Not only can you make lacrosse both fun and competitive for kids, but you almost have to. Kids play many sports, not just lacrosse, because they want to have fun. This being the #1 reason, even over winning, why kids will continue to play lacrosse. Finding ways to make youth lacrosse both fun and competitive is actually easier than you think.
How to Keep Youth Lacrosse Fun
Lacrosse in itself is a fun and exciting game to play and to watch. So, what coaches and parents need to focus on is less how to make it fun, but more how not to take the fun out of the game. As a parent, stay positive, enjoy the sport, and be a good role model for your child. These simple things can keep them having a good attitude towards lacrosse. And as a coach, don’t play favorites, put your athletes down, or be too repetitive.
Keeping practice changing throughout the year can prevent your athletes from getting bored and will improve skills and moral. Have a plan when you do this though. You can start with simpler drills and move to harder drills throughout the year. Or you can focus on different skills at different practices. There are so many ways to keep practice engaging which will just not take the fun out of this amazing game. If you need a few little fun game ideas to throw into your practices when your team earns it, here are some great choices:
- Lacrosse egg toss – simply pass the ball to your partner and take a step back if the “egg” is caught. Do this until one team remains and they are the winner.
- Lacrosse golf – set up a trash can or bucket on the other end of the field, have kids try and score a “hole-in-one.” (Bounces or no bounces by preference)
- Lacrosse sharks and minnows – the coach will stand in the middle of a box, have the kids run across while the coach tries to knock the ball out of each kids stick. Last one standing wins.
- Lacrosse Relay Races – place a cone down the field, have the kids run cradling the ball around the cone, come back towards the line and pass the ball to their next teammate. First team to finish wins.
How to Keep Youth Lacrosse Competitive
These games and many more drills you can have your team do, not only keep the sport fun, but they keep lacrosse competitive at practice. Your team will end up asking to play these games practice after practice. A good strategy to keeping your team competitive without them even noticing, is to make these games a reward. “If we execute this drill to perfection, we can end practice with Lacrosse Golf!” Your team will not only nail that drill, but they will learn to execute long clears and practices that this “game” naturally teaches them.
When it comes to games, keeping your team competitive can be on you as a coach. It is very important to be playing the right opponents throughout the year. As winning one game over a course of a year will take the fun and drive out of your team. Never losing a game all year could get boring and feel like you aren’t playing any real competition. Find tournaments, leagues, or even scrimmages that challenge your team. As they will learn so much from game situations. Always remember you learn more from your losses than you do wins. If your team is having fun while they are getting better and better each week, being competitive in everything they do will be no problem. Lacrosse is an inherently fun and competitive sport, all you have to do, is not take away the fun or competition.
For more information on Halo LAX and events near you, visit https://halolax.thesfnetwork.com/