Lacrosse Coaching: Tips for Coaching Your Own Child
By: James Jurcic
As a parent and lacrosse coach, you have an incredible job before you. It’s a job of both nurturing and a role model to others and to your child. But there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure that the season, and your family life – will progress smoothly.
Love vs. Attention: Make sure your child can differentiate.
One major aspect is that the role of coach for your child is going to be one that may be pride and awe, but that you will now be shared with an entire team. Your child may act out. You need to explain to your child that you are still their parent, but as a lacrosse coach, you are everyone’s coach – equally. This does not mean you prefer or love the other youth more, or that you prefer your own child less if they are not capturing all of your attention. You know this, and you may think that your child knows this – regardless of their age, do have this talk about equality while on the team and how this is crucial for your job as a lacrosse coach.
Another aspect is that you must instill in your child that equality. This goes hand in hand with the above suggestion of having a small talk about love vs attention during lacrosse coaching. You know this, and you may think that your child knows this – regardless of their age, do have this talk about equality while on the team and how providing equality is key. Make sure that they are aware that parents are putting their trust in you that their child we be treated equally on the team; that means that there are no favorites.
How to deal with Injuries
When you are a coach, and a child may get injured, that child will look to you for aid but probably not turn to you emotionally. That child may look for their parent and also be more open with their parent. However, if your child get’s injured, your child will look to you for both aid and emotional support. This is one of those times where being a stoic coach is not the desire. You are a parent first and foremost, and to deny your child emotion if they are injured for the sake of not upsetting parents is silly, unethical and quite honestly bordering abuse. Parents will understand that you hug your child and focus on your child until you are sure they are well. If they don’t they are the ones, not you, who are not team players.
Take A Break
Although your job as a coach is important, do allow a few parents who are interested to be “guest coaches” or “Assistants” who stand in for you a day or two. Do not take this time as a time to avoid the team; rather, be a viewer, and cheer the team on as a “regular” parent and not a coach. Cheer your child and be a cheerleader for your child. It will be nice for your child to see you as strictly supportive and it also is good parent-relations to give others who wish, a chance to take a lead.
One aspect you need to understand and one that your child needs to understand (it will be harder for them per maturity levels) is that there must be boundaries. At home, there can be some discussion about the team and coaching, but the focus should be on fun and competitive sport as a lifestyle not only as a win/lose situation. While in the competition, you should ensure that your child doesn’t bring “home” to the court or field. This means do not bring up anything that isn’t related to the team at that moment. While you are coaching, is not the same time you should be discussing homework, siblings and so on. Your attention needs to be on the team.
That being said, remember that your first job is that of a parent. You are a parent and then, a lacrosse coach. Your coaching should be an extension of your fine parenting and should bring joy to your entire family. If this isn’t the case, you are simply not balancing that focus and you need to check our guidelines periodically to ensure this stability for peace on and off, the coaching stand.