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Detailed Instructionals:

Club Lacrosse How-To Manual:
College Lacrosse How-To Manual:


When a lacrosse league is so determined to expand the
sport to new cities and colleges, as the GCLA is, it
becomes necessary to provide at least a certain amount
of guidance. Many of those starting these teams are
themselves beginners. The main challenge they face is
from lack of experience. Over the years we have witnessed
the same mistakes being made again and again.

We at the GCLA are blessed to have the benefit of
experience from people who have been in the sport for
decades. Our people have seen so much, and have a good
idea of what to do, but also of what NOT to do. In
these pages we will attempt to convey as many of these
experiences as possible. There is no doubt that if any
team leader, whether it be on the club or college level, 
were to study these pages seriously and act upon these
recommendations, that his club will be a viable and
successful entity.

In these pages, we will discuss actual events concerning
the experiences of actual teams. In no way do we mean to
demean the efforts of those involved. Anyone willing to
step forward is a hero. What we do hope to illustrate
is, perhaps, what our heroes might have done differently
that could have achieved a better result. Every effort will
be made to protect the names of people, but teams will be

It is my hope that by heeding the wisdom of experience
you can avoid the pitfalls that others have suffered,
thereby greatly shortening the road to success.

Steve Mathiason

Organization, Numbers, Leadership, Communications, & Enthusiasm

Now, there are FIVE essential elements that every team
needs to thrive. Notice I didn't say survive, nor did
I say exist. I mean thrive. These five key elements are

1) Organization
2) Numbers
3) Leadership
4) Communications
5) Enthusiasm

As amazing as it may seem, just getting four outta five
usually isn't gonna get it. It literally takes ALL FIVE.
For getting started, however, it does make for a very
simple and short checklist to follow.

Again, these are equally applicable to both college and
club teams.

Examination of 'The Five'

Organization is simply the setting up and running
of the team. Its making sure all the pieces are
in place. By organizing well from the start, it
becomes a whole lot easier to make the rest of
the checklist work.

In addition, recruits can sense very quickly if
your team is either well-organized or not.

Organization means that your team is properly
registered and your goals are well-thought-out.
You've locked in your home field, drafted an
expected budget, made ongoing recruiting plans,
appointed and/or elected officers, and settled on
a legal name.

All of this can usually be accomplished in one or
two well-planned meetings.

Lacrosse is in many ways a numbers game. In numbers, we
mean the number of members your team has. Its simple,
really. Would you rather select your starting ten
from a roster of 30 or 12? With 30, you've got choices,
and all things being equal you'll have a deeper talent
pool top draw from. With 12, you've really got to play 
with what you have, good or bad.

With good numbers, your team can raise more money from 
dues, recruit yet more players from your existing ones,
travel on road trips to play competitively against other
teams, and have more meaningful practices. Having greater
numbers also creates more enthusiasm, and creates the
perception that you're more organized- which you generally
are if you've recruited well. Perception often becomes reality.

So much has been written about the topic of leadership over
the years by many more qualified than I. It takes so many
forms. I'll just focus on some essential traits of leadership
that mean the most to running lacrosse teams.

Leaders take responsibility for the results of the team, good
or bad. In doing so, they are motivated to make things work
better. Their good name and reputation are both on the line,
in their minds.

Leaders often spend more time with the last guy on the team
than the best. They realize that a chain is only as strong as
its weakest link. Leaders also have it in their minds that
they are servants, not the served. They place the needs of
the many ahead of themselves. Leaders aren't in it just for
themselves- they see a bigger mission.

The best leaders are 100% certain that their club will
not only exist but thrive. There is no sense of doubt in their
minds and that trait is communicated to both members and
recruits. They must be trustworthy and fair. 

In lacrosse, GOOD leaders take 5 players and make 25.
They KNOW they are going to succeed. In all my years I've
been constantly amazed at how many times I've seen teams 
go from 25 to 5. Overnight. Put a good leader in place,
though, that situation reverses itself fast.

To the GCLA, good leaders are worth their weight in gold.

Enthusiasm is without a doubt one of the most
powerful and contagious forces available to us
as human beings. The chance to use it is priceless.
Enthusiasm heals wounds and creates synergy. Done
well, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the 
parts by a mile. And if you have good parts in
good number....Look out!

When roadblocks inevitably get placed in our way,
it is enthusiasm that usually wins the day. Without
enthusiasm, problems, snags, & roadblocks will
defeat the efforts of many clubs. I've seen many
teams over the years go under for no reason at
all expect that they lacked enthusiasm. 

However, enthusiastic teams look at these "things"
simply as obstacles that will be overcome.

In many ways, enthusiasm starts with a simple,
positive outlook.

Communication is the lifeblood of any organization.
Good teams have a constant flow of communication. Whether
its reminding everyone about practices or games, or
informing your teammates of your availability, or
lifting each others spirits, communication is vitally
important. I've seen teams that had organization, numbers,
leadership, and initial enthusiasm fail because they didn't
communicate well. 

By having frequent (though not TOO much) communication
among your members, nobody will feel left behind, nor will
they feel that "nobody's driving the bus". It also helps
create enthusiasm when its positive.

Back in the day, I thought that I was doing well to keep
a phone list updated (tedious) and having myself or others
contact everyone every week to confirm events. Today, with
the internet, a simple team email list does all of this in
seconds. Having a good webpage helps as well.

Its human nature to feel needed or to want attention. With
good communicating, your players will feel both. Hence, your
turnout will be better.

These are just overviews- mostly since they apply to both
college and club teams. I'll get into more detail on later
pages that are more specific to the type of team you have.