Sunday, May 17, 2015

Goalie Win Championships

Travis Solomon in action in the 1983 championship SU vs Hopkins
Larry Quinn in action in the 1985 championship game SU vs Hopkins
 A hot goalie is key to winning a big game. One of the greatest goalie stories is Syracuse's (SU) Solomon who replaced starter Tom Nims who suffered a season ending separated shoulder early in the season in a game against Maryland in 1983. Travis played hot the rest of that season in root to SU's first national championship. He;s best describe as stopper with a great outlet space that helped cuse fast break its way into the finals. Hopkins won national championships in 1984 and 1985 with All American and later Hall Fame Larry Quinn in goal. I later played with Larry in championships with Long Island Lacrosse Club, Maryland Lacrosse Club, and the 1990 U. S. National Team. Larry made playing defense easy and also had a great outlet pass. His nickname was the Door and he shut the door on alot of great shooters. As a youth coach I recommend putting your best athlete, stick handler, and leader in the goalie position. He or she is your teams quarterback and they thus need to be both a great player and a great communicator.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

“Stay On His Gloves!"

Fred Opie # 34 in a 1985 game in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against North Carolina. 
I gave up lacrosse following my senior year at Syracuse and second consecutive year of losing to John Hopkins in the National Championship game.  My return to lacrosse started at the once premier summer tournament in Glastonbury Connecticut. Jamesville Dewitt alum (a school in the Suburbs of Syracuse ) who played at Cornell invited me to play with a Cornell team that had a spattering of SU players. I went back to the basics remember Coach John Desko's advice to me. I had asked him my first year at SU what I could do to improve my game, and he responded, “Stay on his gloves! [translation, stop throwing so many take away checks and square up!]." That’s a problem I see among too many even top division 1 players—they play to much defense with their stick and not enough with their feet—shuffle, drop step, catch up, and then we can talk about checks! 

My College, Club, and U. S. Team Players and Coaches

Saturday, May 2, 2015

You Will Be Better Off If You Finish

Buzz (Christ Burt, Lawrenceville Prep), Me, and OD (Mike O’Donnell, Yorktown) “trying” to cover Hopkins middies and attackman during our loss to John Hopkins in the 1985 NCAA Championship game at Brown University
After a crushing lost to Hopkins for the second year in a row in the 1985 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse finals, I stopped playing feeling burnt out and feeling like the sport had taken on too much importance in my life. Perhaps thats why some players never complete their degrees requirements; lacrosse was more important than their course work. They played four years of ball and now they are ready to move on. That happens all over the country in many sports. In my case, in May of 1985 I was nine credits short of graduating. We returned Syracuse from the championship game in Rhode Island on a long bus ride. I backed my car up on campus and returned to Westchester to take an anatomy and physiology course at Westchester Community College in summer.  Next I then registrared for a student teaching course at Pace University in White Plains; that’s all I needed to do to graduate. I was the first one in my family to earn a college degree. What a difference nine credits has made on my career opportunities. Complete your degree requirements you will be better off in the long term.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Youth Lacrosse Coaching Strategies

Me and other volunteer coaches at halftime Croton-on-Hudson, New York  Spring 2010
Related links below

Coaching Series:
Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives by Joe Ehrmann, Gregory Jordan and Paula Ehrmann: [Watch 4 min 7 sec]
Book: Inside Out Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives by Joe Ehrmann, Gregory Jordan and Paula Ehrmann

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Midfielder Vinnie Sombrotto

Vinnie Sombrotto right with little brother Steven and Hofstra University teammate Joe Ferraro. Like Vinnie I played club ball with brother Steven who also had a long lacrosse career. Photo from
Former Syracuse lacrosse player Fred Opie reflects on the 4 x US National Team Player Vinnie Sombrotto as the U19 Men's National Team begans its quest for a world championship over in Europe this week

Saturday, March 21, 2015

“It’s about changing your lifestyle” : Staying Fit Then And Now

Chicago Bear and National Football Hall Fame Running Back Walter Payton and His Notorious Hill that ran during the off season 

Almost 20 years ago, I developed the habit of working out as a Syracuse University (SU) lacrosse player  and under the guidance of then SU strength coach Mike Woicik. Mike is now with the Dallas Cowboys. I've seen my share of former college and pro athletes that have lost the battle of the bulge and let themselves go. Similarly Mike has told me how he has run into former college and pro athletes that he had worked with who had become so out of shape that he did not recognize them! Lots of us have been on both sides of that embarrassing experience.  Mike explained, “It’s about changing your lifestyle.” I gained weight after knee surgery and hours sitting at a desk as a writer. Last year around this time, I read a book that has made a big difference--Move a Little, Lose A Lot. The book has made me become intentional about reading and writing in a standing position whenever possible. For example, I am writing this in a standing position and at a fit desk (see the link below). Working while moving is also great for people like me who have severe ADHD. During the summer months I also returned to what I did when I was a college player about to return to school for the start of my senior year with the goal of earning a starting position during fall ball and winning a national championship in the spring.


Move a Little, Lose A Lot: