Good morning, and welcome to another wonderful Wednesday on LaxAllStars.com! I’ll be up at Maverik Showtime in Danbury, CT for the day so if you’re at that event, look for the long-haired hippie wearing a LaxAllStars T-Shirt, come on over and say hello!
This week’s Hot Pot is all about Putting Politics Aside, how important priorities are, and how we all need to remember this is #forthekids!
As lacrosse grows, and the game is played in more places, people tend to focus on the positives, and that’s totally fine. We can always talk about more people playing, the growth of the game and our sport’s rise in overall popularity, but leaving out the other side can be extremely dangerous, and could have a negative effect on the game down the road.
The biggest obstacle to continued growth is often different in each area, sometimes it’s a lack of coaches, or a lack of qualified refs. Sometimes it’s a lack of equipment, or even field space. Sometimes officials from other sports don’t want to see lacrosse succeed. However, the Growth Of The Game should NEVER be held back by internal politics.
The vast majority of the people involved in lacrosse are in it for the right reasons. They want to see the game grow, and they want to see their kids play, and love, a sport. They want to provide opportunity, and improve the chances of their players.
But there are also people out there who are in it for the wrongs reasons… and usually, these people are concerned with money, power and control.
So here are a couple of simple pieces of advice that will help YOU keep Politics out of Lacrosse, and allow your program to continue to grow, in the right way:
- Be The Bigger Person: This is easy to say, and hard to do, but pursuing a path of petty retribution will get you nowhere. If someone is calling you names, refrain from retaliating. If someone is trying to get you riled up, don’t let them, as it is part of their plan to make you look foolish. High character shines through, so live by example.
- Pursue A Path Of Honesty: It is tempting to say things that sounds great but are only 90% true. However, these small, or white, lies, will catch up to you in the long run, and if you’re truly trying to GTG, honesty can take you a long way. Admitting to mistakes is hard now, but easier in the long run, and this is also a lesson we should strive to teach our players. Pursuing it ourselves, as coaches and parents, is therefore key.
- Look For Common Ground and Cooperate: Perhaps you have a GREAT idea for a new program, but no one is seeing things YOUR way. That’s okay! Try to find some common ground, work with others to make concessions, and get the job done well! Doing things THE way, or YOUR way, is great in an ideal world, but in reality, flexibility is an integral part of game growing. Working together is equally important. Two groups in one City that work separately will be weaker than two groups that work together.
- Speak The #ForTheKids Language: People get caught up quickly in personal matters. “I think we should do clinics like this…” can be a communication killer right off the bat. “The kids need a clinic to help them learn this…” is much better as it keeps the focus in the right place, removes personal ego to an extent, and engages in the common ground approach I mentioned earlier.
- Communicate… to EVERYONE: Let people know what you’re doing early and often! Leaving announcements and try outs to the last minute is never a good idea, and only communicating with a small number of parents, coaches or players will never create the cohesive community lacrosse requires to continue growing. It’s simple, TALK to people! You’ll be shocked at what you learn, and the bridges you can build moving forward. And all you have to is reach out!
All five of the basic recommendations I made above are simple, and really quite obvious. None of them are groundbreaking, and none of them will do the work for you. But all five pieces of advice will you become a better parent, coach, player or Game Grower, and that’s still what this game is all about!
LACROSSE IN OTHER NEWS:
- Kansas becoming a growth market for lacrosse | The Chieftain
- Maryland native heads to Finland for World Games with Team USA | Baltimore Sun
- Jeff McLaren, Med Student by day, Pro Box Lacrosse player by night | SB Nation Boston
LACROSSE VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
Does that sounds crazy to anyone else? Not to Tommy Gilligan! Tommy played goalie for UMass, served in the military, and now runs a great photography company that primarily covers lacrosse, and lots of Army related events.
Last week, Tommy accompanied some soldiers in training into a gas chamber, and for some reason he thought LAS’ own Game Grower T-shirt would make a nice addition! We appreciate the love, Tommy, and we’re impressed (yet again) with your dedication to the military and our great nation!
Check out Tommy Gilligan Photography on Facebook for more!