For many parents, Lacrosse isn't easy to understand. For boys especially, the sport can be physical, resulting in bumps and bruises during the course of a match. In the girl's version, injury is less of a concern, but as with any sport, the possibility is always there.
Because of the various levels of understanding, and the highly competitive nature of the sport, U.S. Lacrosse has indicated some guidelines that parents should follow as they support their child's participation.
Learn the Rules
One of the most important things that parents of lacrosse players need to understand is study the rules of the game. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to discern between a legal hit and a non-legal hit. Parents who don't have this knowledge of the rules often attend lacrosse matches where they believe a foul is being committed against their child. Other times, a parent might yell out and suggest that their child hit another player illegally. Parents don't necessarily want anyone to get hurt, they just don't understand the parameters of the game.
Don't Obsess About Competition
While lacrosse can be very competitive, the most important element is the child having fun. There are children who naturally possess talent for the sport, and those who are destined to be a mediocre player regardless of how much they practice. Either scenario is just fine. Whether your child has special talent or not, it's important not to put all your eggs in the lacrosse players head, and let your child find his/her own goals and dreams where the sport is concerned. Athletic scholarships are increasingly becoming more rare, and pressuring a child to be good enough to achieve one just brings unnecessary stress.
Be There and Ask Questions
Part of being a lacrosse parent includes taking an active interest in the game. This means attending matches whenever possible, and asking your child questions about their experience. Avoid emphasizing on winning, and focus more on what your child is learning from and enjoying during practices and games.
Also, take time to ask the coaches and officials questions, preferably not during an actual match. These questions should be presented in a respectful manner, for example, if you are confused about a hit you believed to be foul, it's a good idea to get an explanation. Maintaining communication with everyone involved creates a social experience for everyone.
Respect Coaches, Officials, Other Parents, and Players
One of the cornerstones of lacrosse values is to respect the game. This means controlling impulses, especially aggressive ones, when attending matches. Yelling things like, "Nice job," or, "Great Block!" are appropriate and encouraged. Making specific suggestions on how your child should play is not. Coaches need to be able to coach without contradicting information from parents. The same goes for officials and the other players on the field.