Select Page
What Your Kid Really Thinks Of Your “Sports Parenting”

What Your Kid Really Thinks Of Your “Sports Parenting”

Let’s be honest. You think you’re great. Walking up and down the sideline, cutting in front of other parents trying to enjoy watching a game their kid loves. You’re telling your kid to be more aggressive. Get out there and cover him, you say. Attack him, you say. All the while telling yourself that you’re just trying to help. That you’re trying to help make little Tommy, or Sally or whatever the hell you named your kid a better player.

But if we continue being honest, everything you’re yelling is the complete opposite of what the coach just told them in the huddle. The coaches want the kids to “stay home” and not over-commit. They don’t want the kids being too aggressive and making silly checks.

And since honesty has been our thing so far here, the reality is, you my friend are a huge douche nozzle.  I know it.  The lady over there trying to see around you sure as hell knows it. As do the 50 or so other fans scattered up and down the sideline, who you’ve totally disregarded as you pace up and down the sideline oblivious there are others gracing your presence.

AND I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO YOUR KID YET! Your kid is mortified. He/She won’t say anything to you, either out of fear of upsetting you or hurting your feelings because they know how much time “you” devote to their favorite sport. They know how much you’ve spent on their equipment, travel teams and so on. So they are susceptible to being quiet on the topic of you shouting at them all game long. After all, you’ve drilled it into their brain that you are just trying to help.

But they know what coach just said. EVEN WORSE, they know if they don’t appease you in some manner, your idiot mouth is going to keep running, and running, and shouting, and yelling, and generally making a fool of your idiot face.

Your poor kid is trying to focus on what is in FRONT of them, and they can’t do that while you’re constantly yelling counterproductive crap at them from the SIDE.

Your kid’s opponent asks them, is that your dad?  And your poor kid has to answer yes. Sometimes after acknowledging the psycho on the sidelines is their father (or mother) they will find a sympathetic player who has lived the same experience. But other times, your kid will face ridicule and will actually get picked on and bullied while on the field because of your moronic behavior.

What you don’t realize, is however well-intentioned you are, you are a huge hindrance to your child’s development. Their coaches are there to instruct and teach them the game while ON THE FIELD.

OFF THE FIELD, You can do all you want, but while at practice, or during a game, your job is to enjoy and encourage. To cheer and to hold up in victory or defeat. To pay close attention to every detail of the game so that if you really want to help, you can intelligently discuss and instruct POST-game. You can discuss what your kid did well, you can ask them what they think they need to work on and so on.

And who the hell am I to judge? Why am I qualified to tell you how it is? Because I have coached 5 years of youth lacrosse and travel lacrosse, 4 years of high school lacrosse and 6 years of college lacrosse. I have officiated 3 years of summer and winter leagues and have been an actual paid official at the modified through varsity level the past two seasons. I played this game I love from the time I was in 5th grade all the way up into my mid 30’s.

I am quite literally one of the MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET EARTH TO CALL YOU OUT ON THIS BEHAVIOR.  I have experienced parents and fans from all sides of the ball.  I’ve been a player that endured the heckling of a couple of these types of dads and I wasn’t even their kid. I’ve been a fan/relative of players and have sat in the stands with people like you. I have been the coach of the player you were instructing to do the opposite of what I just told him to do. I have been an official that has taken your abuse, and in almost every case, your argument was just plain wrong and was borderline gibberish.

But my biggest qualification for being the the right guy to call you out for your behavior is this… As a coach, post-game, in the locker room, I witnessed a kid address the entire team to apologize for the behavior of his father. And I saw how he tried to use humor to cover his shame. Shame over something he had no control over, and that in reality had nothing to do with him.

So while at the game, please, oh please, I beg you to take a good look at yourself. Take a look around and realize that there are only 4 or 5 of you at this entire game. The rest of us just want to enjoy it, and you’re not only ruining the experience for us, but you’re ruining the experience for your own damn kid.

