A quote Harrison and I love, “life will present you with people and circumstances to show you where you’re not free.” In so many aspects this applies beautifully, especially in Lacrosse. A sport where you are tasked with never ending skill acquisition. The frustrations of one day can be completely different to the next. How do you handle it? How do some players move better through instruction and discomfort?
I certainly used to be someone who would blame everything on the external variables, how my stick was performing, the balls we were using, the refs. Where was I not free? I had no self-trust. I was scared to look inside and realize I was the reason my performance was not where I wanted it to be, and this gave me the freedom to take control of my development. It was all on me. I was in control. FREEDOM. It began with a true humbling to the game of Lacrosse. If I wanted to the best, I had to show up every day unchained from any past performances and entitlements. Just playing in the moment with no judgment. My growth every training session felt almost exponential!
While coaching you see constantly where young players are being held back. Some do not want to try hard for fear of failure, others truly don’t know how rewarding exerting an exceptional amount of effort is. Then there are the players who do not want to change their ways. Is it authority, or the discomfort? Either way, there is a instant in every training session where a young player goes for it! I mean they free themselves from judgment and fully commit to trying something they have never experienced. It is a glimpse of brilliance and is always followed by a smile. As well as ”YOU SEE – THAT WAS SO GOOD!”
This is the reason I love training sessions. It is not a showcase, or a game. Harrison and I are not here to judge or rank. It is truly the player in a setting of freedom to grow as much or as little as they want. So, what is holding them back? There are so many different little things. BUT, when they are unleashed, it is incredible to see the players and people they become.
There is almost a visible weight lifted off their shoulders. A conscious thought of “wow, I don’t have any pressure to perform perfectly. I am here to have fun playing this game.”
What a perspective shift when it comes to the ‘process.’ I encourage parents to foster this environment of joy in these moments. Truly appreciating the process of training and learning for its purpose. Yes, it is a grind. Yes, Harrison and I have an overwhelming amount of focus and intensity when it comes to training. Because, we are unleashed. Over our 17 years of playing we have been met with circumstances that have shown us where we are not FREE. Harrison and I have both had the sport taken away from us because of injury. We have played in the biggest games, and had to watch them. The ego has truly been stripped down to the point it is now our souls that want to succeed in this sport, and our souls that want to lead this sport for players in Southern Ohio and the Midwest. What it takes is continual encounters with the mirror. Situations that show themselves who they. This is training. It is the most forgiving mirror you can encounter.
All we are is a mirror to show them, so they can grow and reveal their full potential. This applies to all of life. People and circumstances will teach you incredible things. Monday thoughts.