Paul Krome | @paulkrome
More from the Seven-Point Check for Parents Series:
Parents overly involved or drawing undue attention to themselves during their child’s lacrosse activities may need to pause. They could be damaging their kid’s experience and eliminating opportunities before they even begin, especially in the college recruiting process for high school players.
“I will not recruit kid whose parent is a psycho,” John’s Hopkins women’s coach Janine Tucker said. “We’ve done that — stopped recruiting a talented kid because we knew her parents would drive us nuts for four years.”
Tucker offered these tips for parents to engage positively in their child’s lacrosse experience:
- Embrace your child’s team as yours and be a good teammate, with the according positive energy and support. Your child’s teammates are his or her brothers or sisters.
- Recognize the reality of players, coaches and officials making mistakes.
- Learn what you can control, such as supporting effort and hustle by your child and team, and what you can’t control, such as a call made by an official.
- Have a discussion with your child before the season and ask how you can be supportive. “A high school player should be old enough to talk about what helps her succeed as an athlete and what hurts,” Tucker said. “Something along the lines of, ‘Dad, when you’re screaming at me, my teammates or the officials, that bring me down. It doesn’t help.’”
- If your child is good enough to play collegiately, learn about potential future coaches’ interaction policies during the recruiting process — and respect them once your child enrolls. “Every program is different. For us, parents can call us about anything except playing time,” Tucker said. “If coaches don’t want or have time for interactions, you have to respect that because you knew it from the beginning.”
US Lacrosse believes it’s imperative that parents stay educated on the issues trending in our sport. Read the full seven-point check for parents in Lacrosse Magazine’s March issue, and visit the Parents section for more resources.