Over the last decade, US Lacrosse has invested significant resources into developing its Coaching Education Program (CEP). The program includes online instruction, in-person clinics, and a certification component. One of the newest tools in the CEP arsenal, the Mobile Coach application, is drawing rave reviews.
“I love the darned thing,” said Mark Lubic, who coaches both high school (Narragansett) and youth lacrosse (South County Youth Lacrosse) in Rhode Island. “I use it constantly.”
Since launching early in 2011, nearly 10,000 US Lacrosse members have taken advantage of the tool, which is available free to US Lacrosse members at www.usmobilecoach.com. The USL Mobile Coach allows users access to a library of more than 200 drills for both men’s and women’s lacrosse. The drills can be searched by gender, experience level, or the type of skill a coach is seeking to develop. All drills are color coded on the site – green for basic, yellow for intermediate and red for advanced.
“It’s a great resource and gives coaches the flexibility to use drills in different ways,” said Chris Snyder, manager of coaches education for US Lacrosse who played the lead role in developing the Mobile Coach.
“When I’m looking for something new, I’ve got over 100 drills to use,” said Lubic. “Even with a green drill, you can add a couple things to it and make it a yellow, or even a red drill.”
Each drill comes with a corresponding PDF that shows how to set up the drill, what the objective is and ways to vary the drill. In addition, a significant number of the drills have video examples so that coaches can get a feel for what the drill should look like in action.
“The videos are so helpful,” said Lubic. “At practice, if they’re not getting something, we can pull up the video on the smart phone and they can look at what we’re trying to do. “
More than just a drill library, the Mobile Coach also includes a practice planning component. Coaches can go onto the Mobile Coach web site, build a practice plan using the drills and then save it to their smart phone. The practice plans can also be emailed out to other coaches, or team members.
“Most youth coaches only have about five minutes to put together a practice plan,” said Sndyer. “This lets you do a lot of work in a short amount of time.”
The product is constantly being tweaked with more drills and videos added to the libraries and Snyder said the next major round of developments will include improved sharing capabilities, additional drills and overall enhancements to the product, such as linking the drill and video libraries.