Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lacrosse World Cup Competition Then and Now

1990 Lacrosse World Cup Game Schedule, Japan is now in the elite division and a host of other nations in lower divisions.
With the exception of the Canadian team that year with Kevin Alexander and the recently graduated Gait twins and Tom Marechek, Team USA had little competition in the 1990 Lacrosse World Cup. That will not be the case in this year’s World Cup with the US team facing a very tough Canadian team. The tryouts for the 1990 team in my opinion (and receiving so much free cool USA swag), was the pinnacle of my National team experience and my entire athletic career, particularly since I played in two national championships at Syracuse in 84 and 85 and lost both. The field of teams in the Lacrosse World Cup is much larger today than in 1990 However, you can still count on the United States facing off against Canada in this year's World Lacrosse Cup final. Canada won the World Championships four years ago and they have an excellent chance of wining this year because increasingly Canadians can be find on the roster of some of the best college programs in the United States. Field lacrosse is no longer foreign to Canadians who like Native Americans grow of playing largely indoor lacrosse. Team USA you better bring your A game (and a strategy to control face offs), play has a team, and check all egos at the door.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How To Get Better on And off the Field/Court

Hall of Famer Pat McCabe (Elmont, SU) covering Hall of Famer Tim Goldstein (Ward Melville, Cornell). Notice how shallow Goldstein’s pocket is? The quick release it provided is one reason why he was such a great feeder. That's SU All American Matt Palumb in the goal. 
For me the U. S. National team tryouts represented the pinnacle of my lacrosse experience. It’s was like being at a summer lacrosse camp with the best players in the country. One would go to the announcement board and see who was playing with and against each session. You’d look at your goalies, defense, middies, and attack and say wow, I cannot believe I am playing with these guys! These were players who were legends to me people like Jeff Long (Irondiquot, Navy): 1st team All-Americans,  players of the year at their positions, and former USA players. Wow what an adrenalin rush! As a professor and author, I get the same rush. Working with the best makes you better on and off the field. 

How to Improve Your Stick Skills: [Watch 4 min 2 sec]

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Following the 1990 Lacrosse World Cup: Meeting Bishop Tutu

Bishop Desmond Tutu
Following the 1990 Lacrosse World Cup, I returned to Gettysburg to continue my several jobs at Gettysburg College (G-burg), and I completed my MA degree in history requirements in time for the December graduation ceremony at Shippensburg University. Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa served as the commencement speaker. Our family had a history with Bishop Tutu that started back in the 1980s at Howard University where my brother Marshall earned his undergraduate degree. Marshall dated and became engaged to one of the Bishop’s daughter which lead to subsequent visit of the bishop and his wife came to our family home in Croton for a meal I was out of town at the time and never met him. Before the graduation ceremony started I managed to get my business card to him. He was gracious enough to invite me into the VIP tent to meet him. He was so surprised to meet me and learn that my parents where in the audience as well. My brother never married the daughter but I will never forget meeting him and wondering how that dinner with my folks went. 

Reducing Stress:

Show Up Looking like the Person Who Was Recruited:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How To Pick a Good Club Team For My Child?

Summer 2012 FCA boys and girl club teams. The majority of coaching staff are volunteers like me who know the game . 

A parent in a local youth program asked a question via email that I thought made for an informative post. Earlier this summer his child who is going into 4th grade went to a lacrosse camp that a local club team program ran and he enjoyed the experience. The club team is part of full time lacrosse business by the same name that includes for profit teams, tournaments, camps, and a retail store. The child his excited to play this fall and as a result the parents are considering signing the child up for the club team that ran the camp. But before doing so the parent wanted advice on how to select a club program. As the parent states, the “main priority is finding a program that is fun and will allow” his child to play with friends in their community as much as possible. He ends his email with “any insights and advice would be much appreciated.” I responded, I encourage my son to enjoy many different sports. He can specialize in college should he have that option. He has the stick in his hand most of the year because he's a fanatic. But he's now the same way about hockey. It's much the pattern that I had and I didn't start playing lacrosse until 8th grade. I didn't experience burnout until the end of my college career—and perhaps it was frustration after losing in the championship game for the second season in a row to Hopkins and because I felt lacrosse had become too high a priority in my life and I needed to gain some balance.  Below are links to what I've said about this and related topics. More to come.

My Earliest Exposure to Lacrosse:

Lacrosse in My Home Town of Croton on Hudson and Boarding and Yorktown:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Iroquois National Team and Self Determination

Iroquois National team players including Syracuse alum on the first row left to right, Chief Oren Lyons (Lacrosse Hall of Fame) who was a goalie on the same undefeated SU team with Jim Brown (Lacrosse Hall of Fame) next to him Mark "Red Man" Burham 27 and Emmett Printup 4.

The Iroquois National team declined to travel to England on any other passport but Iroquois Federation passports to compete in the 2010 Lacrosse World Cup. I say kudos to them for taking a stand as a sovereign nation. I played on the 1990 US National team that faced off against the Iroquois in their first ever Lacrosse World Cup in Australia. I recall meeting with Oren Lyons, Traditional Chief of the Iroquois Confederacy, who like me is a Syracuse University Lacrosse alum, in his hotel room in Australia. He pulled out his Iroquois Federation pass port and proudly asked me with a smile on this face, if I understood what it was. He then went on to explain that competing in the Lacrosse World Cup meant more than fun and games for the Iroquois players (some of whom were my college teammates at SU), it represented the Federation’s declaration of the right to self determination and sovereignty within the borders of the United States and Canada (and my guess, possibly a bid for a sit in the United Nations). That was an eye opener for me as graduate student in history then and now as a professor of history and blogger.

Related Links:

 1990 World Games:

Traveling with Eli:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews Part 6

Fred Opie interviewing members of the SanKofa Lacrosse Team on October 25, 2013 on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.