Great team chemistry is something that every team, in every sport, strives for.
Fans know it when they see it, athletes know it when they feel it, and every team knows when they have it.
Despite this understanding of what it looks like, feels like, and the impact it can have on success, team chemistry can be an elusive thing to find.
As we prepare to enter our first PLL season, I took some time to reflect on how team chemistry was developed on one of the best and closest teams I have ever played on.
In 2012 I had the opportunity to win the NCAA Championship at Loyola University. As with any championship team, that group had incredible chemistry on and off the field. In the fall of that year, we went on a retreat to the mountains in Western Maryland. The weekend was filled with organic team building moments. One that stood out was pushing the team bus out of the mud when it got stuck trying to reach our remote destination. That experience set the tone for what would prove to be a meaningful weekend together. Being away from school and lacrosse provided us an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level. When the season ended and we all reflected back on our journey together, many of us pointed to that retreat weekend as the foundation for what we built.
The key ingredient to our chemistry on that great Loyola squad was developing authentic relationships. There is no better way to quickly build these relationships than leaving your comfort zone and experiencing something new with your teammates.
One way that we have already started this process on the Archers is through travel. Myself, Marcus Holman, Will Manny, Adam Ghitelman, Tom Schreiber, Jerry Ragonese, Davey Emala, Evan Connell and more have all taken trips together either to Hawaii, or abroad. Traveling together has been a great way to build those authentic friendships that we will be able to lean on in challenging times over the course of the season.
When you truly know and care about your teammates, it provides you with that little extra energy you need.
Whether it's in training, in practice, or in games, teams that know and love each other always seem to find that extra gear to accomplish their goals.
On June 1, the six inaugural teams of the PLL will embark on the race to great team chemistry and ultimately, the title of first-ever PLL champion.
I can’t wait to take my shot with the Archers,