions, you are not just adding physical layers, you are developing progressive layers of decision making for all players involved.

TLI has developed a philosophy and teaching curriculum that addresses all of these issues and introduces a format and delivery method that allows you to stick to and implement the curriculum properly.