The Role of Parents
You, the parent, are equally as important to your child’s positive lacrosse experience as the coach of the team. In order for your child to get the most out of playing lacrosse, it is important that you do the following.
- Be supportive of your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in his or her team. Positive reinforcement encourages learning and fun. Research has shown that a ratio of five positive statements (compliments, positive recognition) for each negative statement (criticisms, corrections) is ideal for helping young athletes do their best. Try to maintain a 5:1 ratio in your comments to your child.
- Attend games whenever possible. If you cannot attend, ask about your child’s experience, not whether the team won or lost. Some questions that you might ask before asking about the final score include: “Did you try as hard as you could? Did you have fun? Did you learn anything today that might make you a better player in the future?”
- Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, officials, opponents, and your child’s teammates. “Honoring the Game” is an important part of what US Lacrosse represents. Help us by honoring the game in your behavior as a spectator.
- Let your child set his own goals and play the game for himself, or herself. Be your child’s “home court advantage” by giving him or her your unconditional support regardless of how well he or she performs.
- Let the coach coach. Refrain from giving your child advice when he or she is playing. Use positive reinforcement with your child’s coach. Let the coach know when he or she is doing a good job.
- Respect the decisions of the referee. This is an important part of honoring the game. Your child will pay more attention to how you act than to what you say.
- Read the rulebook. A full understanding of the rules will help you enjoy the game and educate others.
- Get to know who is in charge. Meet with the leadership of the program, whether it’s school-sponsored or recreational, to discuss topics such as cost, practice and game scheduling, insurance coverage, emergency procedures, etc.
- Get involved! A great way to support your child’s lacrosse experience is by becoming a volunteer for the program. Some of the ways you can get involved: keep the scorebook, running the clock, lining the fields, managing equipment, chaperoning trips, raising funds, organizing clinics and team social events, updating the team website, photographing players, and organizing carpooling.
- Sit back and enjoy the game. Remember, lacrosse is played for FUN.