My first lacrosse practice was in 6th grade. I had no mouth guard and a stick that I had never touched before. I wasn’t even entirely sure what lacrosse was-I had moved from Dallas, Texas a few months earlier where lacrosse was basically nonexistent.
Even though it was my first practice I wasn’t discouraged at all because there were 10 other girls just as new to the sport as I was. There were loads of us-at least 35 total.
When junior high started, the pack of lacrosse players certainly thinned but they still needed to make 2 separate teams. That is a lot for a rec. junior high program. The reason why so many girls were playing is pretty obvious: we all loved the sport and the credit you got from such a lacrosse based community.
When my grade got to high school, we lost numbers because the other half of our team was still in junior high. Despite that, there were still a lot of us.
The first lacrosse related meeting that I went to as a high school athlete was when Mr. Ferry officially announced that he would no longer be apart of the girl’s lacrosse program.
Unfortunately, the season only went down from there.
My first conditioning experience was with a group of grouchy seniors who didn’t want anything to do with the freshmen. It was really uncomfortable and most of us ended up leaving early. After that most of us freshmen decided to not attend conditioning until the coaches were the ones in charge. The first one was in December from 7-9.
That first conditioning was a rude awakening if I’ve ever had one. It was too cold to be outside so we spent the first hour running in circles in the aux gym which has slim to none air conditioning. The whole attitude of the team was unsupportive and cold. The new coach didn’t help much by introducing herself with indian runs and sprints. At the end of the night, much later than when we were supposed to end might I add, the new coach announced that we were going to win state that year if we put our minds to it. That sounded really exciting and promising at the time and I was really eager to see how well we would do.
The next few conditionings got worse and worse to the point where all of us (the freshmen) would start sweating on the way—-it was really nerve wracking.
Finally, it was somewhat warm enough for us to run outside (still freezing). We went out on the track and immediately went into running because we wanted to already have a few laps in before the coach showed up. After the 3rd lap or so, a friend of mine who will remain nameless began to experience a really bad leg cramp and slowed down. I slowed down with her and we stayed behind the pack for the rest of the running. Later on as we were getting a drink a senior at the time pulled me aside and loudly complained at me that I need to keep up with everyone else. At this point I was really, really over the excitement for the new season.
Up until that point, for the most part the entire team was always aggressive, always hauling ass, and never actually working together. We were pushed over our limits every practice and numerous people ended up getting injured or faking injuries to get out of what we were doing.
This didn’t change for the entire season.
The entire time I was scared, sore, and really down on myself. It wasn’t fun at all.
I clearly am not the only one who feels this way. After that awful experience, they don’t have enough people to make a JV team. A lot of girls that experienced it with me last year have since quit and the girls coming up heard enough about it to never want to play again.
It makes sense.
Girl’s lacrosse has totally lost its fun. No one really watched out for each other-it all seemed to be everyone for themselves trying to win the approval of our coach.
What I don’t know is why no one is asking questions. Girl’s lacrosse is supposed to be a huge deal at our school and they suddenly don’t have enough players?
It’s not me, girl’s lacrosse, it’s you.