The Growth and Benefits of Youth Lacrosse: Shaping the Next Generation
Lacrosse is often referred to as the fastest sport on two feet. That’s probably a big reason why the sport has continued to take hold of our kids. With its Native American origins, the sport has spanned centuries and today is shaping another generation of youth athletes.
The Rise of Youth Lacrosse
There's no denying it: youth lacrosse is booming. The last decade has seen youth lacrosse registrations double in many regions, and schools and community programs are working to accommodate this influx of players. Here in Big Walnut, we saw a 52% increase in youth players from 2020 to 2023. Since 2020, we’ve added both a 1/2 and 3/4 Girls team. We’ve hosted multiple low-dollar “Try Lacrosse” events that have helped add over 50 new youth players to our rosters. That’s on top of the middle school program being a school-sponsored sport.
Several factors contribute to this growth. The excitement of the game, with its dynamic mix of speed, skill, and strategy, is certainly at the root of this growth, both for players and parents alike. It’s a fun game to play; it’s just as fun to watch! The PLL and the increased media exposure of professional lacrosse has also helped to introduce the sport to more households, just as football, baseball, basketball, and Olympic sports like gymnastics have traditionally done.
The Benefits of Playing Lacrosse
Beyond just the fun of it all, lacrosse offers young players a host of benefits:
Physical Fitness: Lacrosse is a sport that demands agility, endurance, and strength. Young players develop cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and hand-eye coordination, setting the foundation for a lifetime of physical well-being.
Teamwork and Camaraderie: Lacrosse is inherently a team sport. Players quickly learn the value of working together, understanding that individual talent shines brightest when combined with the team dynamic. “Hero ball” will only take a team so far.
Discipline and Commitment: Mastering lacrosse skills requires consistent practice. The commitment to improving one’s own game instills a sense of discipline that carries well beyond the field.
Friendships: Being part of a team means forming friendships and memories. We have seen the benefit of kids from different neighborhoods and elementary schools getting to know each other on the lacrosse fields before coming together as student-athletes at the intermediate and middle schools.
What Has Playing Lacrosse Meant to You?
This game means a lot to our kids, and in turn, means a lot to many of us as parents.
“ … lacrosse has been the thing that has helped build my child up. I think that’s largely attributable to the approach this program takes."
"… this program has helped grow my son's love for the sport and accepted him for who he is. He’s always asking me to pass with him, he’s always out shooting in the backyard, his teammates are his friends."
"The Big Walnut youth lacrosse program has been a HUGE influence in my child's life (and ours) …”
We are looking forward to the Spring ’24 season and another year of exciting lacrosse action. Mark your calendars for Monday, November 13th, when we open registration for our spring teams. We can’t wait to meet the new players and see all of you back on the fields.