Class & Respect. Class & Respect is a major part of our program and something we take very seriously. Over the years I have seen a decline in sportsmanship and respect towards players, referees and spectators. We have always tried to set a good example and set a higher standard for our players, coaches, and parents. We can't control what other programs say or do, but we can take responsibility for ourselves and teach our players important lessons through the game we all love. Here are some guidelines and suggestions I want you to all be aware as the season begins.
- Cheer when we do good, not when other teams do bad. I know that sounds like the same thing, but it is not.
- NEVER cheer when a player is injured. Sounds like common sense, but emotions run high and we never want to see anybody hurt.
- DO NOT EVER ENCOURAGE PLAYERS TO "TAKE HIM/HER OUT!" or promote any kind of play that could be considered retaliation or dangerous.
- Losing with class is hard. Winning with class can be harder. We do not taunt or show up other teams. "When you lose say little. When you win say less." -BB The charge of winning a close game is great and should be appreciated. The other team was part of that, and we should be grateful for their effort. We want you to celebrate our goals and wins but do so respectfully and appropriately.
- Do not engage those who taunt or belittle. That's what they are looking for. They want the reaction. If you want them to stop talking, put the ball in the net. Parents: please do not engage in sideline banter with opposing team parents. Nothing good will come of it. There are A LOT of people out there who do not know the game and can't stand losing and need to be heard. If you can't ignore it, please move to another spot.
- Let the coaches handle the referees. Reffing is a hard and thankless job. It takes a tough person to go out there take the abuse they receive. Believe me, I know. Referees are people and they are going to make mistakes. It's part of the game. It's a part of every game. Don't worry about the bad calls or calls you didn't get. Just make the next play. Referees don't decide games. Players and coaches do. This goes for players and parents: Please do not berate, complain to, or insult the referees. As coaches, we will do everything in our power to keep our players safe first, then help ensure the game is being called fairly.
- Keep it positive. Don't yell things like "Catch the ball!", "Scoop it!" or "Pass it!". Every player knows they are supposed to catch and scoop the ball. Every drop is bad enough that we don't need everyone yelling at that player for making a mistake. Shout encouraging things like "Look it in!", "Focus!", "Hands apart!", "Get the next one!". Mistakes are going to be made on the field and there isn't a lacrosse player in the history of the game that has never dropped the ball.
- NO SIDELINE COACHING! We appreciate your enthusiasm and support but let the coaches do their job. Do not tell your player to "shoot it!" or "take it all the way!". Sideline coaching has become a major issue in youth sports and often contradicts what the coach is trying to do on the field. It can be confusing for our players and frustrating for our coaches. We want to encourage team play, not "hero ball". Be supportive and positive for your player and our whole team. Also, parents are not allowed to sit on the bench sideline.
- Please respect the 24 hour rule. Do not approach a coach directly after a game if you have a complaint or concern. Emotions will be high after a game and poor choices can be made. If you have an issue with your coach, please let me know first and I will address them. If your issue is with me, please wait at least 24 hours to cool down and reassess your issue and email me or talk to me. I am happy to discuss any concern honestly and calmly regarding our program, players and coaches. If you have something nice to say, say it immediately and loudly.
We will not tolerate, abide, or condone any type of taunting, showboating, bullying, or shaming. Any type of bullying inside the program will be met with immediate and harsh circumstances. These are your teammates, and you will treat them with respect. You do not have to be best friends with everyone, but we will not ever make anyone feel unwelcome on our practice fields or sidelines. Every player here is here to get better and nobody, player, or parent, has the right to tell someone they do not belong. If there are any issues, please discuss them with your coach and me right away so we may rectify the problem. We are here to have fun and get better, but we are also representing our program, families, community, and the game itself...and we will do so with Class & Respect.
"Being a good lacrosse player is important, but being a good person is importanter. Grammar is 3rd" -Coach
Parents, you will be held to the same standards as our players, and we expect your help in maintaining our standards and policies by setting a positive example from the sidelines. You are also representatives of our program, and we ask that you respect the game, players, referees and families and conduct yourself appropriately.
SIDELINES/TENTS: We will never leave a sideline or tent area with garbage on the ground. Even if it someone else's mess, will leave every sideline and tent area cleaner than we found it when we arrived. Class & Respect isn't just about the words we use, it is also about the things we do. Leave the world a little better than you found it.
This is how we do things. It doesn't mean we are better than anyone else or that our way is the right way. It's what works for us. It also doesn't mean that we don't make mistakes. This all means that when we make mistakes, we will address them and hold ourselves accountable. We will do our best to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. I will be the first to say that West Side is not for everybody. Our priorities are not trophies and scholarships. We are here for the players and the game. West Side is a community and a family, and we are proud of who we are and what we do. We promise to do our best to give your player and family the best experience possible. We love lacrosse and appreciate the lessons the game has to teach us. We want to share that with all of you. The game is meant to bring us together, not divide us. It teaches us how to be teammates and develop our own game at the same time. It is an outlet, a challenge and it is medicine. We truly believe the game should bring out our best in the good and bad times. There is no place for animosity, intolerance or hatred on our field and we look at every game as a chance to be better and learn win or lose. The lessons we learn together on the field will follow us into the world and can shape the people we will become. This is the reason and the why for what we do. Thanks for being a part of West Side Lacrosse.