Archive for the Lacrosse Category

Coach’s Guide To Interacting With Parents

Being a coach can be hard enough without parents becoming an issue. But the fact is that a good parent-coach interaction is important to the team’s success.

Most parents are very supportive and try not to complain. Furthermore, most issues are non-issues and have a way of working themselves out over time. If you are well-organized, coaching well, are modeling great sportsmanship and your teams are competitive, you won’t hear many complaints.

Many parents are simply misinformed, don’t really understand the game or just love to complain. The bigger issue is usually the “player agents”… akin to stage moms. These parents believe that their child is special and have a career ahead of them and their agenda is far from hidden. Regardless of which type of parent you’re dealing with, there are steps to improve the parent-coach relationship. After all, it’s supposed to be about the kids, right?

Disagreements between a parent and coach typically begin when the parent believes that their child is not on the field enough, but a fair amount of problems involve disagreements with coaching style or competitive level of play. Playtime is by far the top complaint. Parents want to see their child play as much as possible. Unfortunately for you as a coach, you have a team full of kids whose parents would love to see their child playing a good portion of the game. You also have to do your best to ensure a win or your coaching style will be called into question. Some days it would seem that you just can’t win (and with some people, you just can’t. Try not to dwell on that).

TREAT PLAYERS WITH RESPECT
This rule needs to be the basis of all interactions. This will go very far in helping your cause when there is an issue. If your players feel respected, they will respect you. Hot tempers are often the result of feeling disrespected. Respect also needs to be paid to the parents, even the angry ones. The way you treat people will more often than not alleviate much of the frustration that caused the parent to confront you in the first place. Respect is easy to spot and don’t think for one second that these parents aren’t watching your interactions.

DON’T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE
As with respect, learning how to coach self-confidence into your players will dispel much of the impending conflict. More than anything else, parents want their child to play their best. They want them to exhibit confidence in who they are and their ability even if their child is not the best player on the team. You don’t want your players to feel belittled or unworthy.

Being a coach is an awesome responsibility. You have self-esteem in your hands and it can grow under your care or it can be shot down very quickly. You should be reinforcing the idea that, while everyone wants to win, the important thing is that everyone do their best.

THIS IS YOUR TEAM… ESTABLISH THE RULES AHEAD OF TIME:
Now that we have coaching style dealt with, let’s discuss the importance of setting rules and boundaries. This should be done before the season starts. If possible, call a meeting before the first practice (definitely before the first game) and explain what you expect from parents and what they can expect from you. Remember that many of these parents and players have worked with other coaches and they may come into the season with pre-conceived expections. Parents and players will come into the season with pre-conceived expectations. If you, as the coach, do not articulate what the expectations should be for your team, the parents will use their uninformed expectations as the standard by which you are measured. You want to emphasize that your rules are non-negotiable, but that you are willing to keep the door open for discussion.

Be sure to open the discussion to hear their concerns as well. By getting everyone’s expectations out up front, you can understand their position and assure them that you will do your best to make sure that everyone has a good time. Let them know what type of behavior and attitude is expected and accepted.
Describe your goals for the team, your coaching style, and how your style will help the team attain the goals. Explain to both the players and parents how you will determine play time and how much emphasis will be placed on winning games. Set these expectations early, but don’t stop there. Include parents in a little pre-game pep talk in which you go over the team’s goals and expectations. Keep this short and be sure you’re not singling anyone out.

Even when you set player and parent expectations up front, there inevitably will be times when conflict arises and it is important to have a conflict resolution policy in place to reduce the emotional impact and maintain the team’s positive attitude.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO KEEP PARENTS UPDATED
These days, it’s so easy to keep the lines of communication open. Set up a Facebook (and.or Twitter) page for your team and post updates as needed. Not only will this cut out many of the calls you get about schedules and events, it also becomes a place where parents can express concerns in a neutral setting. If you are having a recurring issue that isn’t a hotbed topic, bring it to the forum and get input from the parents.

RESOLVE CONFLICT WITH CIVILITY
As a coach, making yourself available for discussion with the player and parent (an open door policy if you will) goes a long way to keeping anger at bay. Be sure that parents feel comfortable approaching you, but not so comfortable that they begin to invade. The open door policy allows you to resolve issues as they come up without them boiling over and exploding later on.

Many coaches prefer a player managed policy in which parents don’t get involved in issues, but rather allow the player and coach to hash things out on their own. Obviously, this type of conflict resolution is reserved for middle school, high school and college when children are able to make thought out decisions on their own. With this style, it is the player’s responsibility to voice their grievance. Coaches that successfully use this policy listen to the player’s concern to understand the underlying issue but also know the best communication method to reach each player.

