A friend posted an article on Facebook today that has me shaking my head. The article, from Deadspin, is about a DC-area lacrosse coach who, if the emails included in the article are true, is frightening, if not worse. In a nutshell, an 8th grade player decided to leave this coach’s program for another league. Upon hearing of this decision, the coach lost his mind and expended all of his rage at this child and the child’s parents. Let’s just say it was ugly.
And completely inappropriate, no matter what the “real” backstory might be.
What really freaked me out about this, besides how absolutely scary this guy seems from his emails, is that my son has friends who play for that organization. Boys that my son played with this spring also play for this other team.
I have posted previously about some of the experiences my son had while playing lacrosse. He has since sworn off the game and I can’t say I’m at all torn up about that. Particularly after I read more about the coach in question in the article. To be honest, I was not thrilled with what I considered the culture of the lacrosse team from pretty much the first practice. Something just bugged me and I couldn’t shake it. There was too much yelling from the coaches, for one. And what I mean by that is useless screaming without giving actual direction that might help the player make better decisions. There was also a lot of criticism being exchanged between players during practices and games. Again, not helpful stuff and not coming from players who were stars or got it right a lot. Kids who made a lot of mistakes had this idea that they were coaches and basically bossed teammates around. Overall, I just did not get a good vibe from the sidelines.
Maybe my son has just been lucky, or maybe there really is a difference between sports, but he has not experienced this kind of behavior playing hockey. He said himself that hockey is more a team and that teammates support each other and help each other out. That has certainly been true on his teams thus far. There is more community out there on the ice than I ever detected on the lacrosse field. And while I am sure that there are hockey coaches out there like this lacrosse guy, we have been fortunate not to have come across them yet. It just seems telling to me that my son has played hockey for over 3 years and has been on multiple teams at multiple rinks with multiple coaches and we’ve not encountered anyone too nutty yet he played lacrosse once on one team with one set of coaches and things went downhill quickly. I just have to wonder how systemic the problem is with lacrosse for it to appear right away like that.
Thankfully, my son has no interest in playing lacrosse again so we won’t have to deal with it from there. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we continue to have good luck on the ice with supportive teammates and constructive coaching.
To me, that’s worth stocking up on wool socks and warm gloves year-round.