Remember what it was like when we played lacrosse?
Parents, you are great people but according to the standards that most of you raise your kids by today, it is amazing that you survived high school athletics without severe mental trauma. You guys grew up in the same era I did. But do you remember it?
When I played there were no lacrosse private lessons or elite travel club teams. I loved the game and if I wanted to get better on the weekend I would leave in the morning with my stick in hand and be gone all day back for dinner. I never saw this as training, the word I used was FUN.
No one was able to reach me all day. My parents knew where the field was and that was good enough for them. No cell phones or any other mobile devices, unthinkable! you may be thinking “but what if something happened?” The answer is simple, it sucked, it happened, it was done and we dealt with it.
Upon arrival to the park I made up games, split up teams and created goals. A tennis ball would suffice as a ball, the goalie gear would often be a tennis racquet as a goalie stick and a Jason hockey mask as a helmet. If somebody had a helmet that was great, but we certainly did not stop playing if somebody did not have one. We tried to use common sense. We did not hit the kid without a helmet in the head. Yes it is true, our parents trusted us to use common sense.
On those days sometimes I got hurt, I got cut, broke bones and lost teeth. But my mother did not file any lawsuits and and she did not call another parent asking who was to blame. As far as she was concerned no one was to blame but me. Even if another kid hurt me on purpose, her response would be “why are you hanging out with him then?”
Every once in a while a kid would come out with a shiny new stick and we would take turns using it. Sharing and working together so we can play is what started to happen. Nobody said “I can not use that because it does not have the right amount of whip”. If somebody did bring a lacrosse ball I can assure you that nobody said “this is waste of time, that ball is too shiny.” I did not even know what a shiny ball was until I started coaching.