posted 04.26.2011 at 10-38 p.m. by Clare Lochary

New York (and Pawnee) State of Mind

The NYC Park and Recreation Department is offering FREE eight-week into lacrosse clinics for kids between 8 and 17 in every borough. Now if you’re reading LaxMagazine.com in the first place, you are perhaps not in need of an intro clinic, but if you know of someone in the NYC who is, please pass this along because it sounds like an excellent deal. Equipment is even provided! The Manhattan one starts on April 27, and the others start on April 30. Another great resource in the NYC area is, of course, the local US Lacrosse chapter.

Speaking of parks and recreation, Parks and Recreation has lately become one of my favorite shows. I got hooked in large part thanks to a subplot related to youth sports in the Season 3 premiere, “Go Big or Go Home.” In the episode, macho libertarian Ron Swanson is pitted against loveable idiot Andy Dwyer as coaches in a kids’ basketball tournament. It was a terrific vignette about the extremes adults can go to when involved in youth athletics, something you see playing out on basketball courts and lacrosse fields all over the country. On one end, there are the coaches who are so easygoing that the kids don’t learn anything. This is Andy, who’s sweet enough to spend practice helping little kids dunk, and dumb enough to douse himself with Gatorade after victories. On the other end of the spectrum are the tough guys like Ron, who resorts to mid-game chair-throwing and indoctrinates his players with the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, which includes such building blocks as Teamwork, Selfishness, Welfare Avoidance and Facial Hair. Excellent comedy, terrible coaching.

If you can’t access the full episode, here are some key clips:

US Lacrosse has lots of resources to help you find that sweet spot between being an Andy and being a Ron, FYI. Best of luck to everyone who’s still trying to figure it out.

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