Tag Archives: Atlanta Youth Lacrosse

Is it Safe?

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As a high school coach as well as youth coach (Lacrosse & Football) my paramount concern before we step on the field is player safety.  Ask any coach and official what the most important thing is and they should answer unanimously SAFETY.   If you do not have a safe environment to play in you will run the risk of injury to all the players and possibly the fans and officials.

The GHSA (Georgia High School Athletic Association) takes great pains to insure all coaches are trained in first aid, CPR and Concussion awareness along with many other safety precautions.  Some schools actually make all their coaches take first aid, CPR courses to maintain standards. Each year every GHSA certified coach most take a concussion class in order to keep their GHSA coaching certificate in good standing.  This is a very important step to keep all of our players safe.  US Lacrosse does a fantastic job with their Science and Safety Committee (click on link US Lacrosse Concussion) with several presentations regarding concussions.

With over 40 years of playing and coaching the game of lacrosse I have seen my share of concussions.  While I never received a concussion in lacrosse I did receive four while playing football.   I can say that lacrosse is much safer then other sports when it comes to this dilemma.  There have been many advances in concussion awareness and protocol.  The link below is an article from Patrick McEwen of Inside Lacrosse.  It shows how simple rule changes (not targeting the neck and head) have lowered the cause of concussions in Men’s Lacrosse.  Patrick will be writing a follow up article showing the data from high schools in the coming weeks which I will share when it comes out.

NCAA Concussion Data

As a player and a coach I have seen the advancement in the game from equipment and rule changes.  I believe one of the reasons why I did not get a concussion in lacrosse versus football is the helmet I used in lacrosse was very flimsy (see picture below).  There was no way you would use your head as a weapon wearing something like this.  My football helmet (actual picture below) that I used in high school, college and two years of semi-pro football was made of hard plastic which gave me the belief that I could become a missile or projectile when playing the game of football.

bucket helmethelmet

 

 

 

 

Concussion are very serious injuries and should be handled appropriately by doctors, trainers and medical professionals.  I have seen and observed many concussion symptoms during my years as a coach and the data and methods to identify concussions has come a long way for the good of our student athletes.

IMPACT Concussion Web site

Please take a minute to review these web sites mentioned in this article which will allow you to make informed decisions regarding your son or daughter.

See yah on the field…Coach Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do the math

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I came across this web site recently (http://www.scholarshipstats.com/lacrosse.html) and I thought it was great information to share with our players and parents.    The web site shows the number of Division I, II and III programs in the country (Division III does not award scholarships) as well as the tuition costs, room and board costs, number of athletic scholarships, roster size, SAT scores for admission and the financial assistance percentage each player receives on average.  I speak with and meet regularly  with players, parents and college coaches to help our players with the recruiting process.  It is a fun and interesting journey.  The dream of a scholarship is within reach (for some) but I constantly preach about the importance of education and excelling in school because that is where the real money is.  Until lacrosse is mainstream and people can make an actual living at it we will continue to see the disparity of athletic scholarships among sports.  Football and Basketball are mainstream sports and have fully funded programs.  Baseball has scholarships along with the allure of minor league baseball.  Lacrosse struggles to be relevant even though it is the most rapidly growing youth sport in the country.  This chart illustrates the point I am making:

Number of High School players:                          Men 106,720          Women    81,969

Number of College Lacrosse players                  Men   13,857          Women     10,869

% of High School Players in competing in College   Men 13%          Women      13.3%

NCAA Division I men’s Lacrosse teams have an average roster size of 45 players but only a maximum of 12.6 scholarships to award per team. This means that the average award covers less than 30% of a typical athlete’s annual college costs. Lacrosse is an equivalency sport for NCAA limits, so partial scholarships can be awarded (up to 30 per team in NCAA I) as long as the combined equivalent awards do not exceed the limit. For example, an NCAA Division I school can award 24 women lacrosse players each a 1/2 scholarship and still meet the limit of 12 per team.

This web site is one of the best information sources I have seen as it gives a true picture of what is out there for our players.  I strongly suggest that you review this information as a family so you can make an educated decision when choosing a school that is right for you.

Don’t get caught up with DI vs DII vs DIII it’s a zero sum game.

See ya on the field,

Coach Lou

What would Socrates think?

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“Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.”

Think about this for a moment and read it again.

I read this article recently from Inside Lacrosse ( click on link Your Parenting ).  There is a very disturbing trend in coaching, teaching and the challenges of being a parent.  This article tends to dwell on the negative.  Being the optimist that I am I would like to dwell on the positive of coaching, teaching and parenting.  There is no owners manual when it comes to raising children.   We all have great aspirations for our children as well as the ones we have the honor to coach or teach.  Young people need structure and forms of discipline to help them with the challenges of growing up.  Yet many parents don’t allow there children to fail forward.

Over the course of their young life they will encounter good and bad coaches, teachers and authority figures.  Knowing this we should do our best to help them with above mentioned quote.

Is your child coachable?

Are they a great teammate?

Are they mentally tough?

Are they resilient?

Do they try their best?

I think back to my Mom & Dad and the lessons they taught me.  They all revolve around working hard, being respectful, tough, trying my best and never making excuses or letting my teammates down.  These lessons helped me have a successful career as well as being a tough yet understanding coach.

The quote below is from Socrates who died in 399BC:

“The children now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Raising, teaching and coaching children was as challenging then as it is now.  We just have to keep guiding them and letting them fail forward.

See ya on the field!

Coach Lou

 

Compliments to Inside Lacrosse writer Peter Lasagna for a thought provoking article