Every coach, regardless of how effective their communication style is or how passionate they are about coaching, will have player and parent conflicts. If you are prepared for it, the whole process will go much smoother and any disagreements can be worked through in an effective manner. To keep any misunderstandings down to a minimum, set the expectations early in the season, let both the player and parent know how and when they can approach you to voice their concern, and then listen to them and agree to a resolution path. Calm heads and open communication will lead to a successful season for all involved.

Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

 

Read More » No Comments

Sports Nutrition:
Fueling Your Little Athlete

All too often, we complain about how inactive this generation has become. With all the technological options keeping so many occupied, it’s refreshing to still see so many kids at the local baseball field, hockey rink, gymnasium or swimming pool. These parents have done a great thing by keeping their kids active!

Right after sign ups, parents scramble around for the proper equipment… which, of course is necessary to keep them safe. So, we’ve addressed the outside… let’s work to get the inside healthy! It’s a well known fact that athletes require a special diet to fuel their activity. Much like a car, our bodies cannot run without the proper fuel. What your athlete eats is probably the single most import factor on their performance.

So while you may not want to go to the extreme of hiring a nutritionist like professional athletes do, we have some tips to keep players fueled up and ready to go!

Please note: Endurance training (multiple daily workouts) may mean that you will require slightly more servings of certain foods than is generally recommended.

So what exactly SHOULD their diet be?
1. Carbohydrates
Carbs have taken quite the hit lately with numberous dieticians warning of their weight gaining potential. But in the world of sports, carbohydrates are essential for maintaining a high energy level. Carbohydrates are the first energy source the body uses to exercise. When carbohydrate intake gets too low, your muscles run out of fuel and our body starts to use fat and protein.

Since most sports feature short bursts of intense effort followe by rest, it is imperative that you keep your body fueled up. Pasta, rice, whole grains (as in breads and cereals), fruit and vegetables and even milk products are all great sources of carbohydrates. During a busy and rigorous training schedule, you should keep carbohydrates to snack on before, during and after exercise.

a. Before exercise, your meal/snack should be a combination of high carbohydrate and low glycemic index (half a lightly buttered bagel, fruit smoothie, yogurt with oatmeal). Carbs give you a nice energy boost and delay fatigue.
b. During your workout, carbohydrates help to maintain blood sugar to fuel your muscles. Be sure to choose snacks that consist mostly of carbohydrates, some protein and little fat. This combination is commonly found in energy bars, dried fruit or a peanut butter sandwich (jelly’s fine to add). You will want to replenish your carbohydrates about every 90 minutes or so to maintain energy levels.
c. Carbohydrates aid in the repair of tissue will make all the difference for ending an active day on a healthy, positive note. Your recovery snack options can include trail mix, sports bars, and yogurt. Just be sure that the amount of carbs in your snack are higher than normal.

2. Protein
Protein is probably the most highly sought out dietary supplement. With protein powders and shakes, the protein intake from and athlete’s regular and supplemented diet is quite elevated from the average person. In general, your normal intake should be sufficient to meet your needs and you want to be careful to ensure that protein isn’t replacing carbohydrates in your diet since carbs are more helpful than protein in boosting your energy.

3. Hydration
Even slight dehydration can affect how well you perform. Athletes in particular need to be drinking at least 5 ounces of water or sports drinks every 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind that children are at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated than adults. And most importantly, if you are thirsty, you’re already severly dehydrated! Athletes should be drinking before, during and after a game or workout.

While water is the best thirst quencher and cure for dehydration, kids tend to resist drinking the flavorless liquid. If your child shies away from drinking water, you need to be sure that you have plenty of sports drinks handy. Either way, it’s important that you avoid dehydration. The damage is more than just being thirsty.

4. Food Choices
Competitions and tournaments, primarily those you travel to, often result in quick meals at restaurants… primarily fast food. If the right choices are made, this is generally not a problem.

Attending competitions and tournaments often means that you are eating out in restaurants… primarily fast food. But even fast food restaurants can a good part of an athlete’s nutrition… if the right choices are made. Here are a few tips when eating out:
a. Avoid breading and deep-fried foods. Pizza is ok in moderation, but fatty meat toppings should be avoided.
b. Be careful of what is on top: Dressings and condiments (especially mayonnaise and “special” sauces) are usually what make your meal an unhealthy choice. These sauces add calories and fat without any health benefit whatsoever.
c. Some smart choices: Baked potatoes instead of french fries, vegetable pizza over meat lover’s, broth-based soups (like chicken noodle) instead of cream or cheese based soups.
d. Snacks should also be high in carbohydrates, but low in fat. Pretzels, trail mix, rice cakes, cereal bars, fruit and yogurt are a few good choices.

