Goals, aspirations, and physical abilities change over time. If we approach youth sports as a vehicle for reinforcing good life lessons and give kids great coaches to teach them the game and those life lessons, we will prepare the kids not just for high-level lacrosse, but for high-level life. This is designed to be a resource for parents who are interested in being involved with their child’s development in lacrosse.
1. Your child benefits. Research shows children whose parents are involved get better grades, do better on tests, and have fewer discipline problems at school.
2. We make a difference. We try to build the kind of supportive, caring environment that helps children be the best they can be.
3. We pledge to honor your time constraints. We understand how busy parenting is; we won’t push you to commit more than you want or are able. Every little bit helps to lighten the load.
4. We have fun. Volunteering shouldn’t be a miserable experience. We accomplish a lot, and not everything we do is easy. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we try to enjoy ourselves along the way whenever possible.
5. Meet others. We all care about creating the best possible experiences for our children. We share many of the same experiences. Many friendships have developed as a result of those connections.
6. There’s a lot to be done. GLC is 100% volunteer run and donor funded, from the board of directors to the coaches. Everyone contributes.
7. We can match jobs to your interests and abilities. The work we do covers a broad spectrum: filing and photocopying, social media, planning and executing events, writing and editing, working with children, and lots more. We encourage creative ideas and we’re thrilled to have people take on skills that meet their skills and interests.
8. We’re welcoming. To us there are no “outsiders.” We are people who have come together to work towards common goals.
9. We are about parent involvement, not fundraising. We want parents to be involved in their children’s activities.
10. This work is very rewarding. To see children fall in love with lacrosse. To watch them grow into leaders. To know we play a role in their lives. There are lots of rewards, big and small, for those that get involved. Won’t you join us?
Recognize the Coach’s Commitment: Coaches log many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games. And you’d better believe they’re not in it for the money (in many cases, coaches are working without any pay). Try to remember this whenever anything goes awry during the season.
Make Early, Positive Contact: As soon as you learn who your child’s coach is going to be, introduce yourself, let him or her know you want to help your child enjoy the best possible experience, and offer to assist the coach in any way you’re qualified. Meeting the coach early and establishing a positive relationship will make conversation easier if a problem arises during the season.
Fill the Coach’s Emotional Tank: When coaches are doing something you like, let them know about it. Coaching is a stressful job, and many coaches only hear from parents when they decide to voice a complaint. A coach with a full emotional tank will always do a better job.
Don’t Instruct During a Game or Practice: Your child is trying to concentrate amid the chaotic, fast-moving action of a game, as well as do what the coach asks of him or her. A parent yelling out instructions hardly ever helps. More often than not, it confuses the child, adds pressure and goes against the coaches’ instruction, which undermines the player-coach relationship, the player-parent relationship and the parent-coach relationship.
Observe a “Cooling Off” Period: Wait to talk to the coach about something you are upset about for at least 24 hours. Emotions can get so hot, that it’s often better and more productive to wait a day before contacting the coach. This also gives you time to consider exactly what to say to the coach, and how to say it.
The relationship between coaches, parents and athletes are like any other relationship: they have their ups and downs. And there are situations that you or youth athlete need to address with the coach. How you address the issue is just as important as resolving the issue itself.
Before you as the parent intervene, make sure you’ve asked yourself, “Is this something that my child should do for his or herself?”
There are several advantages to having your children, rather than you, speak directly to the coach. Many coaches are more open to suggestions from players than from parents. The biggest plus here is that this can be an empowering experience for children, even if they don’t get the result they seek.
Summoning the courage to talk to the coach can be a great life lesson. Your children may gain important experiences about dealing with people above them in the power structure, at school or in future jobs, by discussing their issue with the coach on their own.