AND PLEASE, to the 97% of parents out there that don’t fall into this category, take no offence.  I know we all fall victim to some douche nozzlery here and there.  We can’t help it.  Yes, we will yell at a ref (I’ve been both the yeller, and the yelled at).  We’ll question a coach’s decision.  We’ll get down on a kid despite the fact in hindsight, that’s stupid.  I’m not talking to you.  We all fall victim to our lesser selves from time to time.  This is directed at those 2 or 3 parents at every game that make us all look like saints.

Two-Man Lacrosse, Offensive Strategy and Drills

Two-Man Lacrosse, Offensive Strategy and Drills

I’ve become obsessed with the two-man game in the sport of lacrosse and I stumbled upon a video below from the 2014 NCAA Championship game where Duke ran a mix of 1-3-2, 3-1-2 and 2-3-1 sets all working out three “pairs”. My obsession became complete, and that started this post, which will grow over time as I add in more and more useful information. So here goes…

What Is The Two-Man Game?

On-ball picks started this trend many moons ago. Hopkins was one of the first ones I remember really running hard with picking for the ball carrier over and over again on ever possession, although I know many others employed this strategy long before.

Slowly but surely math one out.  In a 6v6 set, if someone wins their 1v1 matchup, you’re left with a 5v4 situation. If you win a 2v2 matchup, you often end up with a 4v3 numbers advantage once the ball carrier draws the hot defender. So more and more teams started working a lot more 2v2 matchups into their schemes. What’s not to like? You can even go big/little and dodge an attacker or mid with a pole guarding them off a pick set by a player with a short-stick defender trying to get the switch allowing a second dodge with a better match up.

One of the best demonstrations of a basic two-man game you’ll ever see by Ryan Boyle…

Enter The “Pairs” Set

As mentioned above, I stumbled upon the video below of Duke running their “pairs” set in the 2014 National Championship game. The idea is, you break your six offensive players up into three “pairs”. The paired up players work almost exclusively together picking, dodging, slipping and attempting to draw a slide. One pair attacks from out top down to GLE on the right, the other on the left with the 3rd pair operating between X and GLE.  So we are breaking the field up into three sections, and allowing each pair to operate almost exclusively within that area.

What I love most about a set like this is it lends itself well to players of any level.  You can teach this concept to youth kids with great success, summer travel teams where you have limited time to teach offensive schemes, all the way up to elite D1 colleges as you’ll see below with Duke.

Duke Owning the “Pairs” Philosophy

This video below is a great demonstration of how to execute a true “pairs” set, allowing each group to attack the field over and over from the areas they are most comfortable and effective.

They are great to run for summer and travel teams. You have limited practice time for summer, fall and winter travel teams, and pairing players up, and allowing them to work on their “2-man game” as the travel season plays out is both simple and effective.  There are a never ending supply of drills that can be used in practice to constantly work and on and improve the 2-man game, so as the summer wears on, sometimes into fall, the kids slowly but surely begin to perfect the scheme, and suddenly the 2-man game looks like a 6-man game.

Drills in practice that you can do to work the two-man game….

Two-Man/Pairs Shooting Drill

Great drill to practice the mechanics of the pick, slip and bail.  I actually like going from this drill right into quick one-v-one’s and then right into two-v-two’s and continue putting to practice the things they work on with this shooting drill.

2-On-2 Drills

Next up, you work in 2v2 drills, attacking from the same areas shown in the video above and just like Duke does in the first video. The key here is everyone rotates around and attacks from all angles, left, right and from X (diagram or video coming).

6-on-6 Drills

One of the main goals of the two-man game is to get the defenders to slip up and get a step for either yourself or your partner. This sometimes results in quick goals. However, when the slide comes from elsewhere, the two-man game becomes a three-man game. So out of your 6-on-6 set, have each pair practice dodging and working their area until they draw a slide and then immediately pass the ball on to one of the other two pairs, either through an adjacent pass, or preferably through reversing the ball back to your partner that just slipped under so he can pass the ball on to the weak side (diagram or video coming).