|Madison Vasta (right) facing off, the daughter of my high school teammate and Air force Academy All -American Joe Vasta|
Its July 4th which reminds me of the Vail Lacrosse Tournament in Vail, Colorado. Over the years this has become an annual pilgrimage for those with lacrosse on the brain and lacrosse junkies. The Vail tourney, which has expanded exponentially since I played in it back in the late 1980s, also reminds me of the period in my life when I was lacrosse junkie and made what now seems like crazy decisions to play in some of the best lacrosse venues across the country back in the 1980s. For example, I lived in Westchester County and played with a Manhasset team in the old Freeport Summer League. In the 1980s the Freeport League on Long Island paralleled basketball’s Rucker Park Pro League in New York City. Because I wanted to play with and against the best, I drove 90 minutes one way from Westchester County through city and island traffic to play. I also thought nothing of dropping hundreds of dollars on travel and food to play lacrosse in two Long Island summer leagues several times a week. Moreover I dropped more hard earned cash to play in the best tournaments of my era in Hartford, Cape Cod, and Vail and did not come from a wealthy family. The Vail trip especially cost allot of money for travel, lodging, food, and team fees. Today some parents are investing loads of money and time and enabling their U11, U15, and U19 child so they can play in the myriad of tournaments around the country that have exploded since I played back in the 1980s. Questions I wish someone had asked me back when I played are: how much lacrosse is too much? Are you spending your money wisely? Only you can answer these questions. I insist ours his a great game but like money its our attitude toward it that will determine its affect on us and the people around us. Take some time out and reflect before you sign up for another tournament or travel team.