Preaching sportsmanship on your little league website

As the Little League World Series is upon us, you may want to consider addressing the topic of sportsmanship. This is particularly visible these days, with ESPN cameras trained on the young players as they go through the thrill of victory and agony of defeat in front of the entire world. Time and time again, the youngsters demonstrate poise and pride, even during the losses. It’s great to see - this is baseball in its purest form, played for the love of the game, and untainted by contracts, endorsements and agents.

These kids are setting an excellent example for young athletes everywhere, as they manage to brush off what must be considerable stress from being in the spotlight. Here are a few minor details that can go a long way in demonstrating graciousness:

There is no walking in baseball
This doesn’t refer to getting pitched four balls and walking to first - it literally means, run on and off the field. It is a sentiment preached in baseball camps across the country. During these little league games, many batters have struck out. Some have sulked to the dugout, and some jogged it in. The runners showed mental strength and didn’t bring down the team around them by displaying negativity or disappointment.

Respect your teammates, coaches, umpires and opponent
No one wants to see an argument break out between players on the same team, and it’s even worse when players talk back to the coach or umpire. Taunting or trash talking the other team is also tasteless, and takes away from the honesty of the game. Communication is key - most umpires will happily explain a call if you are genuinely interested in learning from it. But you have to be tactful. Similarly, coaches and teammates must be on the same page for the team to succeed.

Thank the other team for a good game
It’s easy to forget that it takes two to tango. There would be no victory if it weren’t for another team’s loss. The opponent allows a game to occur, and each team should appreciate the other’s presence. The competition may be as highly contested as possible, but at the end of the game, shake hands and congratulate the the other team for a job well done.

Sports prepare kids for life. These actions, highlighted on your youth baseball website, may seem insignificant, but they foster a mentality of grace and poise that the young athletes will carry with them throughout life.

3 types of equipment to avoid for a good youth lacrosse season

When players begin to surf your sports team websites and explore potential lacrosse leagues they could play in, they want to find that every piece of the puzzle is state of the art. They want to play on the nicest fields, wearing the coolest uniforms, for the best coaches.

They also want solid equipment. Even if you have a limited budget for running your youth lacrosse organization, it’s important to have a few dollars stashed away for buying high-quality supplies. If you fall short in this area, players and their parents will take notice. Kids will likely not want to play in your league, instead exploring other organizations or other sports entirely. Parents may also worry about their kids’ safety.

That’s why good equipment is vital - whether it’s helmets, pads, sticks or anything else, there’s no excuse for skimping on quality. It’s worth a few extra dollars to buy the good stuff.

This is an area where a lot of lacrosse organizers, even good and experienced ones, make mistakes. Below are a few common problems with youth lacrosse equipment:

Too old
If equipment is old and worn out, it’s not likely to provide the highest-quality youth lacrosse experience. Coaches and league organizers should work together to provide their kids with newer stuff - this might not mean purchasing brand-new equipment every year, but periodically replacing outdated materials should be a point of emphasis, on some level.

Not safe enough
What good is a face mask that’s cracked? Or a shin guard with a hole in it? Small defects in lacrosse equipment safety can end up making a huge difference. The responsible thing to do is nip these problems in the bud - if they’re unaddressed, they can lead to injuries, which is bad news for everyone involved. Players will be hurting, parents will be up in arms, and coaches will be without key players.

The wrong fit
Finally, and this should go without saying, but youth lacrosse players should have uniforms and pads that fit them well. If any one item is too small, it might constrict a player’s movement, but if it’s too big, it may lead to awkward motions while players adjust those misshapen helmets or pads. Just get players stuff that fits.

Good equipment is an important part of a youth lacrosse league. Another key piece is a branded website, which can advertise your sports organization for the world to see.