Coaching FAQs

Updated Wednesday February 1, 2017 by Thunder.

Coaching FAQs: 

Who can be a coach?
Anyone can be a coach. Thunder Lacrosse is always looking for new coaches to be able to continue offering programs in this expanding sport. You DO NOT have to have any certifications to coach House League. Thunder Lacrosse does offer an in-house coaching clinic, free of charge, for any interested coach, assistant coach or parent volunteer.
Why should I coach?
Every player deserves to have a coach from whom they can learn and develop. Without enough coaches, the Thunder Lacrosse could not provide the opportunity for the players to learn and develop in the game of lacrosse. Most parents have already committed most of the time for their child to play, why not get involved. Coaching and seeing players develop and improve can be one of the most gratifying experiences you will ever have.
Do I need any previous coaching experience?
House league does not require any previous coaching experience. Previous experience is an asset with older ages groups (Peewee and older). Due to the nature of competitive play, competitive head coaches usually have experience coaching, while assistant coaches may or may not.
Do I have to have lacrosse experience?
House league does not require experience. It is an asset with older ages groups (Peewee and older). Experience coaching other sports is also valuable as many of the skills are the same or complimentary, especially hockey, basketball, and soccer. Due to the nature of competitive play, competitive head coaches usually have some lacrosse background, while assistant coaches may or may not.
What is the time commitment for a house league coach?
The commitment is about three hours a week for a house league team, usually of two hours of floor time (practice or games) and about another hour of prep time (practice plans, emails, equipment etc). The house league is run over a ten week season. Most parents have already committed that time for their child to play, the extra hour is not a lot for most people.
What is the time commitment for competitive coach?
The commitment for competitive coaches is consists of two practice sessions per week (1–2 hours each), exhibition games, and three to six weekend tournaments. Travel outside the region to some tournaments or zone games is required. The competitive season runs from late April to the beginning of August.
What if I can’t commit to, or I am not ready to be a head coach?
Be an assistant coach, help on the bench, or helping run drills during practice is a great way to contribute to the team and is also a great way for new coaches to gain experience. Many coaches have started out this way. There are also many opther volunteer positions to be filled such as team managers, convenors, or timekeepers.
What is required to be a house league coach?
Only a positive attitude and a commitment to provide a fun, safe learning experience. All coaches are required to follow the Thunder Lacrosse Coach’s Code of Conduct. If you would like to receive further certification please contact our House League Director.
What is required to be a competitive coach?
Anyone can assist during practices, but all bench staff must obtain, or be in progress of obtaining, certification through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). This is a requirement of the sport ’s governing bodies, the Ontario and Canadian Lacrosse Associations. All coaches are required to follow the Thunder Lacrosse Coaches Code of Conduct. Competitive team head coaches may be required to apply for the head coach position. For more information please contact our Rep Director.
How do I become an NCCP certified coach?
See the NCCP Certification FAQ
I’m ready. How do I sign up?
There will be a sign up sheet at player registration for house league coaches and other volunteer positions. House league coaches may be asked to fill out a Ontario Lacrosse Association registration form. Coaches can also sign up through by contacting one of the executive.
What coaching resources are available?
The Thunder Lacrosse is in progress of creating a coaching program to help new and experienced coaches, including lacrosse resources and a coaching clinic to be held before the season starts. Other coaching resources (handbooks, videos, internet resources) will be made available.
NCCP Certification for Competitive Coaches
What is NCCP?
The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a coaching model and certification program which has been developed by the Coaching Association of Canada. The program was designed to meet the needs of a wide range of coaches – from those who introduce youngsters to sport to those who work with Canada’s high performance athletes. The NCCP prepares coaches to
  • better meet the needs of all participants in sport
  • provide a positive sport experience to participants
  • provide opportunities for athletes to achieve their full potential in and through sport
  • provides a means to ensure that coaches are certified to known level of competency
This program has been adopted by over 60 sporting associations in Canada, including the Canadian Lacrosse Association and its provincial member associations.
Why do I need to get NCCP certified?
It is a required by the lacrosse’s governing body, the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA), that the coaching staff on the bench of any OLA sanctioned game must have or be in progress of obtaining NCCP certification, as well as being registered (carded) with the OLA.
NCCP lacrosse certification has three components:
  • Theory — Covered in Community Development or Competition Introduction Clinic
  • Technical — Covered in Community Development or Competition Introduction Clinic
  • Practical — Evaluation by certified OLA Evaluators or video submission to OLA
The OLA requires that all assistant coaches must have completed the training course ("trained") at which point you will receive an NCCP Coach number. Head coaches must now have completed the theory, technical and practical components. Additionally, Peewee and younger must be Community Development (Level-1) trained/certified and Bantam and above must be Competitive Introduction (Level-2) trained/certified. Both Community Development and Competition Introduction require the completion of an online ethics test to complete the certification process.
How do I get NCCP certified?
The one-day Community Development and two-day Competition Introduction clinics are offered by the OLA. There is usually one offered within the association's zone each year before the season begins. Check the OLA Website for clinic dates.
Any other coaching questions? For 2017 season - please email them to:
HOUSE LEAGUE - Lori Harder
REP - Joely McEwan




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