One of the most frequently asked questions I get at Swax Lax Lacrosse is “Why don’t the younger boys wear equipment?”
We have six reasons for this—I hope my explanations help.
- Lacrosse equipment is awkward and distracting. Go into your kitchen and put on a pair of oven mitts. Then put a colander over your head. Now try to tie your shoes. This is what a helmet and gloves feel like to a new player. Just trying to catch and throw is more than enough of a challenge for a young player. We feel that they will have much more success mastering basics skills without the reduced vision of a helmet or the reduced dexterity of gloves, not to mention bulky arm pads and shoulder pads. Early mastery leads to more enthusiasm.
- They don’t need it. Lacrosse equipment is meant to protect players from injury. We use soft Swax Lax balls to learn stick skills and these do not hurt—that much.
- It’s expensive. If your son turns out to hate the sport (I’ve only heard about this, I’ve never witnessed it!), you are stuck with a bunch of gear he will never wear again.
- The little ones can’t get the equipment on and off by themselves. We coaches would spend half of every clinic or camp snapping helmets, strapping pads, and lacing gloves. Until they can dress themselves and carry all their own equipment, they are better off focusing on mastering the basic stick skills.
- They are not strong enough or coordinated enough to learn the basics weighed down with equipment.
- It’s nice to have something to look forward to. Knowing that they will eventually get those cool pads and neat gear is incentive to practice and keep with the sport.
I hope this explains why our younger boys do not wear equipment.