How do we keep our young people on track? How do we keep them off drugs and out of trouble?
I think sports are an incredibly valuable tool, not only to keep them physically fit, but team sports build a lot of camaraderie and support groups and teach self esteem.
This is my son (front, center red head with the mouth guard that makes it appear as though his front teeth are missing) and his lacrosse team this summer. He was invited to join this team, he only knew one player but after the weekend, he had made several great friends. We had spent the weekend at Treasure Island, I have not seen such a large outdoor lacrosse tournament ever!
My son pays lacrosse year round, and lives for the sport. We find ourselves shuttling all over the state, writing checks for equipment and tournaments all the time. He went to Canada this summer and he and David are heading to Huntington Beach on the Labor Day weekend for yet another tournament. We spend a lot of time in the lacrosse world, but that's OK.
I am very happy my son has found a passion, something he is willing to work hard for. A day doesn't go by that he is not out in the backyard shooting at the net, or out with friends playing lacrosse. You see, if we were not so supportive, he might be doing other things. He might be laying around watching TV all afternoon; he may be cruising around in cars, bored and finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time; he may be disenchanted with life in general, and have nothing to work for at all.
I have heard from some parents that they cannot believe how much time and effort we put into this lacrosse business, but I can, because I can think of all the time and effort I might have to put into other, less pleasant things he could be involved in.
I think lacrosse is teaching him the difference between right and wrong, how you can succeed if you put your heart and soul into something, how you need to stay focused and set your sights high.
He is planning on going to a Division III lacrosse school, he says they don't have football, so they really support their lacrosse players. He has it all figured out, he is focused.
There is an old Indian folktale about how a Chief of a small village was giving a talk to all the adolescent boys. The Chief said, "Every one of us has two wolves in our lives. One wolf lives on your left shoulder and this is the black wolf. The black wolf is constantly telling us to procrastinate, put off the hard work until later and go out and have fun now. The wolf that lives on our right shoulder is the white wolf. This is the one that is always telling us to work tirelessly towards our goals. The white wolf tells us to make time for visualizing and goal mapping. The white wolf is the one that keeps us up late at night and wakes us up even earlier when all others are sleeping. Others call the people that listen to the white wolf crazy, obsessed and fanatical. The strange thing is that people call the people that listen to the black wolf normal." Some of the boys asked which one wins out, which one will we ultimately listen to? The Chief replied, "The one that we feed the most."