Amanda Belichick may have a famous last name, but she is blazing her own trail as a lacrosse coach. She is currently the head coach at Holy Cross and has a storied history as both a player and a coach at NESCAC power Wesleyan.
Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli sat down with Belichick in the latest episode of “New England Lacrosse Journal’s Chasing The Goal” and broke down her love of the game, how she got into coaching, and the difference between D-1 and D-3.
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Kyle Devitte: How did you get your start as a player and how did that prepare you for coaching after you were done playing?
Amanda Belichick: I was introduced to the sport through my family. My dad played college lacrosse and both my brothers played. So, we always had a goal in the backyard growing up. It was the sport that we could all play; it was the sport that I could play and my brothers played. I never played football — we all played lacrosse. So, that was my introduction and I played in high school.
When I was looking at colleges I knew about Wesleyan and started doing their camps early on. I really loved being around the people at the school. I loved Wesleyan, and I looked at other schools, but Wesleyan always felt like the best fit for me.
Jack Piatelli: Talk a little bit about your spring and fall schedules, and the commitment that players have to make — what does a day in the life of a Holy Cross women’s lacrosse player look like?
AB: In the fall we are practicing five days a week. They are lifting three days a week. We’re doing individual skill work and developing our system. There is film — in the fall things are most structured on their schedules, so we are working around their academics. We’re doing more in small groups as opposed to team meeting blocks or a three to four-hour block in the afternoon. It’s a little bit more tailored to give them more freedom academically.
In the spring we’re looking at more significant afternoon time, so it’s a 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. sort of thing, whether that’s a practice and a lift, or a meeting and practice. So, I think it’s a significant commitment in training mentally, physically — I think it’s all of those things. We want players who are going to buy in. I think players that are willing to learn and want to grow are the players that we’ve seen be the most successful.
KD: How do you describe your team’s style on the field and how do you want them to play at Holy Cross?
AB: I want them to be fearless. I want them to not hold back. To lay it all out there. I want them to go after everything. I think those moments where you can give a little bit more or you weren’t sure if that was the right move — I think they need to trust themselves. They need to believe in what they know, not worry about what might happen.