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New Year’s Resolutions for Youth and High School Players

January 3, 2014    4980 Views

David Jacobsen | @positivecoachus

New Year's Resolutions

The tradition of the New Year’s resolution is a great way to start on a path to improvement. Positive Coaching Alliance and US Lacrosse urge you to improve yourself, your teammates and your sport as a whole. Those three levels of improvement make you a “Triple-Impact Competitor.”

We know from experience how hard it can be to stay true to a New Year’s resolution. Your love of lacrosse can help you maintain commitment to the New Year’s resolutions we suggest below.

Fortunately, keeping that commitment becomes easier and more important as you feel less pressure, experience improved results—both team and individual—and enjoy lacrosse that much more.

Resolved: Improve Myself

I resolve to…

  • Master my sport by tending to the ELM Tree of Mastery, where ELM stands for Effort, Learning and bouncing back from Mistakes.
  • Put forth my best effort in every practice and competition.
  • Learn by studying my sport, seeking advice from my coaches, parents and teammates, and watching others perform.
  • Bounce back from mistakes by understanding mistakes are OK, that they are how I learn and improve and that mistakes are not character flaws, but the natural result of trying new things.

Resolved: Improve My Teammates

I resolve to…

  • Fill the “emotional tanks” of my teammates, because they have emotional tanks just as cars have gas tanks. An empty tank can take us nowhere but a full tank can take us anywhere.
  • Use a buddy system, finding a teammate each day that needs a little extra lift and filling his or her emotional tank.
  • Use the magic ratio of five specific, truthful praises for every one constructive criticism.

Resolved: Improve My Sport

I resolve to…

  • Get to the ROOTS of a positive lacrosse experience, where ROOTS stands for respecting Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self.
  • Compete by the rules, even when it's possible to break them without getting caught, because I understand that victory without honor has no value.
  • Stay mindful that without a worthy opponent, we would have no competition, and that a worthy opponent is one who is out for fun, challenge and improvement.
  • Treat officials respectfully, remembering that they have been selected and trained to enforce rules.
  • Hold my teammates in the highest esteem, realizing that without them I am alone, and that as a teammate I represent something larger than myself.
  • Show self-respect by living up to my own personal standards, even if those around me do not.

Resolving to Stay Resolved

Remember, it is important not just to make these resolutions, but also to keep them, even on days when you do not feel up to trying your hardest or your own emotional tank is so drained that you can’t imagine filling someone else’s tank.

We hope you will return to this page when you need a lift and a reminder of what you resolved. On the other side of any adversity is an improvement in yourself, your team and your sport.

Photo Credit: Scott McCall

Positive Coaching Alliance

To learn more about how the US Lacrosse-PCA national partnership benefits your organization, visit our partner page or contact PCA at (866) 725-0024 or

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