top of page

It is Officially Travel Season!

State Champions are being crowned and the majority of teams outside our beloved NCAA tournament have turned in their equipment for the Spring. That means only one thing...summer travel season is here! Alright that exclamation point may be a bit much, not every parent is excited to spend a small fortune traveling around the country for their kids sport to attend tournament after tournament, giving up every weekend of their summer. The reality is it's a major part of kids sports these days, especially summer lacrosse. If you are one of those parents looking down the barrel of a packed tournament schedule, and travel team practices starting this week, fret not, the Certified Lacrosse Parents are here for you. A few tips to survive the grueling schedule and possibly enjoy it as much as your kids should.

  1. Bring headphones! Listening to the toxic folks on the sidelines, same team or the other, can really wear on you. Don't let anything impact your ability to just watch your child play the game and be proud of them. Short of isolating yourself in the furthest corner of the field away from the know-it-alls, just pop in some headphones. Pro tip - don't use those slim fancy ear buds that are discreet, use the biggest most obvious headphones you can to make it clear to anyone near you that you are otherwise involved. sometimes I don't even turn them on just to be left alone.

  2. Avoid the politics - yes I know its an election year, but I don't mean those knuckleheads. Its the parents who are all in on gossip that are critical to identify early, and politely avoid. Their opinions about theirs or other kids, commenting about parents and coaches can be a drag on your experience. And the keeping up with the Jones that can come with that, which kid committed to where on a full ride and so on, only serves their motives. You do you. Focus on your daughter or son, their journey and ensuring they have a positive experience. Make new friends while you are at it! Most of the parents aren't the toxic ones. You will certainly find plenty of like minded folks on your child's team who together keep each others sanity, while ensuring a positive experience for the kids.

  3. Site see - while much of the focus ends up on the insane costs to participate on these travel teams, the expenses of travel and lost personal time...consider the opportunity. Whatever your geography, tournaments will take you to different cities and towns around the country, outside of your own. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore them with your family or daughter or son. A trip to Baltimore for a team from Ohio means a chance to visit the inner harbor and have some Md blue crabs. A tournament in Lake Placid, NY brings you to the Adirondacks and the doorstep of some incredible Olympic history site seeing. Make memories your family will never forget, beyond the field.

  4. Consider why you are doing it - what is the end goal? If your daughter loves it and is playing on a team with friends and enjoys the experience and opportunity to travel, then it is irreplaceable time with your family regardless of the trade offs. If your son is miserable, not enjoying the experience, consider your options. Maybe they are burned out mentally or physically and need a break. Maybe they are on a travel team because it was a means to a scholarship, if so, there is a break even analysis in your future. If summer lacrosse is to improve some specific skills, there might be better ways to do that than these mini-seasons comprised of mostly games. There's good evidence out there that the reps a player gets in lessons or position specific camps are far more valuable for player development than just simply games. If something doesn't feel right and the experience isn't a means to the end goal, it isn't a lifetime contract. Speak to the program head, the good ones are all very reasonable and will work with you. If not, speak to someone without a vested interest in the club for some guidance. we're always glad to help

The longer anyone is in the Lacrosse community, they realize just how small of a family it really is. Everyone knows someone you know. Almost everyone means well, and travel season is a big part of the community and experience. For any of its faults, there are plenty of opportunities to make the best of it and for your child to enjoy it. Hopefully  our tips here give you some solace, you aren't alone. I look forward to seeing you and our Certified family out at the summer tournaments.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page