Westchester Warriors


Westchester warriors parent tips

Goals, aspirations, and physical abilities change over time. If we approach youth sports as a vehicle for reinforcing good life lessons and give kids great coaches to teach them the game and those life lessons, we will prepare the kids not just for high-level lacrosse, but for high-level life. This is designed to be a resource for parents who are interested in being involved with their child’s development in lacrosse.

Kids just want to have fun!

  •  When they are having fun they play more freely and as a result, play better. Most importantly, when they have fun they want to come back.
  • Too much focus on individual success leads to poor integration into larger groups, difficult chemistry with teammates, classmates and coaches, and decreased performance over time.
  • Society’s focus on doing more and more sooner and sooner has added pressure to kids and parents and taken some of the fun out of the process.
  • Our experience shows that kids who go through our program with the right work ethic and the right attitude are more than capable of reaching any of the goals they set for themselves on and off the field.

Let the game be theirs!

  • Even if you are cheering and saying all the right things, constant noise from the sideline makes it hard for kids to process anything, let alone react instinctively.
  • Remote control coaching/cheering/parenting inhibits a player’s ability to make decisions and learn from mistakes. It encourages them to only react to your voice.
  • One of the great benefits of playing a youth sport is that your child gets to hear from another adult.
  • Encourage children to seek input and advice from their coach on matters pertaining to their team and sport.
  • Let them struggle. Life is full of challenges and playing a sport allows us the ability to strive, fail and strive again.  If we don’t ever face disappointment or failure as a child in a safe environment like sports, we will never be prepared for adversity later in life. The lesson learned in getting up is far more important than the lesson learned in winning.

Practice with them: When? Why? How?

When? Why?

  • Working on skills with your son or daughter can be a wonderful opportunity to have fun, share a special experience, and quietly teach some unspoken lessons about work ethic and determination….but it needs to be on their terms.  Wait till they ask you. Then it is theirs and you are helping. If you force the issue, you run the risk of making the game work and turning them off.
  • Remember that a child’s attention span is about .66 X their age in years.
  • “Short and Sweet with Smiles” is a lot more beneficial than a long practice pursuing perfection. You want them coming back, so keep it in their wheelhouse.
  • Don’t coach what you don’t know.
  • If you don’t know what’s wrong, just have fun being with your child! Grab a coach before the next session and we will take a look for you.
  • Baseball/softball gloves are great alternatives for parents who are not comfortable with a lacrosse stick.



  • When trying to help a young player (2-9 yrs. old) learn to catch start by tossing the ball to them underhand and just focus on getting them to move their stick to the ball.  After they have mastered tracking the ball in the air and moving their stick to the ball, have them work to receive the ball by their ear while still delivering the ball to them underhanded.  After they have properly learned to catch by their ear move to throwing them overhand passes.
  • Work on both hands at the same time.
  • Do not wait to introduce the weak hand until the strong hand is mastered.


  • A bucket makes a great seat for a parent. Get a bucket, a few balls, and roll them right to your son or daughter — at first directly to them, then make them move — and remember the practice is for them.
  • The key is lots of reps in a small space, each one doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Tennis balls are great for creating soft hands and saving teeth!
    • Playing with a tennis ball in the back yard is a fun way to improve hand-eye coordination and soften the hands to help catch difficult feeds.
  • 1v1 and 2v2 basketball
    • This is a great way to work on some general sports skills, have fun, and not feel pressured. There is a direct translation between the principles of basketball and lacrosse. Moving without the ball and footwork are just two of the many shared principles.

1. Your child benefits. Research shows children whose parents are involved get better grades, do better on tests, and have fewer discipline problems at school. 

2. We make a difference. We try to build the kind of supportive, caring environment that helps children be the best they can be.

3. We pledge to honor your time constraints. We understand how busy parenting is; we won’t push you to commit more than you want or are able. Every little bit helps to lighten the load.

4. We have fun. Volunteering shouldn’t be a miserable experience. We accomplish a lot, and not everything we do is easy. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we try to enjoy ourselves along the way whenever possible.                        

5. Meet others. We all care about creating the best possible experiences for our children. We share many of the same experiences. Many friendships have developed as a result of those connections. 

6. There’s a lot to be done. GLC is 100% volunteer run and donor funded, from the board of directors to the coaches. Everyone contributes.

7. We can match jobs to your interests and abilities. The work we do covers a broad spectrum: filing and photocopying, social media, planning and executing events, writing and editing, working with children, and lots more. We encourage creative ideas and we’re thrilled to have people take on skills that meet their skills and interests.

8. We’re welcoming. To us there are no “outsiders.” We are people who have come together to work towards common goals.

9. We are about parent involvement, not fundraising. We want parents to be involved in their children’s activities.

10. This work is very rewarding. To see children fall in love with lacrosse. To watch them grow into leaders. To know we play a role in their lives. There are lots of rewards, big and small, for those that get involved. Won’t you join us?

Recognize the Coach’s Commitment: Coaches log many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games. And you’d better believe they’re not in it for the money (in many cases, coaches are working without any pay). Try to remember this whenever anything goes awry during the season.

Make Early, Positive Contact: As soon as you learn who your child’s coach is going to be, introduce yourself, let him or her know you want to help your child enjoy the best possible experience, and offer to assist the coach in any way you’re qualified. Meeting the coach early and establishing a positive relationship will make conversation easier if a problem arises during the season.

Fill the Coach’s Emotional Tank: When coaches are doing something you like, let them know about it. Coaching is a stressful job, and many coaches only hear from parents when they decide to voice a complaint. A coach with a full emotional tank will always do a better job.

Don’t Instruct During a Game or Practice: Your child is trying to concentrate amid the chaotic, fast-moving action of a game, as well as do what the coach asks of him or her. A parent yelling out instructions hardly ever helps. More often than not, it confuses the child, adds pressure and goes against the coaches’ instruction, which undermines the player-coach relationship, the player-parent relationship and the parent-coach relationship.

Observe a “Cooling Off” Period: Wait to talk to the coach about something you are upset about for at least 24 hours. Emotions can get so hot, that it’s often better and more productive to wait a day before contacting the coach. This also gives you time to consider exactly what to say to the coach, and how to say it. 

Addressing Issues

The relationship between coaches, parents and athletes are like any other relationship: they have their ups and downs. And there are situations that you or youth athlete need to address with the coach. How you address the issue is just as important as resolving the issue itself.

Empowering Your Child to Speak 

Before you as the parent intervene, make sure you’ve asked yourself, “Is this something that my child should do for his or herself?”

There are several advantages to having your children, rather than you, speak directly to the coach. Many coaches are more open to suggestions from players than from parents. The biggest plus here is that this can be an empowering experience for children, even if they don’t get the result they seek.

Summoning the courage to talk to the coach can be a great life lesson. Your children may gain important experiences about dealing with people above them in the power structure, at school or in future jobs, by discussing their issue with the coach on their own.