By Wendell Lee
I imagine that for many of you, the close of the lacrosse season mirrors the wind-down of the school year. As a young teacher, I relished the last few days of school while looking forward to the coming weeks that would frame my summer. This time was my reprieve.
As I became more interested in coaching, I began to realize that the day after our last game, regardless of the outcome of that game, was the first day of next season. The success of the next season was dependent on my preparation now. Even if we had won the championship, the day after this season begins next season. Is today that day for you?
In developing a program for the US Lacrosse Gold Stick Standards, this forward-thinking approach is the core of better lacrosse for coaches, players and parents. The Gold Stick Accreditation for Leagues provides a platform for league leaders to reflect on what is working and the opportunity to change areas that need improvement. Sometimes it is merely learning what others are doing that prompts us to make positive change.
Many leagues have begun the process of affirming the Gold Stick Standards and addressing changes to their policies and procedures that reflect their culture and circumstance. Initially, many administrators mistakenly believed that US Lacrosse had created iron clad policies and procedures to define how a league must run. Upon further investigation, league leaders are realizing that the standards are not rigid, but merely serve to provide guidelines for leagues and organizations to define their own interpretations.
US Lacrosse wants parents to know what they should expect from their child’s lacrosse participation. What they should expect is based on the policies and procedures of the league that they participate in, or the organization with which they choose to play.
What is your organization’s playing time policy? Is it the same for recreational teams as it is for travel or select teams? Is there a drop-off and pick-up policy? Are coaches and officials certified?
These are the types of questions parents may not be aware that they should be asking. The Gold Stick Standards are for the protection of children, and by default, the protection of parents, coaches and officials. The Gold Stick Standards seek to implement a communication model that any reputable youth sports organization should provide to those who (in most cases) pay to participate.
If today is in fact the first day of next season, are you the parent who can’t be bothered? Are you the administrator who feels that since your league survived another season, you must be doing this right? Frankly, I hope not. Now is the time to join the others who are looking to make next season better.
If you are a parent and you are not aware of the Gold Stick Standards, I strongly encourage you to learn more about this new program. If you are a league or program administrator, I encourage you to follow the link and at a minimum evaluate how close your organization is to meeting the Gold Stick Standards.
If you would like to know more about the Gold Stick Standards and how they could positively affect you and your lacrosse community, please join us for a free national webinar, “What Should I Expect from the Gold Stick Standards?” on Tuesday, June 17, at 7 p.m. EST. The presentation will cover the seven Gold Stick Standards, accreditation process and next steps.
Learn more about the Gold Stick Standards and the accreditation process in our free webinar on Tuesday, June 17, at 7 p.m. EST. Register today as the presentation will be limited to the first 100 participants.
Gold Stick Webinar