TIPS FOR SELECTING A YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATION FOR YOUR PLAYER
In today's environment of motivating children to become active in youth sports, it can be overwhelming trying to select the right program for your player. Some communities are large enough to offer programs that cater strictly to a given suburb or zoning in a defined geographical area. Many communities are small and do not have specific zoning to programs.
Southern Elite recognizes you have a choice of where your player plays. Southern Elite affiliates with US Lacrosse as the national governing entity and will follow guidelines set forth by US Lacrosse on leadership, sturcture and resources to fuel the sport's growth and enrich the experience of ALL participants. Southern Elite remains steadfast in the goals of the organization to promote growth of lacrosse in accordance with the league affiliations in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in keeping with the traditions and the ideals of the sport.
Our organization strives to maintain a safe and positive playing environment and we strive to educate players and parents through the resources available by Positive Coaching Alliance.
To help you gain insight on things to consider when selecting a program for your player, please refer to the summarized points below from "Tips for Selecting a Youth Lacrosse Organization" by Mark Eissele and Paul Krome; October 24, 2016
You may also find this article on the US Lacrosse website by copying the following link into your browser:
1. Define the Experience
Before registering with any organization, families should take some time to define what experience they want and to establish expectations for the upcoming season. Consider your child’s age, previous lacrosse experience and purpose for playing — fun, to be with friends, competition, preparation for high school and beyond, and the like.
2. Shop the Experience
Now that you have an idea of the type of experience you want, you can begin the search. Gather information by:
- Talking to friends
- Talking with your player’s high school coach, if age appropriate
- Talking with your local recreation and parks council
- Making a list of local club programs and research them online via their websites and social media accounts
As you conduct your research, be sure to ask or look for information about:
- The organization’s mission and vision
- The cost to your family and what it covers
- The required time commitments
- The organization’s policies — published info on payments, refunds, playing time, tryouts, grievances, and the like
Look into the coach:
- Did he/she play the sport and, if so, where?
- Has he/she completed any courses in the US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program
- Has he/she completed any first aid/CPR courses
- Has he/she achieved US Lacrosse certification as a coach
Are you able to interview the coach and organization’s leadership prior to registering or trying out?
3. Select the Experience
Hopefully, you now have either made an informed decision or developed a list for tryouts. Once the tryouts are completed and you have made your decision, it becomes time to get ready to start.
Make sure, as parents, that you support the organization you have selected. It should already be aligned with the experience you defined, so supporting it should be easy.
4. Review the Experience
Be sure to check in during the season to ensure that the experience you originally wanted is what you are getting. When the season is over, take a minute to review how things went.
Was it enjoyable for everyone? Did you all get out of it what you wanted? Does your player want to play again? Has the desired experience changed for the next season? Were there any issues that the organization should address?
Youth lacrosse is and should always be about the players — their experience and their development. Parents, coaches, and program leaders have significant roles in both the success of the players and the experiences they have.
A great experience can create a lifelong passion for lacrosse, a healthy active lifestyle, and great friends and memories. A bad experience can have the opposite effect.