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Stick Tricks: The Questionable Side of Lacrosse Culture

  • Parents who yell – at refs, opposing players or coaches. Have you ever witnessed excessive aggression? 24/7 negativity? Or relentless overbearing expectations? These all border on unsportsmanlike conduct and are seen as major obstacles during the recruiting process. College coaches don’t want any part of parents who behave in this manner. Parents who don’t have perspective, poise and patience will pay the price. Parents are a vital part of the evaluation process. Why would a college coach want to invite this parent into their program? Schools will punt on a prospect if the parents don’t fit. 
  • Summer coaches in flip-flops arguing with the officials. 
  • Toxic, win-at-all-costs coaches that live in a culture of verbal and emotional abuse, favoritism, who lack communication, resist change, and avoid accountability. These traits not only damage the team’s performance but also the mental and emotional well-being of their impressionable athletes.
  • Players on the field in the heat of battle instigating an argument with referees – usually about the most obvious calls. 
  • Taunting, staring down or standing over any opposing goalie or defender after scoring a goal. 
Via @PrepLacrosse on X
  • Teams who warm up past their side of the midline. 
  • Parents with red Solo cups on the sideline. 
  • Club parents who drink and party in the team hotel lobby well past curfew. 
  • Club coaches who don’t play their entire roster at tournaments.
  • College parents that berate their child on their way into the locker room at halftime. 
  • College player parents who call the head coach to discuss playing time. College coaches are allergic to parent yellers and screamers, finger pointers, complainers, criticizers, and know-it-alls. 
  • Club teams who wear unreadable jersey numbers – usually either too small or similar colors on colors. Lacrosse would be better served to rely on NFL jersey model – big font, bold colors with contrast on the front and back of jerseys. Your lax-bro jersey designer needs to keep it simple. 
  • Recruited parents who openly talk about scholarship offers.  
  • Men’s summer league maulers who head-hunt and cross-check unsuspecting participant’s. The same goes for malice minded players at all levels – youth, high school and pro. Women players who repeatedly commit flagrant carded fouls from game-to-game and event-to-event without sanctions. According to Haudenosaunee legend, “Lacrosse should not be played for money, fame or personal gain; you should be humble and of a good mind when you take your lacrosse stick in your hand.”
  • Referees who make the game about themselves. 
  • Here is a corny move by a beaten defender: Holds palms up to the goalie after being scored upon. Funny how that same defender rarely makes the correct second slide. 
  • Throwing the ball away and looking at your stick head, pocket or strings as if to assign blame. 
  • Parents who try to mill around college coaches to sneak a look at their notes. 
  • Parents who sign their son/daughter up for every event and tournament during the summer. Trying to win the “Race to Nowhere” is a foolhardy tactic certain to result in burnout. 
  • Players who visually sulk when receiving coaching from the sidelines. That’s a bush league move and a red flag. 
  • Large events that don’t have multiple balls on the end line and don’t have ample training staff. Scrounging through the woods in poison Ivy to retrieve a ball is truly bush league. 
  • The parents that yell “Wheels” from the stands are misinformed but cause no harm.