You wash uniforms and clean muddy (and let’s be honest, sometimes really stinky) gear.
You find that missing 2nd cleat just in time.
You are an A-mazing parent of a youth athlete.
There is so much you already do to support your lacrosse player on and off the field.
Here we are at the spring season. Parent meetings have been held. Cloth packs are ready to be worn. Teams are starting practices. And we’ve spent some time talking about our Big Walnut Lacrosse culture and the things we don’t want fans doing on the sidelines to ensure the experience is a positive one for players, coaches, parents and families, and refs alike.
So what CAN parents do to help support their lacrosse players this season?
Here are some tips from some of the Big Walnut lacrosse players themselves ...
“Wish me luck before a game and remind me that I’ve been working hard and everything is going to go great.”
Anxiety may run high before a game, whether it’s your player’s first season or sixth. As parents, we can help our players focus on preparedness throughout the season and boost their confidence with reminders of how hard they’ve worked in practice in the days and weeks before the game. They’re ready.
“Before a game, just remind me to have fun because sometimes I get really nervous.”
Our kids put enough pressure on themselves; we don’t need to add to it. This may be where parents can be the most helpful. You don’t have to know a thing about the game of lacrosse to remind your player that it’s a game. Yes, someone will win, and someone will lose, but the scoreboard isn’t everything. They can and should enjoy the opportunity to play, let that hard work we talked about shine, and enjoy the time with friends and teammates.
“I like when my mom and dad compliment me on something I did good during the game because then I know they were really watching the game.”
Our kids don’t just look to us for guidance, they look for us. Give them a thumbs up, a smile, or a clap from the sidelines, and show them how much fun you are having watching them play. Help your player set goals that are completely within their control – their effort, attitude, and coachability. Keeping goal setting to those “controllables” takes the pressure off the scoreboard and the outcome.
“I like hearing my parents cheer when something good happens like a ground ball or a shot.”
Our kids can pick our voices out of a crowd, and they love to hear us cheer them on. Give them all the kudos you can from the sideline to keep them going on that field. Those final minutes can be hard on little legs and hearts! Remember it’s not necessarily about outcomes. We can cheer for effort and energy from both teams with just as much enthusiasm as we do a goal or save. The coaches will take care of the game; they are not only well-trained in lacrosse (every youth coach has at a minimum their Level 1 Certification with USA Lacrosse) but also trained as coaches (Positive Coaching Alliance.) We are proud of those affiliations and the work they do to help our coaches be the best they can be – so our kids can do the same.