By Connor Wilson
It’s Summertime and the weather is fine! Time to get a tan and play a ton of lacrosse! There is simply no reason not to have a lacrosse stick in your hands as much as possible (well, there are a couple reasons, but not many) and this is the part of the year where you can really step your game up!
Kids, High School, and College students do a lot of different things during the Summer. Jobs, camps, family vacations and more fill the school year void, and sometimes it can be a little tough to get in the work you need in order to improve. But have no fear! LAS is here with some pointers to help you through these trying, lacrosse-less moments.
Going Off To Camp:
If you’re headed off to camp, pack your stick and couple of lacrosse balls at a bare minimum. If you can, pack an extra stick or two so that you can find a partner to have a catch with, or possibly convert an existing friend to the game. We all have to do our part to Grow The Game after all! If no one else at the camp plays, or wants to play, find a wall to throw against, or a tennis court with a hitting wall, or a basketball court with a backboard. Or even a tree! I’ve played wall ball against a tree in the Park here in NYC before, and the awkward bounces do wonders for your hand-eye coordination! But try to take it easy on Mother Nature if you can!
Going On A Family Vacation:
Going on a short trip in the car? Pack the sticks up. Teach your mom or dad to play if they don’t already know how! It can be a great experience for a child to teach their parents about something they are passionate about. You might even be surprised as to how much more involved they get, and in a good way! Going on a long trip? Going overseas? Unscrew the head from your shortie (poles should ALL own short sticks too!), pack em up in the suitcase, and see the world! You can always find a wall to hit, or a field to throw in, so get your reps! You might even meet some international laxers on your travels!
The only problem arises in minimum packing circumstances. But where do your priorities lie? If I had to choose between an extra bathing suit and a lacrosse head, I’d go with the latter. But that’s just me! Lacrosse in nature can be a really cool experience if you get it right and get back to the roots of the game. Wall ball off a rock or practicing sticks tricks while wading knee deep in a lake could be an eye opener. Try it!
Laxing While Working:
Not everyone gets to travel or go to camp. Totally true. I remember my Summers in high school were filled with jobs, but also lots of sports. I would work from 7 or 8am until 5 or 6pm, hit the wall, the gym or a summer lax league and then head home, exhausted. But I still managed to get to a ton of concerts, parties and everything else, because I was always prepared. I almost always had lax gear in the back of my rusted Bronco, and always had a change of clothes for a game of pick-up basketball, soccer, frisbee or whatever else might come my way.
And the jobs I worked were usually pretty hard. I worked on a grounds crew at a golf course, and as one of the youngest and newest employees (the other two were teammates of mine that went on to play lacrosse at Hofstra and Harvard) I often got tasked with the worst, and most physically demanding, jobs. So did the other two lacrosse players I worked with. After that I did landscape construction and built rocks walls, patios, drove a bobcat and dug ditches. But I still managed to play 2-3 times per week, and still got out to shoot once or twice a week. If you love doing it, you want to do it more, no matter how tired you are.
The Summer wasn’t all work and no fun. And it wasn’t all fun. It was a healthy mix of the two, and striking that balance is a key lesson to learn for a lot of young men and women out there. No matter where you are, it’s possible to get work in, and it’s possible to improve drastically as a player.
The “Golden” Opportunity:
Now, maybe, just maybe, you’re one of those lucky kids who doesn’t have anything to do this Summer. Maybe you’re too young to get a job, or you couldn’t go off to camp for one reason or another… and now you’re just sitting around, watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, reading LAS, and doing a whole bunch of nothing. The temptation to go out and just have fun must be ridiculous. But the opportunity to get out, get more athletic, and become a FAR better lacrosse player is also there. Please take it! Wall ball, sticks tricks in the back yard/on the sidewalk, shooting, playing, pick-up, leagues… DO IT ALL! If you don’t, I can guarantee you’ll regret it when Spring comes around!
It’s Summer time… let’s get better!