THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN YOUR CHILD’S LACROSSE EXPERIENCE
ADAPTED FROM UNITED STATES LACROSSE
Introduction: 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:
1) 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 to do their best. Try to maintain a 5:1 ratio in your comments to your child.
2) Attend games whenever possible. If you cannot attend, ask about your child’s experience, not whether the team won or lost. Some questions 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?”
3) Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship to coaches, officials, opponents and your child’s teammates. Remember the acronym ROOTS:
4) Let your child set his own goals and play the game for himself/herself. Be your child’s “home court advantage” by giving him/her your unconditional support regardless of how well he/she performs. Remember to not analyze your child’s game performance on the car ride home.
5) Let the coach coach. Refrain from giving your child advise when he/she is playing. Use positive reinforcement with your child’s coach. Let the coach know when he/she is doing a good job.
6) Respect the decision of the referee. Please refrain from yelling out about a call from the sideline. This is an important part of honoring the game. Your child will pay more attention to how you act than to what you say to him/her.
7) Read the rulebook. A full understanding of the rules will help you enjoy the game.
8) Read your lacrosse organization’s philosophy/ goals statement and code of conduct. Understand what the organization is trying to accomplish.
9) Volunteer. 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: raise funds (help run a bake sale), photograph players and organize carpools, update the team web site, line the fields, run the clock, manage/repair equipment , organize and participate in team social events, volunteer to help coach.
10) Sit back and enjoy the game. Remember, lacrosse is played for fun.