Senior LSM #18
“Responsible to the element, Accountable to the mission.” This quote is the 2014 Colgate Lacrosse mantra and is printed on the back of every team members practice shirt. Coach Murphy took this quote from Toughness by Jay Bilas; our team’s mandatory summer reading. After coming off a disappointing 8-7 season and the loss of many key contributors including 2012 Tewaaraton winner Peter Baum, the men in maroon were back in Hamilton to right the ship in 2014.
The team arrived back to campus a week before the start of classes. Our pre-season consisted of two-a-days focused on fundamentals and systems with a bit of conditioning mixed in. Morning practices were held indoors; the coaches geared the practices towards individual skill work. Defense worked on footwork, sliding and recovery while the offense worked on shooting, passing, and off-ball movement. After the individual position work, the two sides came together to work on 6-on-6 “settled” offense and defense. After morning practices, the team gathers at the prestigious Rusch’s Bar and Grill in downtown Hamilton New York for a buffet style meal. The buffet usually consists of grilled chicken, salad and an assortment of vegetables. After team lunch at Rusch’s, we suited back up for afternoon practice outside in Andy Kerr stadium. The outdoors practice gives us an opportunity to get up and down the field. These drills are designed to simulate game speed. For example, a team favorite “last touch” is a fast-pace, high-intensity, full field transition drill that stresses quick decision-making.
In addition to practice, the team was put through a 300-yard shuttle test on Tuesday with direction from first-year strength and conditioning coach LiAaron White (Coach Li). Running 6 twenty-five yard shuttle sprints for a total of 300-yards completes the test. Our team is tested three times and must complete the first and second test under 54 seconds and the third test under 56 seconds. Our team struggled to complete the second and third shuttles under the allotted time and our coaching staff made it very clear that if we were going to compete for a patriot league championship our muscular endurance needed to improve. Coach Murphy continuously stresses the importance of playing 60-plus minutes of our best lacrosse every game and endurance is what makes this possible.
On Wednesday, “The Program” led by Special Operations Officer in the United States Marine Corps Erik Kapitulik arrived on campus for our second team workout. This workout was broken up into two parts. The first consisted of an hour-long session of pushups, flutter kicks, planks, jumping jacks and mountain climbers. In typical military fashion, each set was done in unison with incredible mental and physical discipline. If one teammate wasn’t doing their part we started the set over. However, this workout was special because the coaching staff decided to take part and workout with the team. “The Program” emphasizes shared adversity and working out with the coaching staff was a great way to solidify our team unity. The announcement by Coach Murphy was well received by the team, yet some team members remained skeptical of Coach Murphy’s physical shape. However, these doubts were put to rest when Coach Murphy assured the team that he had been putting in some serious time in the gym over winter break and was ready for the challenge. Overall, the team performed well despite one slip-up by our offensive Coach Mike Abbott. Coach Abbott, a former college lacrosse standout, decided to place his hands on his knees. This act of exhaustion is frowned upon because it displays weakness of the mind. In good humor, we heckled Coach Abbott for slipping up and finished up the workout with poise.
After our hour-long workout session in Sanford Fieldhouse, the team hit the showers and then met in the Wooster Room for a two-hour long classroom session. Coach Kapitulik started the session by putting up a list of values on the classroom screen. He told everyone on our team to pick three values that we identity with most closely. After sharing our values, Coach Murphy gave us the three values that our team will live by, commitment, selflessness and loyalty. With the help of Coach Kapitulik we defined these values in very concise terms and placed the definitions in our playbook. In addition, the team collectively thought of standards that will help our team achieve our season goals. The first standard is a no-drinking (alcohol) rule 72 hours before games and scrimmages. The second standard states that no team member will wear university apparel other than Colgate University. This standard did not bode well for team members like junior Mathew Yeager who has a strong affinity for Penn State apparel, as he was born in the heart of Pennsylvania. Overall, this session was a great way to get the boys out of the gym and into the classroom.