The Culture Journey Week #19 – Coach Craig’s Goofy Games, No Captains?, & Struggle

Week 19
Spring practice week #2
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice. It’s hard work continuing to come up with creative games, but once we’ve done 10 or 12 different ones I’ll probably start circling back and repeating or letting the kids choose one they liked. Here is how I have structured what we’ll do each week:
Monday – Seniors share 2 of the Teammate Tips from The Hard Hat. I purchased an 18″x24″ drawing pad and we’re going to fill in the 21 tips as the season goes on. I’m thinking about asking the seniors if they want to encourage the team to each tap the list on the way out to do their group warm-up run each practice. (Think ‘Play for your teammates today’ type sign.)
Tuesday – 3 man competitions and everyone votes on who they think will win, losers do punishment (towel tug-of-war, 3 man ground balls)
Wednesday – Entourage-type game where players compete then losers cheer (rock, paper scissors; high-10 off-balance push; 1,2,3, yee,haw,clap)
Thursday – Position group games (Tell a story 4 words at a time; topics without repeats; put cards in order without talking)
Friday – Fun Friday – play a different sport (ultimate frisbee with tennis balls; sharks and minnow tag with tennis balls; kickball)
​​​​​​​I’ll be taking notes on how to play each of these games and will send something out when the season is over.
Interesting follow-up on captains. I definitely lost sleep over the weekend as I thought about the one kid who didn’t get voted as a captain (another one didn’t get voted either but I don’t think he had any expectations around being a captain.) I was interviewing TJ Rosene (from PGC Basketball, the Hardwood Hustle, and head coach at Emmanuel College) this week and I asked him about captains – he gave me a really unique answer: ‘We don’t vote for or assign captains. There are always a few players that step up as leaders. When the ref asks for our captains to come to center court, without looking at me, a few of them just naturally take their role as leaders.’
Anyone else ever try this approach? It really got me thinking and I can see the benefits of not having a popularity vote or having coaches have to choose and alienating kids.
The biggest struggle we are having right now is how to quantify and track skill progress. We don’t really have any tangible measurable so the boys can get the satisfaction of knowing they are improving. John, Will or any other lax coaches – any lacrosse ideas for this?

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at [email protected] if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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