Parents and coaches shared information they wish they had before their kids started lacrosse.
Understand the game
Lacrosse is a sport that combines physicality from hockey, endurance from soccer and ball movement from basketball. The rules can be confusing at times (even for lacrosse vets), so don’t be afraid to ask questions of coaches, refs, and other parents. Once you start learning, we know you’ll be hooked.
Practice stick skills all the time
Stick skills include passing, catching and cradling, and are fundamental to success in lacrosse. Your child can practice these skills year-round with only a stick, a ball and a brick wall. Better yet, get a stick of your own and practice passing and catching with your child. Have your child practice throwing, catching and cradling from BOTH sides of their body.
Good athletes make great lacrosse players
While there are lacrosse clinics and leagues for all seasons, it’s not a bad idea to put down the stick for a season to play other sports. Since lacrosse draws from so many other sports, playing soccer, basketball or hockey throughout the year will allow your child to work on his or her skills without getting lacrosse fatigue. Plus, lacrosse coaches love multi-sport athletes because they bring fresh perspectives and skills to the game.
Get to know your child’s coach
A good coach is accessible, honest and a good communicator. Get to know the coach’s philosophies on playing time, development and off-season expectations, and communicate anything he or she needs to know about your child.
Be a fan not a coach at the field
Let the coach do his or her job at games and practices while you cheer on your child. Shouting instructions from the bleachers can lead to confusion and stress for a new player. Wait until you are home to help your child practice his or her skills and knowledge.
Focus on socialization, not scholarships
Less than 2 percent of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships and even fewer go on to play professional sports [Source: NCAA.org]. Encourage your child to play for fun and focus on building relationships with teammates, coaches and referees. The lacrosse field is a great place to work on communication and social skills and the players practice teamwork, conflict resolution and leadership.
Pick the right program for your child
Lacrosse can be played in several ways, each requiring a different level of time and financial commitments. Find a program that suits you and your child’s commitment level and interest.