Learn to Win talked with Eric Seideman, the head men’s lacrosse coach at Mount Saint Mary College in New York, to talk about his experience using Learn to Win. Coach Seideman has been the head coach at Mount Saint Mary’s for 9 years, and has spent 16 years coaching collegiate lacrosse.
Sharing Institutional Knowledge
Coach Seideman first heard about Learn to Win in the summer of 2019, at a time when his program had faced a rough season following the graduation of a large senior class. Realizing the loss of institutional memory with the large graduating class, Coach Seideman decided to go back to the basics of teaching, and saying “Learn to Win came along at the perfect moment for me.”
In fact, the first lessons he created weren’t skills-based, but instead focused on the team culture with topics such as program values, history, and style of play. And once he created those in 2019, he shared them with the incoming class in 2020 so freshmen could already have a sense of the program’s philosophy before arriving on campus.
Similarly with basic skills-based materials, Coach Seideman shares those lessons and quizzes year-after-year to refresh the memory of returning players.
Using Analytics to Coach More Effectively
During the preseason, the team takes weekly quizzes using Learn to Win, which Coach Seideman uses to evaluate both the players and coaches.
If individual players score low on a quiz, Coach Seideman will bring them into his office for additional instruction. Learn to Win’s quiz analytics gives him insights on which questions might be more difficult for certain players.
On a larger scale, if only a small percentage of the team got a question correct, then Coach Seideman knew either the question was poorly structured or the coaching staff needed to teach the concept differently.
Later in the season, players took short quizzes on the bus rides to away games. Those quiz results gave the coaches insights into the last-minute instructions they needed to give right before the game.
As a result of using Learn to Win, Coach Seideman said, “I feel more confident that, as a coach, that when I say something they know what I’m talking about.”
Improving Player Engagement
With years of coaching experience, Coach Seideman had created teaching materials, like paper playbooks, that he thought were effective. But after testing and talking with players, he realized that they weren’t doing any good if the players weren’t using them:
“It was apparent that, no matter how good the paper playbooks were, if they sit on top of their lockers the majority of the week, they’re not learning anything in it.”
Players also liked using the app: they were excited about bringing their phones to meetings and competing against their teammates.
In building the lessons, Coach Seideman integrates video clips of current players demonstrating good examples of skills or scoring, which the players find motivational.
A Better Way to Teach and Learn
Using Learn to Win has not only changed how coaches approach teaching and quizzing, but also how players interact and engage with the material. With insightful analytics into players’ progress, Coach Seideman can trust his team is prepared for gameday.