For those at the high school level that are involved in travel lacrosse throughout the summer you have probably seen college coaches roaming the sidelines weekend after weekend looking for players to come to their colleges. This process is commonly known as recruiting. Our staff spends majority of the summer doing this all while noticing many behaviors from players of all ages, parents, and coaches at these events and other camps and clinics. Some observations (positive and negative) from summer 2019:
1. Preparation: Club directors and coaches have many responsibilities throughout a weekend tournament that keep them very busy. Directors/coaches do their best to prepare their players but they cannot be in two places at once. Players, respect your coaches and make their lives easier by being prepared. This means stretching, having your stick dialed in, hydrating (it is hot in the summer, being on time, etc. Many times throughout the summer we would hear a coach say "Next game is at 2:00, be dressed and ready to stretch in the corner at 1:45." Come 1:45 when the coach walks over, players are not dressed and ready. Instead they are socializing and not prepared. Now the team is behind schedule and the coach has to make adjustments to pregame. Be on time and do what your coach says.
2. Preparation: Saw many goalies throughout the summer ask a player or coach to warm them up prior to their game on a separate field or area in the corner of the field. Great job! Many college coaches watch summer games for one half so as a goalie it is important to prepare yourself for that half. It does not have to be a full on warm up but something is better than nothing.
3. Anger Towards Officials: Coaches, we get it. You are passionate about lacrosse, competitive, and this is a big time commitment in the summer. For some directors/coaches, this is their full time job and that is okay and completely understandable. We spent some of this summer in some lacrosse hotbeds including Baltimore and Philadelphia. Some of the behavior directed towards officials is astonishing. These large tournaments will be employing 100's of officials throughout a weekend, many who will work 10-20 games. You will not get top tier officials at these events. They are working pro games or taking some time off after a long college season. They will make mistakes and often they know they made a mistake, they do not need to hear it over and over from you on the sideline. Instead, let's focus on the players on your team. Coach them, teach them. Parents, support your sons/daughters, cheer for them. The officials probably know more about the rules than you do. Let them officiate.
4. Officials: Give all the games your full effort. We get it. Your 8th game of the day you are tired, hungry, fed up, and want to get home. A coach on the sideline shouldn't have to question your effort. A full effort leads to good positioning on the field. When in position, the chances of making the correct call increase. A coach should question your effort if you're the lead official blowing your whistle after a goal standing at the restraining box. Summer lacrosse is important to players and coaches. Show them you care as well by giving a full effort.
5. Language: This has been an interesting one. Players, some of the language you are using towards your teammates, coaches, officials, and in general is embarrassing. Realize people are always listening. This is by no means saying never to swear on the lacrosse field. Again, we are all competitive and sometimes emotions come out. Completely understood. If you wouldn't say it around your parents then you probably shouldn't be saying it to your coaches, teammates, and officials.
6. Respect: Throughout the summer at camps and recruiting events there are often talks led by college coaches. For the most part, these talks center around recruiting. Players, please pay attention. Or at least act like you are paying attention. Too often we see players napping, on their phones, picking the grass, etc. This is not a very good look to the coaches leading these talks. Listen, be engaged, and ask questions.
7. Following Directions: Players, things your coaches and tournament administrators are asking for are not hard things to do. They just take a little extra time and effort. For example, a coach or tournament administrator says "please make sure the sideline is cleaned up" only to have bottles, bags, etc left on the sideline with the team heading off the field. Doing your job makes other peoples lives easier. Somebody should not have to clean up after you.
This could go on for a while but we will stop here. Any feedback is appreciated!