One of the things that all of us in the lacrosse community seem to take pride in is the growth of the game’s popularity. New high school leagues, obscure college participation in the MCLA, and youth programs that rival optimist football can only mean a higher quality game in the future. That is, of course, if we can find quality coaching.
Around these parts experienced coaches are few and far between. If someone has any college playing experience they can easily find a position as a high school varsity coach, leaving little knowledge left over for the youth leagues.
I used to think that these problems could only be found in places where the sport is relatively new. According to a recent article on NJ.com, however, even areas of the country that have a more advanced lacrosse pedigree are experiencing a coaching draught.
“New Jersey’s growing appetite for lacrosse is forcing high schools in every corner of the state to turn to people like Dittamo and hand them the keys to new programs — many of which take the field for the first time Wednesday when the spring sports season opens for most public schools. The reason for the coaching shortage is inescapable for many of the athletic directors hiring the new coaches: There just aren’t enough qualified people available to coach all the new teams.”
So while we all bask in the glory of how fast our game is growing, perhaps it’s time for many of us to start thinking about giving back. The game will only grow in to someone to be proud of if kids are learning how to play the right way. Should some of you readers be at home this afternoon, or is there a team out there right now learning from a random kid’s dad that could use your help? Food for thought.
top photo courtesy of tomkaz