Whether your child is participating in a championship hockey, baseball or lacrosse game, a big swim meet or pick up game of soccer at the local park, good nutrition can make a difference. Children in general need the right fuel for their growth and development, but an athlete needs to take extra care to keep them healthy and to help them to be the best they can be in their chosen sport. What an athlete eats and drinks can have a huge effect on his or her performance. Encourage your child to be active and to eat like an athlete.

Read More » No Comments

Which Type of Coach Are You?

Coaching a junior league team is a special type of journey that few actually get the pleasure of experiencing. The role involves incredible responsibility and will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of your players. Your approach can help the kids develop a passion for the game or can stifle their desire to ever play the game again.

Which Type of Coach Are You?

The Leader
The Leader is the type of coach that the kids respond to because they command trust and respect. This type of coach sets the example from the beginning and continues to set the pace and tone of games and practices in a positive and upbeat manner. The Leader Coach uses a sound knowledge of the game and skillful persuasion to help the players master the game and have fun at the same time. The Leader never passes up an opportunity to reinforce learning with real-game experience and always adheres to the same rules he/she expects of the players.

The Motivator
The Motivator knows more than just the rules of the game… This type of coach also knows how to communicate with players in a way that gets results. The goal of the Motivator is to guide, inspire and empower the young player to realize and develop his/her full potential. A successful motivator shows a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game and the players.

Getting the kids to believe in themselves is much easier for some coaches than others. Motivation may mean keeping the practice fun, fresh and challenging. When motivating a player, stress performance goals… not outcome goals. The Motivator stresses that while you can’t control what your opponent does or the outcome of every match, the purpose is to play their best and have fun doing it. Like the Leader, this type of coach shows respect and encourages players to remain positive regardless of the outcome.

The Dictator
The Dictator is a dangerous type of coach. The kids respond, but it’s usually out of fear. This type of coach may very well have a sound knowledge of the game, but there is no persuasion and no room for opinions. Even the best coach can’t control the actions of all players in the game, but the Dictator sure does give it a try.

The Confrontationalist
The Confrontationalist is rare (luckily). This type of coach goes beyond the polite disagreements that are typical in any sporting event. With little to no regard for the example being set, the Confrontationalist will argue, bully and scream his way into the spotlight and onto the bad side of most who are unlucky enough to witness his/her tirades. A general lack of communication skills and anger management pit the Confrontationalist against the umpire/ref, the other coaches and at times, even the children trying to play the game.

Pick your style and have fun
A great coach is not easy to find and requires a very unique set of talents and skills. Organized sports are great for boosting self-esteem, developing teamwork skills, establishing rules and roles, and (of course) providing fun and entertainment. Most coaches are fantastic and the experience is memorable in a good way. Remember that the players are learning and your role is to guide them to victory… not necessarily on the scoreboard, but most definitely in experience.

Read More » No Comments

Lacrosse: NFHS Boys Lacrosse 2011 Uniform Rules

lacrosse-uniforms

The National Federation of State High School Associations has amended the rules for uniforms:

A. JERSEY COLOR
1. Jerseys shall be of a single, solid color.
2. The jersey shall completely cover the shoulder pads.
3. Jerseys shall be of contrasting colors for opposing teams. The home team shall wear light jerseys and the visiting team shall wear its dark-color jerseys. The visiting team is responsible for avoidance of similarity of colors, but, if there is doubt, the referee may require the home team to change jerseys.

B. UNIFORM TRIM
1. Collar, cuffs and waistband may be of contrasting colors, but not more than 2 inches wide.
2. Side inserts (no more than armpit to waistband) may be of contrasting color(s), but no more than 3 inches wide.
3. Contrasting colored piping not to exceed 1/8-inch wide is allowed.

C. NUMBERS
1. Numbers shall be centered vertically and horizontally and at least 8 inches tall on the front and at least 12 inches tall on the back.
2. Numbers may contain contrasting color trim(s) not to exceed 2 inches (the number shall contrast with the body of the jersey).
3. Duplicate numbers on jerseys shall not be permitted on the same team.

D. UNIFORM SHORTS
1. All players on the same team shall wear uniform shorts of the same dominant color.

E. MANUFACTURER’S LOGO INFORMATION
1. A visible manufacturer’s logo/trademark may not exceed 2¼ square inches and 2¼ inches in any direction on the jersey and/or pant/short. Beginning in 2010, no more than one manufacturer’s logo/trademark or reference on the outside of each item. (The same size restriction shall apply to either the manufacturer’s logo/trademark or reference).

NOTE: An American flag, not to exceed 2 by 3 inches, and either a commemorative or a memorial patch, not to exceed 4 square inches and with written state association approval, may be worn on the jersey provided neither the flag, nor the patch, interferes with the visibility of the number.

Read More » No Comments

Customized Team Uniforms & Jerseys From MonkeyTeamSports.com!!!

Did you know that MonkeyTeamSports.com™ can customize your team uniforms and jerseys?

