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Bicker's Soap Box: The Lax Bro Debate

Lax BroRecently an article in the Boston Globe, “Scoring Style Points“, by Jenifer McKim has generated quite a buzz in the online lax world. There have been a few responses to the uninformed and poorly written article. One on Deadspin (a sarcastic take), one on Grantland (sort of a conversation), and an overarching response on LaxAllStars. I would encourage everyone to read the Boston Globe article before reading the responses.
I’m sure everyone here has an opinion on the “lax bro” culture taking over our lacrosse community. If you are selling the gear (shorts, pinnies, socks, hats) you love it because every kid has to have the newest and flashiest stuff. If you are a coach you hate it because the kids are lackadaisical, entitled, and care more about being seen than winning the game. I can see how people outside of lacrosse can view “lax bros” as immature, entitled, elitist, lazy kids; but I also understand how it can give the young kids a sense of identity and help grow the game.
It all comes down to your definition of a “lax bro” and everyone’s definition is a little different. Does being a “lax bro” mean wearing the gear and having the attitude? Is being a “lax bro” just loving the sport, talking about it all the time, and working hard to get better to accomplish a dream of playing at a higher level? I know some people hate the “lax bro” attitude and want it completely abandoned. What does lacrosse become then? The “lax bro” culture is supposed to be fun and allow for kids to be unique. If lacrosse becomes too militant all the players coming over from baseball and soccer will find something else.
However, I do agree that the lackadaisical and entitled attitudes need to be scrubbed out. I have no problem with kids wearing what they want, but when they step onto a lacrosse field and it’s all about the new head or stringing, or “sick behind the back I did in practice” (which was only made after 25 attempts) that is a problem. I’m proud of many of our youth programs and players. I know many hard working and focused youth players who are mature beyond their years. These kids wear their mesh pennies while finishing homework, and then go hit the wall or shoot 100 shots on their own time. That would be my vision for future “lax bros”.
Unfortunately there are still a few bad eggs out there and realistically, there always will be those bad eggs. I have seen more youth players arguing with officials than ever before and not being corrected by their coaches. In fact, many times I will see a player yelling at a ref and when I look at the sideline the coaches are all doing the same thing. This trend has to stop. Believe me, I know it is easy to disagree with officials, but as coaches and parents we have to remember the example we are setting. We don’t want a kid growing up thinking it is ok to throw tantrums and belittle other players or officials. Teaching kids to honor the game starts on the field and continues at home.
In full disclosure I want to point out that I am in no way a professional writer and unfortunately I never took a writing course outside of the required courses in school. But I have been provided a platform to start a conversation within our Utah Lacrosse community and I am interested to know everyone’s opinion about the “lax bro” movement (if you can call it a movement) within the lacrosse world. Feel free to write your responses under this article or join the community.

  1. As a mom of three “lax bros” and host to laxin’ everyday. I am in love with the subculture.  If I was to send you a picture of the backyard right now, you would see eight stinky sweaty kids, (all in flow society shorts) an overused goal, a rebounder, and lacrosse balls all over the yard.  Last year, we bought some pretty wicked shorts from FS and 256 pair later, we were the fastest growing program in the city.  Everyone wanted to know why the kids were wearing those shorts.  I am pleased to say that they are not in the house playing video games or watching mindless TV.  They respect their coaches and all three of them have practice today at three different locations. 100 right 100 left every morning and night. Its all your dreams come true! I agree with your article and would point out that lacrosse is a game of honor and a lot more fun if played with respect. In response to the lax-bro movement…I say “bring it bro”….grow the game. (I will add that my 12 year old made a goal between his legs with his back to the goalie and I was very proud- he had no other shot of course haha)

  2. I really dislike the “lax bro” culture.
    I have no problem with wearing lacrosse clothes all the time, and buying the latest gear, etc.The problem I have is, like Drew mentioned, the attitude.Too many players (in all levels including college and post-college) are acting like lacrosse is a 1 man game.Instead of playing as a team, it’s “I have to take this shot”, “I dont have a shot so I will try some crazy stupid ‘trick’ shot which won’t make it, even though there are other guys wide open”The other problem is when people put so much “stock” into the latest gear, that those who can’t/don’t have the latest gear get teased.Add that in with the whole “flow” hair thing, and lacrosse comes across to outsiders as a “rich, snotty, white-boy sport”I also have to agree with Drew on the sportsmanship issue.This last season I saw SO much poor sportsmanship by both players and coaches.Players (from the winning team) throwing rocks at the other team.Players swearing at other players and officials.Players taking late unnecessary hits.Losing coaches making disparaging comments to the winning coach.etc.Whatever happened to sportsmanship and respect?Looking back to when I played in High School, I never would have THOUGHT about doing the stuff I see going on during practices, and during/after games.
    Lets clean things up and bring respect back to lacrosse.
    We can still have a full contact sport, with big hits, just make sure they are legal and then help the other guy back up after the play.
    I know it’s different, but a couple weeks ago in a Men’s Pick up game, saw a player playing offense, who caught a big check and take away, then after the play the player who was on offense went up to the defender that checked him and said, “Good check!” and patted him on the back.
    Thats what we need more of!

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