Author Archives: Lou Corsetti

About Lou Corsetti

Gordon is a born lacrosse official who played for ten years before realizing he'd much rather ref the game than play it. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia and officiates youth, high school, and collegiate men's lacrosse games all over the southeast. His passion is educating and training officials, coaches, players, parents and all other fans on the rules of lacrosse, it's history, and how best to develop lacrosse in new areas.


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A few months ago I had a small group of young players and I asked the question “what is respect?” The reason I was prompted to ask that question was because the players were disrespecting one another by hitting each other with their sticks while waiting in line during drills. I did not find that behavior particularly becoming of young lacrosse players. So I had everyone sit down in a semi circle around me and we discussed respect. Since that day I’ve spent many days thinking about respect and what to write about it, and I think I finally have down what I want to say.

There are three types of respect that I want to discuss. First is respect for yourself. Second is respect for others. Third is respect the game.

Respect for yourself

I cannot talk about respect without first going into respecting yourself. My parents brought me up to both believe in and respect the person I am. My experiences in lacrosse and martial arts taught me how to respect myself. I don’t believe you can play a sport without respecting who you are as an individual.

Through sport I learned to be both hard and gentle on myself. I was hard on myself when I knew I could do better, and I was gentle on myself when I needed encouragement. Ultimately, I learned that if I do not respect who I am then no one will ever be able to respect me.

Respect for others

Respecting others is what I discussed with my group of young players a few months back. We give kids body armor and a metal stick. It is a recipe for disrespect if they are not watched over vigilantly. My players where whacking one another in the helmet with their sticks in between drills. This cannot be tolerated if you are a coach, and the first time it happens I highly suggest separating the players after making them shake hands and forgiving each other for their poor behavior.

Respect for others means treating other people the way you would want them to treat you. Sports is an excellent way to learn about respect because your respect for others will be tested during practices and games. For example, in one of my games many years ago I was cross-checked hard and went down to the ground like a sack of potatoes. I could have sought out the offender for a little retribution, but I refrained from doing that. I was taught by my parents and my coaches to respect my opponent no matter what happens. In other words, I was instructed to take the high road and not lower myself to the level of someone who does not respect me.

Remember players, the stick is not a weapon.

Respect for the game

Lacrosse puts a heavy emphasis on honoring/respecting the game. We cheer our opponent and shake hands after every contest. We award those who play with exceptional sportsmanship during the season. We lift up our teammates and even our opponents when they get knocked down and are slow to get up. To me, respect for the game means leaving it better than you left it. That could be not retaliating after a cheap shot during a game, or by giving back as a coach committed to being positive no matter what. Your actions will show whether or not you treat the game of lacrosse with respect.

I believe that the game of lacrosse demands respect from the players, coaches, officials, program administrators, and fans. If everyone involved in a league comes to each practice and each game determined to respect the game, that league will be successful. I know to my core that Atlanta Youth Lacrosse has been successful because our staff and our members respect the game at a very high level.

I found what each letter of R.E.S.P.E.C.T stands for:

  • Rules – learn the rules and then follow them
  • Enthusiasm – get excited
  • Safety – protect yourself at all times
  • Purpose – learn something every chance you can
  • Effort – always try your best
  • Challenge – set goals and reach for them
  • Team – be the best teammate you can be

Finally, I will leave you with Aretha Franklin’s Respect:


Chess Club

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I’m not sure if it was my idea or my parent’s idea for me to join the Esther Jackson Elementary Chess Club, but I am ¬†glad I was introduced to chess at a very early age. I started learning chess in the fourth grade and I’ve been playing ever since. I don’t remember my chess teacher’s name, but as far as I was concerned he was a chess master. I never beat him, but he always taught me something new about the game.

I started competing in chess tournaments around Roswell in fifth grade. I lost my fair share, but I also placed at a couple of them. If nothing else, I was a tough opponent because I learned something from every chess match that made me better. Win, lose or draw I got better at chess by being a student of the game. Which, as far as I am concerned, is the only way to approach any game. If I looked at chess as a game where I knew everything I would not have learned anything.

It is important to remain a student of the game throughout your playing days. For chess that meant playing against my computer ever chance I got, watching “Searching For Bobby Fischer,” and playing against my best friend often. For lacrosse that meant practicing my off-hand for a whole month until it was better than my strong hand. It meant watching the best defensemen in the NCAA championship games on Memorial Day weekend, and asking tons of questions whenever I went to a lacrosse camp. I wasn’t the fastest, the strongest, or the best stick checker but I could see the entire game.

I remember playing with a bird’s-eye view of the field. I played the game like I was playing chess, directing my teammates around on the field with different commands because I knew where the ball was going to be before it got there. My dad calls this game sense or Lacrosse IQ, but really it is just anticipation. Because I was a student of the game for so many years I could get into the flow of the game better than most. This helped me earn playing time despite my lack of size and speed.

My experiences with chess taught me patience, and my experiences with lacrosse taught me decisiveness. When combined those two qualities create a solid chess player and a capable lacrosse player. However, if you are not a student of your game then all you will learn is frustration. Even if you are the biggest, strongest, fastest player out there. You must combine patience and decisiveness in order to become a complete player. If you lean too heavily on patience you will never be in the right spot at the right time, and if you don’t learn decisiveness you will never get to the right spot fast enough.

If you are serious about becoming the best lacrosse player you can be I highly recommend learning and playing chess. You will learn strategy and increase your ability to see the big picture, which will serve you well on the lacrosse field.


Happy Holidays From Our Family To Yours

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With the holidays upon us and the regular season nearly here I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what this time of year really means. While it is always fun to give and receive presents, I continue to find that the time spent with friends and family is the best part about the holidays.

Over the last week I got to coach with my good friend and fellow official Andy Halperin. We ran U9 Polar Bear clinics, the U11/U13 Yin & Yang clinics, and the Drop & Shop clinics together and enjoyed working with the new players. As always, it was a pleasure working and chatting with Andy who I consider one of my true best friends and valued colleague. Another plus from those clinics was getting to coach alongside my Dad, Lou Corsetti. He and I traded new drill ideas and practice plans to keep the clinics fresh and interesting for the kids. I’m certainly excited to unwrap some presents, but those moments will eventually fade from memory. The time spent with my friend Andy and my father Lou is going to be with me forever.

So this holiday season remember to take a moment and really appreciate the time you get to spend with those you care about.

Happy Holidays
The Corsetti Family