The Alarm Bell of Youth Sports: Keeping Kids in the Game
Recent research paints a startling picture: a majority of kids are quitting sports by the age of 11. Most report it’s because it’s simply not fun anymore. When you hear statistics like that, it's not just an alarming number. It's a wake-up call for communities, parents, and sports organizations like ours to act.
At Big Walnut Lacrosse, we've taken that call to heart. Our mission is clear: keep as many kids playing as possible, for as long as possible, and in the best conditions possible.
How are we working to achieve our mission?
Training Coaches: We've established a strong partnership with USA Lacrosse and the Positive Coaching Alliance. This ensures our coaches are not just skilled in the technical aspects of lacrosse but are also well-versed in nurturing young talents in a supportive and positive environment.
Prioritizing Kids: Our efforts are continuously directed towards creating a culture where the child comes first. It isn't about winning or losing; it's about learning, growing, and most importantly, enjoying the sport so the passion and child-led desire is there to continue through the middle school and high school years.
Fundraising: We recognize the barriers to entry, and we're actively working to lower them. Through year-round fundraising, we're committed to making lacrosse as accessible as possible. We don't want the cost to be a deterrent for any potential player. We have been able to keep the cost of our spring season the same for over five years now and have worked to provide more value for those dollars as well.
From painting our practice and game fields, to providing player cloth packs, nets, goals, and even essentials like lacrosse balls, we ensure that our players have a holistic Game Day experience that is second to none. We’re biased, of course, but you won’t find a better place to play than here in Big Walnut.
Parents, Here's Where You Come In
Parents play a pivotal role in a child's sporting journey. We all want to foster a love for the game in our young player. How?
Enjoy the Ride: Your child's journey in sports is going to be filled with ups and downs. Relish the highs, support them through the lows, and remind them that every practice and game is a new experience.
Steer Clear of the Drama: Youth sports can sometimes be surrounded by drama, both on the field and on the sidelines. Stay above it. Focus on the positive aspects and ensure your child does the same. #beBIG.
Avoid the Comparison Game: Every child progresses at their own pace. Avoid comparing your young athlete to their peers. It's about their journey, their improvement, and their love for the game. We’ve seen kids at 8 or 10 who can barely scoop a ball go on to play Varsity their freshman or sophomore years. Give them time.
Celebrate the Small Wins: Did your child learn a new skill? Celebrate it. Did they handle a loss with grace? Applaud their maturity. It's these small moments that will shape their sportsmanship and love for the game. These are the life lessons lacrosse can teach.
At Big Walnut Lacrosse, we're committed to doing our part to ensure every child has a chance to shine on the field. But we can't do it alone. Together, with coaches, parents, and the community, we can ensure kids stay in sports, grow with sports, and love sports, long past the age of 11. Thank you for being a part of our team.