Parents are equally as important to a child’s lacrosse experience as the coach of the team. In order for a child, their teammates, and their competitors to get the most positive experience out of lacrosse, parents should do the following:
- Be supportive of your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in their team. Positive reinforcement encourages learning and fun. Research has shown that a ratio of 5 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 how your child did, not whether the team won or lost. Some questions that you might ask before asking about the final score include: ‘Did you have fun? Did you learn anything today that might make you a better player in the future? Did you try as hard as you could?’
- Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, officials, opponents, and your child’s teammates. ‘Honouring the Game’ and all those involved is an important life lesson. Help us by honoring the game in your behavior as a spectator.
- Let children set their own goals and play the game themselves. 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 a Zero Tolerance Policy issue and is an important part of honouring the game. On this issue, your child will pay more attention to how you act than what you say.
- Read the rulebook. A full understanding of the rules will help you enjoy the game and educate others. Consult with referees after a game to get a copy of the rules or if you have questions.
- Get involved. We could always use help with:
- Team Managers
- Carpooling to practices/games
- Publicizing the league
- Recruiting players
- Fund raising
- Organizing & chaperoning trips (out of town festivals)
- Sit back and enjoy the game. Remember, lacrosse is played for FUN!