Tag: Coach Lou

Tough enough

As our spring season draws near I wanted our Mom’s and Dad’s to understand a little different part of the game and how to feel about seeing your son get checked with a stick.

I have seen many things in our beloved-ed game.  I used to hear people say ” I can hit that kid with the stick” or “I love this game, it’s just like Football with sticks”.  I detest comments like these because that is not what the game is about.

lm     Growing up as the youngest of four boys and in a neighborhood of thirty or so boys in a two block radius I got roughed up quite a bit.  My oldest brother would pound my second oldest brother who would pound my third oldest brother who would pound me.  This was a daily occurrence in our house as well as the Sunday afternoon boxing matches in our garage where our Dad played referee.  My Mom hated it and refused to watch and my Dad’s response was “the boys need to learn how to protect themselves”.  I always wondered about my big sister who never had to strap on the gloves… How come she did not need to know how to protect herself.  I love my sister dearly but boy I would have loved to get a few punches in.  Those were sure different times.

Today there is more structure growing up and more social awareness of rough housing.

In the game of lacrosse you will see players get pushed, slashed, tripped and cross checked.  All of these are fouls in the game of lacrosse but sometimes the officials do not see every infraction and the call is not made.  As a coach and parent you worry about your players as well as your children.  No one wants to see a player injured.  That being said Lacrosse is a very rough game and these infractions will occur regardless of the official.

All of our coaches are instructed to teach the proper fundamentals to each and every player as well as penalties.  We are always looking to help make sure the game is safer for all of our players.

The link below from the Georgia High School Officials Association has some great videos of the rules and fouls that occur in a game.  This is a tremendous resource if you would like to learn more about the game.


I try to tell young kids and older players that you will get pushed, slashed, tripped and cross checked and you have to deal with it.  This is what I call being “tough enough”.  All to often we want to retaliate or question the official.  The best course of action is to walk away and keep playing hard.  That’s what a gamer does (please understand, I am not talking about a video gamer).  A gamer is someone that plays aggressive hard nosed lacrosse and never gives up constantly pushing himself and his teammates to succeed.

Every child/player is different.  Some players are more aggressive than others.  So when you are watching your child play and you see him get roughed up a little,  don’t get on him for not being tough.  Let him understand that you just need to be “tough enough”

The web site below is a humorous way of describing roughhousing and how important it is for children.


I wish my parents had this resource when I was growing up it would have saved me several trips to the emergency room.

See ya on the field,


Coach Lou



Introducing the AYL Weekly Newsletter

If you have not done so already, sign up for the AYL Weekly Newsletter. Every Tuesday morning AYL sends out our weekly newsletter via MailChimp to over seven hundred subscribers. We want that subscription list to grow and for every one of our members to read and enjoy the newsletter.

Each newsletter will have:

  • Coach Lou’s Corner – A message about lacrosse coaching, life lessons, and how to best enjoy the game.
  • Director Messages – Important information regarding new signups, roster postings, and schedules
  • Zebra Knowledge – I give a short explanation about officiating and lacrosse rules
  • Weekend Game Scores – Once games get going we will post the scores and direct everyone to team standings within their division
  • Important Dates – A small calendar of upcoming events, camps, and clinics
  • Final Thoughts & Expectations – Thoughts about the past weekend’s games, and what we expect from everyone for the upcoming weekend.

If you have any suggestions about what we can include in the newsletter to make it more useful, or if you are having any problems reading the newsletter, please email rules@ayllax.com. Or, you may comment below.


Live Blogging Convention Wrap Up

Awaking from a truly restful night of sleep Coach Lou and I again headed into the cavernous convention hall. We split ways to view presentations by officials and coaches at the top of their field. Rich Tamberino, an official with over 30 years experience, presented on Mental Checklists. The amount of information that he covers with his officials before a game is astonishing. They go over nearly every aspect I can imagine about a lacrosse game before they ever step onto the field. I had my eyes opened very wide at the end of his talk as I realized how much more work I need to put into each game I officiate this season. To do anything less would dishonor the profession.

Verbal Judo
Verbal Judo

After Tamberino’s presentation I attended the one speech that left me breathless by the end of it. Verbal Judo Vice President W. Lee Fjelstad spoke about his involvement in Verbal Judo. A company that speaks to hundreds of companies and law enforcement officers every year on effective techniques to get people to do what you want during confrontations. Since officiating could very well be described as a “C*#@p attracting profession” this presentation was immensely helpful in illuminating both sides of a confrontation and how to use certain words and phrases to my advantage. By the end of the speech I had a full sheet of notes and my belly was hurting from laughing through Mr. Fjelstad’s well told stories. If anyone works in an environment where better communication would benefit you I would highly suggest attending one of his Verbal Judo Classes.

After that entertaining speech I headed to the expo to find some swag and my dad. What I found instead was The Watermelon Challenge! Demonstrated by pro MLL players the target is one lonely watermelon ten yards away. The

Death to all Watermelons!
Death to all Watermelons!

objective? Complete watermelon obliteration! The pros lined up and ripped shot after shot until one of them hit the mark. The watermelon split open as if shot. Pieces of watermelon littered the ground in a sticky, but delicious mess. With the watermelon defeated it’s remains were passed out to some astonished youth players who carried it around as reverently as the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (if you do not get that reference then shame on you).

After that it was back to class. I will not bore you with the details of 2-man mechanics, and rules interpretations but I will mention that the NFHS and US Lacrosse is extremely serious about removing as much head-to-head contact and body-to-head contact as possible in the game. Officials are being instructed and encouraged to call fouls that result in contact to an opponent’s head as a one minute non-releasable Illegal Body Check. This is a new emphasis over last year, and if anyone read my post on Mouthgards and Concussions this emphasis makes a lot of sense. Expect to see helmet-to-helmet contact penalized more often and more severely during the 2011 regular season. Please players, keep your head up and start your body checks from a lower crouch. You will save a lot of wear and tear on your head and spine if you do so.

With all of the classes over for the day I went out with all of the officials to Pickels Pub next to the Orioles Ball Park. Everyone shared a few drinks and some hilarious stories but eventually it was time to call it a night. Coach Lou and I met up, he had gone out with the Youth Council members, and crashed as soon as we got back to the room. With the convention all wrapped up there was nothing left to do but take a cab to BWI and board the flight home.

I must say my first convention experience was an absolute blast and well worth the expense of going. If you are a coach, official, or a player I would highly recommend checking it out when it moves to Philadelphia in 2012. I had a fantastic time with my Dad. As a Father/Son trip this one definitely goes into the top three.