Monday, June 30, 2014

Lacrosse & Coaches Kids

In youth lacrosse, parents often have to deal with the controversial issue of "coaches kids".

Many former lax players (and now doting fathers) volunteer their time to youth lacrosse and thus expect their kids to get preferential treatment when making the team. It is seen as "pay back" for volunteering and helping the entire lax community. Basically, for many of these dads, if their son doesn't make team, they are unwilling to find time to help with lacrosse. FYI - This is an issue mainly affecting elementary and some middle school grade teams (as things are usually more merit-based in the later middle school grades and in high school).

Of course, non- coaching parents are torn by this issue. Some accept this as the price for former lacrosse players freely coaching their kids. Others are upset because a weaker coach's kid will often be placed ahead of better players and thus hurt the team and overall player development.

Moreover, the growth and skill level of the coaches kids is often hampered. These kids often feel like they don't have to practice "above and beyond" because... no matter what... they will make the lax team due to dear old Dad. In the long-term, this is a giant negative because their future high school lax coach is going to say "I don't care who your Dad is. I get paid to have a winning team and your lax skills suck. Sorry, you didn't make the team".

What do you think? Does your youth lacrosse team face this issue?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Dirty Players in Lacrosse

You will occasionally come across dirty players in youth lacrosse. When the refs are not watching, they will jam the butt of their stick into the stomach of the opposing players, deliberately step on feet, etc.

To make it worse, these are 11-12 year old kids. Moreover, their parents often yell from the stands and encourage their kids to play this way.

Most teams (thankfully) don't play this way. However, a few of the elite travel teams seem to attract these dirty players. Generally, these are the kids with the weakest skills and thus they try to intimidate others in order to make up for their inadequacies.

Nevertheless, these kids are being poorly served by their "seemingly" blind coaches (and not so blind parents). As kids on opposing teams get older (and bigger), fear and intimidation will be less effective. Dirty players won't be able to mask their below average stick skills or lack of agility and speed.

Moreover, is this the life lesson that parents want their kids to learn? Cheating & bullying are okay?

My boys will never play that way. They focus on good sportsmanship and trying to outwork their competitors. Thus they will benefit from developing better lacrosse skills over the long-term... and from being better human beings.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lacrosse & Cello

My youngest son wasn't aggressive enough in his past lacrosse game. So did I yell him? Did I curse at him (which I would never do)? No... I threatened him with an hour of cello practice. :)

Don't tell my wife as the cello is her favorite kid activity. Of course, it is not my sons' favorite activity!

After the cello threat, he went out and scored three goals & had two assists in his travel game.

So the next time your little guy is too passive... bring out the evil cello!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Face-Off Dominance

We played a pretty solid youth lacrosse team last week. They were as good as our guys but one of our middies won almost every single face-off. This allowed us to dominate the time of possession and helped us to win 12-6.

Therefore, if you want your young middie to shine and get more playing time, send him to a few face-off clinics in the off-season so he can help the team... and himself! :)

Of course, if your son doesn't work on his other middie skills (i.e. shooting, passing, defense, speed, etc.) then he will only become a "fogo"... face-off, get off. Not great for young kids!