Dear Kelsey,

I know this past weekend was difficult for you.  You worked so hard and believed so much in your team that it was tough to take the losses you did.   But, above all else, you should be proud of your accomplishments.  You have shown yourself to be a true leader and earned the respect and affection of your teammates.  As a result, your team is a TEAM.  Everyone cares for each other.  Everyone is willing to make sacrifices for each other.  And everyone truly enjoys being part of the team.  I have no doubt that if there was an award for team solidarity Queen’s would have won it.  And you led the way. 

In preparation for next year let me share with you some observations on what Queen’s women’s lacrosse needs to do to improve.  First, your team needs to be more disciplined in its play.  There is too much scrambling and not enough good decision making on the field.  Your team has very good passing and catching skills but you often look bad on the field because passes are rushed and forced into coverage.  The other teams knows this and they crowd one side of the field to force bad passes.  Learn to move the ball from one side of the field to the other to avoid the pressure – even it means moving it backwards.  It’s a big field – use all of it!

Next, remember the three most important things of any team sport  are position, position, position.  What you do when you don’t have the ball is more important than what you do when you do have it.  Another reason your team often passed into coverage is that team members who did not have the ball weren’t doing a good enough job of getting open.  Everyone has to be thinking of ways to get open at all times.  Again, even if that means moving backward temporarily.

Finally, learn to adjust to your opponents.  Western was a very fast team. How do you deal with speed?  Play keep away.  If they don’t have the ball they can’t use their speed.  Toronto had a number of smart, tall, good shooters who were dangerous cutting across the front of the net.  How to defeat that?  Crowd the area in front of the net.   Don’t allow them to clear out the front.  Anyway, I think you know the main story line of last weekend.  Your opponents made adjustments and you didn’t.  Something to think about for next year.  And, if you’re lucky, you might even have a full time coach like the other teams!

Now put this note away for next year and get back to your books!   What do you think I’m paying for anyway??  Varsity sports??