Or just making you LOOK better?

As a coach of a HS team and Club team I often wonder about the state of Lacrosse and all this off-season play.  I can’t help but wonder if all that money being paid by families for “sweet gear” and funky shorts is just a marketing ploy or are these kids actually getting better?

I’m leaning towards the former.  I’m sure there are many cases where players are improving just because they play more than their peers who don’t play on a club team.  But if I was a parent paying this hefty sum of money I’d want to know that my son or daughter is getting the best possible COACHING, not just the best gear.

Too many times we’ve seen players sign up for an “elite” travel club team and one or all of the following things happens:

  • The player only attends a handful of practices and/or tournaments

  • The coaches hired to instruct the team are either A) Inexperienced B) Unqualified C) In it for the paycheck D) All of the Above

  • The tournaments they attend as a team are not meeting their needs (For example, are they being challenged too much or too little?)

  • Players sign up because their friends did but they really just wanted to wear the jersey and say they made the team

  • They sign up because they think that’s what I should be doing to get recruited.

If any of these things are happening, you are probably wasting your time and money.

Here’s what I would suggest for each of those issues above:

  • Make sure your son or daughter can fully commit to all the practices and tournaments.  Its the best way to get your bang for your buck.

  • Select a team that hires coaches with a lot of experience and who are educators or real coaches.  Not just college kids in it for a quick paycheck.

  • Be realistic about your child’s abilities.  It’s nice to be selected by one of the top teams in your area but are you going to be a top tier player or just a roster filler who subs in every once in a while.  If the latter is likely, go with a team that is more suitable to the player’s ability level.

  • This should be a no-brainer, if your child says they want to play because their friends are and they think the gear is “sick,” then you’ve already wasted your money.  There should be a true passion for the game and a desire to truely get better.

  • Each player’s journey on the recruiting process is a little different, you have to carefully select events or teams that will maximize your child’s exposure while also being appropriate for their ability level.  This is the hardest part.  I will tackle this issue in another post.

If there’s anything you think should also be mentioned, post in the comment section below.