In a blink of an eye, 1/5th of the inaugural PLL regular season is over. The Chrome Lacrosse Club is 2 plays away from being 2-0. That is the beauty of sports. We as athletes, recognize that every single play in the game matter. Are there plays that seem more important because there is a minute left in the game?
Four games to go in the inaugural PLL season and the Archers LC have played in six one-goal games. It’s easy to say that every weekend has been an absolute grind in search of getting in the W column. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Looking back at the history of college lacrosse, no team has, in recent record, won a National Championship four years in a row (thank you Wikipedia). In other words, every player has dealt with a season ending defeat. For seniors, that has often meant a career ending loss.
The gradual escalation to the moment of playing in the first Premier Lacrosse League game always seemed right in front of us. The process has been engaging, collaborative: a feeling that as a player, there is a intrinsic dedication to the formation of our new league, and a new commitment to the players and the fans that we’ve only dreamt of.
I love to win. I don’t care what we are playing, I am trying to win. But even more so, I hate to lose. I hate losing more than I like winning. Other players will be bigger, faster and stronger than me, but no one will match my will to win and absolute dread of losing.
When I picked up my first lacrosse stick 20 years ago, I never could have dreamed of all the opportunities the sport has provided to me. From the places I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, to the memories and relationships I’ve made along the way, I find myself more and more thankful for this game each year.
In the summer of 2011 I was playing in the Syracuse shootout, and after my final game was approached by a man wearing purple and gold and a straw hat and flip flops. What I was unaware of was that the man, that would soon give me a big hug and an opportunity of a life time, was UAlbany Head Coach Scott Marr.
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 I prepared for the inaugural PLL season in my new home of Chicago, ~90 miles away from Notre Dame where I’ve spent my previous four pre-seasons, I felt far more like I was worlds away rather than a short trip down I-90.
It’s simple. I’m obsessed. We were on the road my senior year at Maryland and Head Coach John Tillman asked all of us to come to team breakfast the next morning with a sticky note with one word on it. Coach Tills asked us to write down that one word that best describes what you think is the most important characteristic to have in order to reach success, both on a personal level as well as an overall team vision.