One of our coaches (Dave Regan) recently posted the below article as well my son Gordon posted this article for US Lacrosse yesterday. I thought they were both important for several reasons.
Atlanta Youth Lacrosse provides a safe environment for all of our players and like anything in life especially as it relates to children we take it seriously. While we always want to have fun and be competitive we never want to get in the way of being safety consensus first.
The first article revolves around the world of playing time and allowing young people to face adversity with failure. All to often we protect our kids and in some cases hurt them in the long run. As a youth program we want to be conscience of the development of each player but we also want to teach them the rules of the game, sportsmanship, respecting coaches, officials, opponents and their parents.
The article focuses on football but it can be applied to any sport. This quote stood out for me.
“The thing is that many kids know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at. When it comes to football, for instance, most of the middle-schoolers or freshman already know the one or two kids who are good enough to play on the varsity team. And be the ones likely to catch the eye of a college recruiter. Their parents do not.
The rest play because they enjoy it, need the discipline, want to belong to a team, have dreamed of it since they were 5 or 6, are trying to make their parents happy, need a varsity sport on their college application, or some combination thereof.”
The rest of the article is very thought provoking and puts things in perspective.
Gorden’s article tackles the issue of learning the rules and playing a better brand of lacrosse. If you notice in our U9 games the official counts to 4 and if the player does not pass the ball it becomes a turnover. This is not a real rule in lacrosse and can be confusing. We call this game “Hippo” it does several things:
- It forces players to look up field and move the ball
- It forces players without the ball to get open for their teammates instead of just standing there
- It eliminates the stronger player from the game who can go “coast to coast” with the ball and just score at will. I call these players the BLACK HOLE. Once they get the ball their teammates never get it back.
As Gordon highlights we do these things to help the players get a better understanding of the game when it means little. When you tie it back to Coach Dave’s article it shows the importance of what we learn on the field and how we can be better teammates and develop a way to deal with adversity. Sports are a great way with dealing with the ups and downs of life and the earlier we learn these lessons that better we will be in the future.
See ya on the field!