As coaches, too often we hear the question, “When is it too late for my child to start playing lacrosse?” We coaches always cringe because we passionately believe the short answer is: never!
There is no timeframe for falling in love with something, let alone a sport. Sports provide us with a sense of what it means to be on a team. They help us learn how to form connections with people with whom we ordinarily wouldn’t know. They help us learn the value of teamwork, sort out priorities, give us an outlet from everyday life, and teach us structure along with many other lessons that often go unrecognized.
Start Playing Lacrosse
Here are some lessons from my own story as a player that I often share with parents who are concerned that their child might be too old to learn lacrosse:
- I didn’t start playing lacrosse until I was a freshman in high school.
- I didn’t play on a club team until fall of my senior year in high school.
- I got recruited to play in college.
- I started on my college lacrosse team.
- During my college career, I led my team in scoring.
To some of my teammates, I started late. In the beginning, I let that bother me until I realized that I could control the way I thought about it. Sure, plenty of players started before I did, and I’m sure there were some that started later, but I could control how much I put into the game. And, the more I put into it, the more I loved it, and the more I loved it, the better player I became.
Lessons Learned from Other Sports
In addition to all the life lessons lacrosse provided, it also helped me realize that other sports I grew up watching or playing as a child helped me with the ability to play lacrosse.
- Throwing a handball, which I often did as a kid, helped me learn the proper stick skill form of throwing a lacrosse ball.
- Watching basketball with my cousin provided an understanding of defensive positioning.
- Playing soccer helped me with the ability to “see the field” and make off-ball movement.
The skills I needed to be able to play lacrosse were already inside me because of the exposure I had to other sports, and frankly, just being a kid, and they’re in your child too, no matter what age.
At Swax Lax Lacrosse, we pride ourselves on being able to help every child develop a lifelong love of lacrosse regardless of his or her age, skill, or ability level. Some of our coaches even grew up attending our camps and clinics themselves, and are either current or former high school or college players at some of the top lacrosse schools in the country — just ask them!
It’s never too late. Grab a stick and have your child get started!
Theresa Shafron is the Girls Director of Swax Lax Lacrosse. She’s been with Swax Lax Lacrosse (formerly Sum It Up Lacrosse) since 2013! She also played at Drew University.