Monday, July 30, 2012

“Stay On His Gloves!"

Fred Opie # 34 in a 1985 game in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against North Carolina. 
Allot folks don't know that I gave up lacrosse following my senior year at Syracuse and second consecutive year of losing to John Hopkins in the National Championship game. I had continued to work out because that had become a lifestyle that continues today, but playing shape is another fitness level. My return to lacrosse started at the once premier summer tournament in Glastonbury Connecticut. Jamesville Dewitt alum (a school in the Suburbs of Syracuse with a great lacrosse tradition) who played at Cornell invited me to play with a Cornell team that had a spattering of SU players; more on the Glastonbury tournament later. I went back to the basics which started with a recording of coach John Desko (who was the defensive coordinator back then) voice in my mind. I came to SU in the fall of 83 out of shape from off season knee surgery and full of bad habits like throwing too many home run checks too often. I asked him what do I have to do to improve my game? John responded, “Stay on his gloves! [translation, stop throwing so many home run checks and square up!]." That’s a problem I see among too many even top division one 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! So by my senior year at SU, my defense became style became very boring but I cut down on penalties and increasingly shut down opponents. My offensive game remained just as flashy as ever. It may sound odd but it's true. 

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

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