Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports, but most parents, unless they have been lacrosse athletes themselves, don't know much about the sport and might never have watched a game before their children became players. Here are 7 things every lacrosse parent should know:
1. Learn about the Game
This fast-paced sport can be bewildering. Here are some things to learn:
· The different positions and their responsibilities.
· How the game is played
· Foul rules
Longstreth Sporting Goods has a great selection of books – check out the 2017 US Women’s Lacrosse Rule Book or read about the history of the game in Women Play Lacrosse
2. Don't Talk to Officials
Everyone cringes when parents become overly critical of officials or coaches, but no one is hurt more than that parent's child. As a matter of fact, lacrosse etiquette says that parents don't comment on calls at all. It is out of order to say anything either good or bad to the officials and it is important to stop other parents from doing so because it can cause your team to have a penalty.
Like most sports, lacrosse coaches can often use another set of hands and eyes to help either in practices or games. Ask your daughter's coach if you can be a:
· Equipment manager
· Concessions helper
· Film manager
Getting in on the action yourself is a way to learn about the game and also a way to get to know other players and parents. Better yet, you can go back on the sidelines and help other people understand what is going on during the play.
4. Be Positive
Any competitive sport can cause strong emotions in both players and parents but remember that, as a parent, you set a tone for your player when you communicate with the coach. Remember to speak thoughtfully, kindly, and in a positive manner to the coach, and also to your child when talking about the coach. Coaches often spend far more time coaching than they ever get compensated for, so be appreciative!
5. Don't Assume-Ask
Is your daughter or another child not given much play time? Or you see a player coming off the field and you don't know why? Don't assume there is some prejudice against the player or imagine the coach doesn't think she has talent. There could be other reasons a player comes off the field, such as:
· The player has been asked to make a change on their own and hasn't yet done it.
· The player may have been sent in for a particular short job on the field.
· A player may feel winded and choose to sit out a while, which is allowed.
6. Take the Long View
Did your team lose? Take the opportunity to give your daughter some life lessons about the value of being challenged, learning to practice harder, and learning to work together as a team. Is your player disappointed by tryouts? Sympathize but also help them see what they can do to improve for next time.
7. Know the Equipment
Making sure your daughter has the right lacrosse equipment for playing her game and practicing her skills is an important part of helping her succeed in this fast-paced game. Make sure to choose a stick that fits her height and skill level. The handle on a stick can be shortened for smaller players, as long as the full crosse is within the legal length. Keep some lacrosse training balls handy for her to hone her skills. Make sure she has good quality cleats so that she has a strong footing in the ground and slip-ups are minimized.