How to Make the Lacrosse Season Memorable
No matter your lacrosse team’s level of play, the players, coaches, and parents will always remember your season fondly if you take certain steps to make the memories lasting ones. Going out of your way in the name of building pride in the program can create lasting memories and a sense of ownership and pride in the program from the players and parents. This is also a great way to show the players and their parents how much you, the coach, appreciate everything they have contributed to the team, as well as how proud you are of everyone involved with making your season happen.
Fun with Film
Game-action photos and videos are a really cool way to make people excited about lacrosse. Kids can post them on social networking sites like iSport, parents can show them off to their friends, and coaches can remember players or moments fondly in hindsight once the season is over. Also, players can use game film when they are being recruited to play college ball. There’s usually at least one person around a team who would be capable and willing to shoot game action, so find out who that is!
Many parents will buy nice cameras and bring them to the games anyway, so identify those parents and approach them about shooting your games. Parents are normally more than happy to help the program out, especially if they were already going to be taking pictures anyway.
Someone shooting still photos can be allowed on your sideline, past the end of the team’s bench area. This is a great spot for action shots, as it’s very close to the players on the field and those on the sideline. Have the parent set up a tripod and tell them to do their best to get at least one or two clean shots of every player on the team, even if that means shooting them in non-action situations.
Taking pictures of every player ensures that no one feels left out, no matter their standing on the team. If your team has a website or iSport page, post the pictures there for the world to see.
For parents with video cameras, have them set up a bit farther from the field. An overhead view is preferable for video (particularly when it’s not professionally filmed), as players may want to use the game-action film for a personal highlight tape. Video shot from field level can be difficult to distinguish individual players and follow the action. Most high school fields have a press box where cameras can be set up, so have your videographer make the box home for game days.
Some sweet t-shirts or hoodies can really drum up excitement and pride for your team. Creating a custom shirt for every season that players can wear with pride is a great way to make people affiliated with the program proud of what they represent. It’s also a nice way to make a little money on the side for the team.
The simplest way to do custom gear is to make t-shirts for the team. Keep the designs simple and stylish, and use the back of the shirt for something unique like the team’s schedule, motto, or some other non-offensive slogan. Remember, you want parents to buy these and wear them proudly.
Hot Tip: Form & Function
Team jackets look awesome and are even functional! With lacrosse season beginning in the last stages of winter weather, and some rain undoubtedly on the way in spring, a set of team jackets will keep players warm in style. With a team logo on the front and back, and player numbers on a sleeve, team jackets will be a hot item. Make sure to ask parents and fellow coaches if they want a jacket, too!
Team shorts are popular, and another way for players to feel like they have been part of something special. If you’re going to custom-order shorts, be sure to do it well in advance of the beginning of the season, since many customization companies can take up to two months to get the gear out to you. Players need to look fresh for the games, after all!
All of your team gear can be sold online or at games for profit. Be sure to order enough to last through the end of the season and possibly into the next one. At the beginning of the season, ask for a parent volunteer to keep track of all the gear and handle the sales.
At the end of the year, you’ll want a fun way to wrap up the season and celebrate everyone’s hard work. This should be done in such a way that players and parents will leave with fond memories, taking home a few souvenirs of the season past.
The first step to setting up your banquet is to find a suitable venue big enough to accommodate everyone associated with your program. Local churches or community centers work splendidly.
Your next priority in organizing the banquet is to figure out the food situation. A potluck setup works very well.
- Families with last names in the A-H range should bring salads or appetizers.
- Families in the I-S range can bring main courses.
- Families in the T-Z range can bring desserts.
Use the banquet to recall memorable moments or accomplishments, and present awards and trophies to outstanding players. You can also have a little fun at the players’ expense, using the time to “roast” players in a light-hearted way and get some laughs.
Another fun thing to do for the banquet is to show a season highlight tape with all the footage shot during the season. Include a bloopers section as well as great goals, super saves, and a shot of all the players on the team. Set the highlights to some appropriate music (chosen by players, of course) and the banquet should be a hit!
See You Next Year
With the banquet a wrap, and everyone nostalgic about how fun the season was, enthusiasm should start to build for next season. Remind everyone involved how much hard work they put in over the course of the season, and how much fun they had doing it. Distribute all the remaining pictures and memorabilia, and the kids will be raring to go for next year. Get ready to do it all again next season, and enjoy your summer vacation!