As a college lacrosse player, I can say that playing at the college level has been one of the most worthwhile experiences of my life. Playing at any level in college, whether it is division I, II, or III, entails a different type of mentality. Every week I am going to tell you all about what my team and I are doing both on and off the field as we prepare for the season and fulfill our numerous academic requirements as student-athletes. We live crazy fast-paced lives with the ups and downs of a roller coaster, but like any roller coaster, it’s a great time through and through, up and down. Every week you are going to get a player’s eye view of what college lacrosse players go through during the season…starting with the ever-important preseason.
This is the time of year that some players don’t exactly look forward to, but sets the tone for what your team will accomplish during the season. For teams in the Northeast (like mine), the preseason usually means long practices, low temperatures, and frozen fields. The first week of practices this year will be a bit different thanks to a coming snow storm, so we will get to enjoy the climate-controlled environment of our gymnasium for a few days. The preseason is often under-appreciated considering what it helps accomplish throughout the season. So far in my career I’ve come to realize that many things can happen during preseason, whether it be a freshman earning a starting spot, new offenses finally meshing, or most importantly, bonds between teammates being forged.
I can’t say what does it, but I think a common goal and seeing each other working hard in terrible conditions builds trust and earns respect between rookies and veterans on the team. Trust and respect will have to be built a bit quicker this year because our first scrimmage is only 2 weeks away and our first 3 games less than a month from now. Before we know it we will be right in the heart of our conference schedule, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. For college lacrosse players, lacrosse is only half our lives. The other half is probably more important, but less enjoyable…our academic obligations.
Starting the semester is very important because once the season gets into full swing we are guaranteed to miss some class time. College work requires a different kind of mindset. When it comes to your work, you need to dedicate yourself in order to do well. The beginning of the semester is very similar to preseason because you have to lay the ground work for the latter part of the semester, when you may not be in class. It’s also important to build a relationship with your professor so that he or she thinks enough of you to excuse required absences from class. School work for many isn’t fun, but it is something you need to do in order to be successful. That’s preseason so far, check back next week for the next installment of College Lacrosse: The Lifestyle of the Players.
Evan Feehan grew up and played on Long Island where he attended Sachem East High School(’08). He currently attends and plays for division II Pace University and will graduate in 2012. For the past 2 summers Evan has coached at the Princeton, Brown, and Navy lacrosse camps working with coaches Chris Bates, Lars Tiffany, and Richie Meade. After graduation he hopes to get a graduate assistant position and pursue his coaching career further.