Brown coach Lars Tiffany is no stranger to reinventing his coaching style. With a newfound commitment to run-and-gun lacrosse, the Bears began the year 5-0 and, at 9-3, are ranked No. 10 in the April 20 Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Top 20 and in contention for an Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament berth.

Lacrosse Magazine editor Matt DaSilva wrote a great piece earlier this spring on Tiffany and the Bears, in which he describes the team’s philosophy as “fifty-seven minutes of go” and “three minutes of no.” The commitment to a new style has Brown averaging 49 shots per game, an increase of nearly 14 shots per contest. Scoring is up 44% from last year to 14.64 goals per game. Outside-the-box thinking has paid dividends in the win column, too—the Bears have reached 9 wins for the first time since 2009.

We reached out to Coach Tiffany as part of our “Next-Level Thinking” package in the March issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Here are his top three pieces of advice for lacrosse coaches who are looking to take their program to the next level.

1. Small ball

Create drills and games that have a low number of players (ex. 3-on-3), a high number of touches and smaller field areas (ex. split the field into quadrants). Add more lacrosse balls to your drills, to the point where it is almost confusing. We need to increase the amount of active time for our players as opposed to playing full-field games and scrimmages. This leads to a lot of kids standing around watching one lacrosse ball.

Break up the field into smaller regions. Create stations, bring a bucket of lacrosse balls to practice and let’s get everyone moving and touching a ball. USA Hockey is promoting this. Belgium soccer started doing it a dozen years ago at the youth level and it is paying dividends now [with their national teams]. The Canadians have always done this with box lacrosse.

Editor's note: US Lacrosse endorses the use of a modified field at the U11 age group and younger.

2. Drill, Drill, Drill

Learn the right methods to teach something, and then hammer it home. No player became an expert at shooting on the run or executing a roll dodge after a 10-minute demonstration. Drill it home. Keep doing it. Yes, you will have to come up with ways to keep the younger players entertained by creating contests and games within the drills. Find a way to make it fun.

3. Energy

Energy starts with you as a coach. The coach's level of enthusiasm and excitement is contagious, having the power to be both uplifting and downward spiraling. Take ownership for the energy you want from the athletes. You are the source, so set the tone by creating the fun, competitive environment your players are looking for.

New Level 2 Online Coaching Courses

Take the next step in your coaching career. Build upon your Level 1 fundamentals with our new Level 2 online coaching courses for men's and women's lacrosse, which cover tactical aspects of the game. Each course is just $30 for US Lacrosse members.