Coaches Corner: Evaluating Players Ahead of the Draft with Coach Nat St Laurent
By PLL | Apr 14, 2021
There is much more to our evaluation process than just being a great lacrosse player. We take several factors into account when creating our draft board. We need to be sure that the player we draft will fit our locker room and the Redwoods Lacrosse Club’s culture. At this level every team has a tremendous amount of talent. It is important to us that the players we are consider drafting align with our goals and standards within the Redwoods Lacrosse Club.
The talent level in the PLL is insane — a level that professional lacrosse has never seen. When evaluating players, we have to ensure the areas of the players game excel and fit our teams needs. It is not always about taking the best player available, it is more about drafting the player that best fits our needs as a lacrosse club. It is bigger than just one player.
Additionally, when evaluating players, we spend a lot of time watching how they react to situations that happen throughout the game, and how they respond. For example, if we're evaluating a goalie, we'll watch when the opposing team scores a goal — does the goalie have negative body language, or encourage the defense to get the next play? Body language, attitude, and how the player responds to different situations during a game is very important.
Finally, we like to speak with a potential players current college coaches and their former teammates. We like to hear how a player has developed over the years as both a person and a player from their coach. It is crucial to hear how a player responds to coaching and constructive criticism — are they coachable? Hearing from former teammates is extremely important as well. They will let us know if the player is a good teammate and how well others enjoy playing with them.
Drafting well-rounded players to Redwoods LC is critical in building and sustaining a Lacrosse Club that consistently competes for PLL Championships. It is much more than just picking the best lacrosse players available. Talent, skill, and ability are key elements we look for in the draft process. Being a great teammate and person who understands they are part of something bigger than themselves is just as important, if not more. We have a special locker room and culture in The ‘Woods. Drafting players that fit our culture and align with our standards needs to be prevalent for us to continue to compete for that PLL Championship!