The landscape of youth lacrosse is changing because we now have all these former College players, HS coaches, 80ís stars who are looking to coach with opportunities to make good money and still be involved in the game. As more of these opportunities come about there will be more choices to negotiate on their fees, which in turn drives up the cost of teams. Also as the tournaments rates rise to realize more profits (which some go back to these clubs anyway), the overall cost of the teams would inherently increase. So, if we stay on the trajectory this sport will slowing die in this market, as it will eventually put more people without the means to have their son/daughters or multiple kids with skills play with a higher level of talent and exposure to good coaching on these teams. Lacrosse will become what golf is where itís a ďrich mansĒ sport. There is too much talent on LI to allow that to happen to maintain this sports heritage here.
The question I have, all these coaches, former great players and leaders of these clubs; how did you get to where you are in youth lacrosse and did your parents have to invest in comparison thousands of dollars per year to have you play and get to a top level? I know mine didnít and my point on this topic, if we are talking about transparency; all these clubs saying the right words on focusing on the kids, building their IQ, etc. Yes these will do this if they make, play and pay for that team but is that truly their transparent intention.
Yes, its business and yes they have to make money, and yes it cost allot to put the time in etc., however these teams/clubs have increased some 30-50% in the last 2-3 years. No business increases that much and your paychecks arenít increasing that fast, so for how long can we keep LI competitive if we are cannibalizing ourselves with for profit first, value and teaching second.
The sad part, there is no alternative and challenge each club to look within to state their purpose. Tryouts, $$60-$200 Ė that is all profit with no insight into the % chance of making the club from the previous yearís team Ė are they looking to persuade people from trying out or just make more money? YoY 20% team increase with the same service, not major changes to offerings, for what? Did you need to pay the coaches more? The tournament costs arenít out at the time of pricing out the teams cost so why the increase?
Problem is we pay for this because we as parents have the false perception that if we donít out kids will fall behind and we have no other options. Some of the greatest players who are listed on many of the teams websites as coaches played other sports over the summer and their skills as a lacrosse player would be on comparison to todays as good if not better. So do we need to have 8-14 year olds involved in $1500 teams, well parents of today are conditioned to think so but I would challenge them to ask all these big time coaches if they played for the Expressí the world in summer of 1987 (you might be surprised they didnít exist but that player still went onto Syracuse on scholarship)