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.
This statement is strictly the opinion of the Geronimo leadership, gained from over 100 years of youth lacrosse coaching experience, decades of parenting, and years of walking that tough line between parent and coach. We have all been there in one form or another and we hope you find this useful.
Kids just want to have fun!
When they are having fun they play more freely and as a result, play better. Most importantly, when they have fun they want to come back.
Too much focus on individual success leads to poor integration into larger groups, difficult chemistry with teammates, classmates and coaches, and decreased performance over time.
Society's focus on doing more and more sooner and sooner has added pressure to kids and parents and taken some of the fun out of the process.
Our experience shows that kids who go through our program with the right work ethic and the right attitude are more than capable of reaching any of the goals they set for themselves on and off the field.
Let the game be theirs
Even if you are cheering and saying all the right things, constant noise from the sideline makes it hard for kids to process anything, let alone react instinctively.
Remote control coaching/cheering/parenting inhibits a player's ability to make decisions and learn from mistakes. It encourages them to only react to your voice.
One of the great benefits of playing a youth sport is that your child gets to hear from another adult.
Encourage children to seek input and advice from their coach on matters pertaining to their team and sport.
Let them struggle. Life is full of challenges and playing a sport allows us the ability to strive, fail and strive again. If we don't ever face disappointment or failure as a child in a safe environment like sports, we will never be prepared for adversity later in life. The lesson learned in getting up is far more important than the lesson learned in winning.
Practice with them: When? Why? How?
Working on skills with your son or daughter can be a wonderful opportunity to have fun, share a special experience, and quietly teach some unspoken lessons about work ethic and determination....but it needs to be on their terms. Wait till they ask you. Then it is theirs and you are helping. If you force the issue, you run the risk of making the game work and turning them off.
Remember that a child's attention span is about .66 X their age in years.
"Short and Sweet with Smiles" is a lot more beneficial than a long practice pursuing perfection. You want them coming back, so keep it in their wheelhouse.
Don't coach what you don't know.
If you don't know what's wrong, just have fun being with your child! Grab a coach before the next session and we will take a look for you.
Baseball/softball gloves are great alternatives for parents who are not comfortable with a lacrosse stick.
Whentryingtohelp a young player (2-9 yrs old) learn to catch start by tossing the ball to them underhand and just focus on getting them to move their stick to the ball. After they have mastered tracking the ball in the air and moving their stick to the ball, have them work to receive the ball by their ear while still delivering the ball to them underhanded. After they have properly learned to catch by their ear move to throwing them overhand passes.
Work on both hands at the same time.
Do not wait to introduce the weak hand until the strong hand is mastered.
A bucket makes a great seat for a parent. Get a bucket, a few balls, and roll them right to your son or daughter -- at first directly to them, then make them move -- and remember the practice is for them.
The key is lots of reps in a small space, Each one doesn't have to be perfect.
Tennis balls are great for creating soft hands and saving teeth!
Playing with a tennis ball in the back yard is a fun way to improve hand-eye coordination and soften the hands to help catch difficult feeds.
1v1 and 2v2 basketball
This is a great way to work on some general sports skills, have fun, and not feel pressured. There is a direct translation between the principles of basketball and lacrosse. Moving without the ball and footwork are just two of the many shared principles.