Need Heat Pressing, Sublimation, ScreenPrinting, Embroidery, Tackle Twill… Custom Logos?
WE CAN DO THAT!

Check out all the other cool stuff our trained specialists have produced custom work for:

NHL & Minor League Quality Jerseys and Bags:
The Anaheim Ducks
The Ontario Reign
The Washington Capitals
The Columbus Blue Jackets

Hollywood Productions:
“The Office” TV Show (Feb 10, 2011 Episode)
“The Tooth Fairy” starring The Rock

Read More » No Comments

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. The basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch—remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.

Machine embroidery mimics hand embroidery, especially in the use of chain stitches, but the “satin stitch” and hemming stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance, not their construction.

Advantages of Embroidery:
Embroidered designs are a great way to add excellence and creativity to your uniform or jersey. Embroidery generally has a longer lead time than other types of customization, but the effect is quite nice.

Read More » No Comments

What Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing (or Screenprinting) is a process in which a “screen” is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric called mesh stretched over a frame of aluminium or wood. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a stencil, which is a negative of the image to be printed. The open spaces are where the ink will appear.

The screen is placed on top of the material and ink is placed on top of the screen to fill the mesh openings with ink. Using a fill bar, the mesh openings are filled with ink. Screen printing is most commonly used on t-shirts (many of us have seen this done in the mall), although a wide variety of items are now able to undergo the process.

Advantages of Screen Printing:
When it comes to creating many copies of a certain design (as with team uniforms or jerseys), screen printing is an economical way to go. Screen printing is also quicker than many other methods of customization. The colors tend to dry very quickly. Screen prints are also tough and sturdy. In spite of exposing the screen printed fabrics to harsh conditions, the colors do not appear weary and dull.

Read More » No Comments

What is Heat Pressing?

Heat Pressing imprints a design or graphic directly onto the material, such as a jersey or t-shirt, using transfer paper and a heat press machine.This process uses the application of heat and pressure to ensure a proper transfer. The pattern is printed in sublimating ink on sublimating paper which allows the pattern to transfer.

Basically, a garment is placed in the machine and transfer paper with the design is placed face-down over the shirt. The heating unit is brought down over them for a prescribed time to print the image on the garment.

Advantages of Heat Pressing:
Heat pressing can often work on a wide range of surfaces, such as clothing, mugs or tiles. Excellent durability and a professional look.
The biggest advantage is time. Generally, garments can be created in mass very quickly.

Heat-Press-Icon

Heat-Press

Read More » No Comments

What is Tackle Twill?

Still not sure about what type of customization is right for your team? Have you thought about Tackle Twill?

Tackle Twill, or applique, involves sewing down a number or letter made by cutting pieces of one material and applying them to the surface of another material usually with a nylon twill. Basically, tackle twill begins with a “patch” of sorts that is applied to the jersey, shirt, hat or other garment that is then sewn to the material for a more rugged finish.

Tackle Twill is the most popular for both professional sports teams and school athletic organizations. Look closely at your favorite football, baseball, or hockey player’s jersey. Also look at many of the jerseys fans wear when watching the game. These jerseys have most likely been decorated with tackle twill names and numbers.

Advantages of Tackle Twill:
This type of applique offers a bold look to your uniform or jersey, but the stitching count is lower than embroidery, thus is more affordable while creating a three-dimensional work of art.

Tackle Twill design using zig zag stitch

Tackle Twill design using zig zag stitch

Tackle Twill Applique

Tackle Twill Applique

Jersey decorated with tackle twill names and numbers

Jersey with tackle twill names and numbers

Read More » No Comments

What is Sublimation?

So, you’re ready to order uniforms, but you’re not quite sure which type of customization you want? Between Sublimation, Tackle Twill, Heat Pressing, ScreenPrinting and Embroidery, it can get pretty confusing. In this next series, we will detail the differences between each type of customization to make your decision easier.

You may be asking… What exactly IS Sublimation? Sublimation is a traditional printing method in which a computer printer uses heat to transfer dye directly into the desired medium (jersey, shirt, hat…). Rather than weaving, embroidering or screen printing a design, sublimation applies the pigment directly into fabric in a vibrant and colorfast way.

The sublimation process begins by printing the design on paper using sublimation inks. The inks vaporize when they are heated and applied to the material. Sublimation is the easiest way to create a truly unique product by submitting your custom created label design. Most dye-sublimation printers use CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow and overcoating) colors, which differs from the more recognized CMYK colors since the black dye is eliminated in favor of a clear overcoating. This overcoating protects the print from discoloration from UV light and the air, while also rendering the print water-resistant.

Advantages of Sublimation:
Sublimation is the easiest way to completely customize your uniforms or other garments and makes a lasting impression as the prints will not fade or chip off.

Read More » No Comments

« Older Entries