Kids Lacrosse for Parents: What Your Son in Elementary School Needs You to Know

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A grandparent is more likely to offer a smile and a hug, say "I love watching you play," and leave it at that. Meanwhile a parent might blurt out …. And on and on. Sure, an element of truth might be evident in the remarks.

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Not from a parent. Comments that undermine teammates, the coach or even officials run counter to everything the young player is taught. And instructional feedback was likely already mentioned by the coach. Brown and Miller, a longtime coach and college administrator, don't consider themselves experts, but instead use their platform to convey to parents what three generations of young athletes have told them.

When you listen to young people speak from their heart, they offer a perspective that really resonates. That way all successes are theirs, all failures are theirs. And discussion on the ride home can be about a song on the radio or where to stop for a bite to eat. By the time you pull into the driveway, the relationship ought to have transformed from keenly interested spectator and athlete back to parent and child:.

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Nearly 75 percent of kids who play organized sports quit by age Some find that their skill level hits a plateau and the game is no longer fun. Others simply discover other interests. But too many promising young athletes turn away from sports because their parents become insufferable. Even professional athletes can behave inappropriately when it comes to their children. David Beckham was recently ejected from a youth soccer field for questioning an official. Hebert was hardly unbiased: His son had recently lost his starting position at LSU.

Mom or dad, so loving and rational at home, can transform into an ogre at a game. A lot of kids internally reach the conclusion that if they quit the sport, maybe they'll get their dad or mom back. As a sports parent, this is what you don't want to become. This is what you want to avoid:. It is a million times better than watching spring baseball where your child stands around for most of the game and only gets a few times at bat. Try to start your child early i. Attend your child's games and practices! This is not a baby sitting service where you can drop off your child while you get your Starbuck's coffee.

You need to watch your child in order to learn the areas where he needs improvement. Moreover, your child will love it when you are cheering for him versus focusing on your next errand. You can't just rely on the coaches to get your child ready. You need to go out and practice lacrosse with your child.

Learn the words and terms used in lacrosse. You will gain a better understanding of the game and… be able to decipher what everyone is yelling from the sidelines! Visit our lacrosse terminology page for basic lacrosse terms and words. The lacrosse gear will also protect them for any errant passes because even a miss-aimed tennis ball hurts… and a lacrosse ball is far harder than a tennis ball.

At a minimum, your child should participate in a local lacrosse school's final winter session before the regular spring lacrosse season in order to shake off any rust and prep for the upcoming season. Wall ball is the quickest… and cheapest way to improve your son's stick skills. Your son will get many more "touches" i. Visit our lacrosse wall ball page for training ideas. Don't worry if your kid isn't an automatic lacrosse star in 1st grade or just started playing lacrosse in 4th grade.

Kids mature at different rates. Every year, new lacrosse stars seem to come out of nowhere.

Beginner's Guide to Lacrosse

Be prepared to deal with the issue of coaches kids… as there are many assistant coaches who volunteer to help run lacrosse program and of course, they are looking out for their own kids. Also be prepared for lacrosse "ball hogs". While your son is playing the game correctly and looking for the open man, you will see some kids refusing to pass because they just want to score despite having to go throw a million defenders and thus usually losing the ball. Don't worry because most coaches deal with this "me first" attitude and these kids don't last long in lacrosse if they don't put the team before themselves.

However, if this is a major problem during scrimmages, you should consider asking the coaches for a one or two pass rule where the kids have to make one or two passes before a goal counts in order to reduce ball hogging. By 5th or 6th grade, you will probably have to decide on your kid's primary spring sport as coaches will no longer accept "absences" for other sporting events… especially, if you want your child to make your town's lacrosse travel teams. Don't carpet bomb coaches with emails i. Why isn't my kid on the travel team? Remember most coaches in the junior levels are unpaid parent volunteers, have regular jobs and have their own overwhelming family lives.

They also have to deal many demanding parents. So please give them a break and think twice before sending off that complaining email.

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This sport can be expensive due to the equipment i. So shop around for the best price as many lacrosse retail websites run sales and there are occasionally big differences in equipment prices between sites. Also check out our used lacrosse equipment page for lightly used and much cheaper lacrosse gear. Attackmen usually favor lighter sticks and defensemen favor stronger sticks i. To save money, parents of beginners should consider cheaper aluminum shafts until your children are truly committed to playing lacrosse. Volunteer as the local lacrosse programs always needs help.

This will also help you to learn more about lacrosse… and thus you can be an even better lacrosse "coach" for your child. Lacrosse games are usually outside and often lack stadium seating. So don't forget to bring a lightweight "camping" chair, sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water in order to keep your child hydrated. Watch our free lacrosse instructional videos in order to learn how your child can improve his game. Some of the key elements that beginners need to learn are catching no one will pass to your son if he can not catch… in order to avoid a costly turnover , cradling, passing, ground balls, shooting, dodging and defending.

High football star who had played lacrosse in the summers for fun, and ended up as one of the nation's most dynamic players. The Cavaliers' short-stick defensive midfielder was named a second-team All-American in By playing other team sports. Becoming coachable, paying attention to detail, understanding the importance of preparation, working toward a goal, understanding your role and evaluating your performance from playing other sports are "such a huge advantage," Danowski said.

You have one time to take advantage of putting on a football helmet or playing soccer," Danowski continued. Ginsburg said sport specialization can lead to burnout, overuse injury and fragmentation of friendships. Conversely, participating in multiple sports also helps children develop muscularly, in what four-time U. Fried added sport specialization leads to a general lack of "being a kid Creativity starts to fade away. Dom Starsia has been an opponent of sport specialization, targeting multi-sport athletes during his coaching career.

Determining the appropriate level for engagement in your child's experience is tricky, and it's often age-dependent. But at any level, it's important for parents to be good consumers. The best way to do so: Ask respectful but pointed questions of your child, of programs and teams you're considering, and of objective third parties. Related, do your homework and research as much as possible. Don't sit back and wait to learn these things after the fact; actively seek out information.

Managing Lacrosse Parents

How well do you know your son or daughter? What is your child capable of athletically? When are they happiest? What's most important to your child? What does your child actually want to do? Are they excited and energetic? Are we seeing them complaining about going to practice? What is the age-appropriate level for my child? How competitive are the various levels of play recreation programs, travel teams, tournaments and club programs? What are the time commitments for each?

Several coaches suggested playing at a level where you can learn but contribute. What is a coach's philosophy? Is the coach certified? Have they had a background check? What are their experiences and background? How stable is this program? What is a program's philosophy? How many players are on each team?

Are there multiple teams within each program? Do kids get equal playing time? The set-up of a program will entirely determine a child's experience for a season. Are the officials trained and certified? Do they go to training every year? Will the games, tournaments and events have at least two officials at every game?

Are safety precautions in place? Are there trainers on site? Will the teams stay in air-conditioned dorms?

How much does all this cost? What is financially feasible for your family? To what end is this money being spent?