Tag Archive for lacrosse teamwork

What Boys Can Learn From Girls Lacrosse – Part 2

This week on this blog, we posted an article on what boys can learn from girls’ lacrosse. The article was re-posted on Lacrosse Playground and received several comments from what seem to be men, demeaning girls lacrosse as “inferior” to the boys’ game.  The comments called girls’ lacrosse “lame”  and the points present in the blog “a joke.”

First, the Lacrosse IQ blog is focused on developing the Lacrosse IQ for all players and to develop a higher IQ, players and coaches must become students of the game and sports overall. Closing the mind to other sports – including those across the gender lines — will retard the development of a higher lacrosse IQ. Simply, when boys call another sport lame and fail to open their minds to learn from it, they deny themselves the ability to grow as athletes and lacrosse players.  Lacrosse players can learn angles and anticipation from tennis, torque and follow-through from golf, bowling and baseball, vision from hockey and basketball, etc. If you’re not learning as a lacrosse player, you’re not growing.

Next, the post was written from the perspective of male lacrosse coaches, educators and former college players. The negative comments depict a pervasive attitude in men’s lacrosse that a sport without contact is less-than and provides no insights into the sport overall. This could not be further from the truth and frankly undermines the boys’ games and the development of players. Boys lacrosse players and coaches should be watching and learning from girls’ lacrosse and vice versa.  If you don’t, you do so at your own peril because those who do, will develop a higher lacrosse IQ.

While the warlike element of lacrosse is often touted, lacrosse historians remind us that it was called the medicine game and the creator game and was seen as a spiritual journey and that’s exactly how our boys and girls should view the sport… a journey.

Take the journey. Open the mind and develop the body. Grow your lacrosse IQ.

Please share your comments here.

Skills Every Child Can Master for Lacrosse (and Life) Success

For most parents, the ultimate goal of youth sports is to have a positive experience, one that will help their children grow in healthy physical and emotional ways.

The Blog, “The Sports Doc Chalk Talk by Dr. Chris Stankovich” offers this short list of important learning points to focus on throughout your child’s athletic career so that he/she will not only play to her highest potential on the field, but also use the sport experience to maximize her overall human development as well:

Process Goals – Most parents encourage their child to play hard enough to one day become the best kid on the team (or league).  There’s nothing wrong with this encouragement, of course, but keep in mind that all outcome goals (like becoming an All Star or team MVP) always begin with process goals. When thinking about process goals, keep in mind these are the types of goals that are fully under the control of the athlete (like maintaining a strength training program, running, mastering plays, etc.).  Outcome goals are not completely under the control of the athlete, especially if the goal is to win an award thats voted on by the coaching staff or league.

Focus - Parents can help their children with focus at very young ages by teaching the basics — like learning how to pay attention to relevant cues (i.e. the next pitch) while ignoring irrelevant cues (i.e. the people in the crowd).  The skill of focus is an important one, and can also be transferred to many other areas in life — including the classroom.

Resiliency – The old saying of “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up” may be one of the greatest lessons that can be learned through sports.  Resiliency, or mental toughness, is a terrific skill to help your child master as there are countless sport experiences that involve stress, frustration, adversity, and losing.   Resiliency also helps with motivation — another great life success skill!

Humility – Winning with grace and keeping the ego in check are skills parents can teach their kids through various successful sport experiences.  Humiliating, taunting, and embarrassing opponents are never good things – on or off the field.

Sportsmanship – Similarly to winning with grace, kids can also learn to be good sports during those tough times as well – like after a humiliating loss, or after experiencing a blown call by a referee.  Sports, like life, aren’t always “fair,” but what’s most important is to respect the rules and opponent at all times – even when spirits are down.

Dr Stankovich suggest you conduct your own family audit and see how your gang stacks up.

Please share other ideas here.

Lax Coaches: Study Says Develop Teamwork by Focusing on Self-Improvement

Lacrosse coaches and parents would be wise to read the current research from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports.

Here are some excerpts from the study:

Playing in an atmosphere that focuses on player self-improvement versus player competition creates a sense of teamwork and develops initiative, social skills and a sense of identity, report the authors of the study from the Department of Kinesiology institute.

“The research adds to the growing body of knowledge that shows coaching actions and the team climates they create have important influences on the personal development of youth,” Gould said. “Our data suggests if coaches want to develop life skills and character in youth, it is important to focus on player self-improvement more so than winning.

The results clearly show that the more coaches create caring and task-oriented climates, the more likely important positive developmental gains will occur. Creating an “ego climate” was found to be the single most powerful predictor of negative youth experiences.

“Coaches should create a climate or atmosphere where kids feel cared about, valued, safe and supported,” Gould said. “These positive things should occur while at the same time avoiding the creation of an ego-oriented climate focusing primary attention on comparing themselves to others.”

Do you agree? Share your opinions here:


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