As a kid growing up in Maryland I was born with a lacrosse stick in my hand. It’s a thing like basketball and football are in the midwest.
There were no participation trophies, it was game on to win from your elementary school team, to 7-8th grade, to high school.
Heck, we were getting recruited for high school and college in 7th and 8th grade. I don’t think that has changed.
I still remember having to run the giant hill next to our practice field on early morning practices when I played on Cockeysville Lacrosse’s 7-8th grade team.
We ran that hill for conditioning as a team and it was a standing must do if you dropped a pass during practice. It wasn’t a question, you dropped the pass, you turned and faced your steep 3 minute destiny waiting for you.
Looking back it was one of the places I learned what real hard work and being a team player meant. AND…
As importantly, the results true hard work produces.
We were State Champions and that was the expectation each year.
The Cockeysville Lacrosse program is so good that it has produced more DI, DII & DIII All-Americans than any other recreational program in the country.
You get the idea how serious lacrosse in Maryland 🥍
Enter High School and The Lesson
The Baltimore high school lacrosse league is the most competitive in the country. I went to Boys’ Latin and our rival was St. Pauls.
We were playing one of the BIGGEST games of the year at home. There was standing room only.
We had practiced about five main plays for this game. We practiced them over and over, then over and over again.
When Coach Shriver called the play, you ran it just as it was supposed to be run because if you did, it worked and you scored 🎯
We get the ball on offense and Coach calls the play where I become the feeder right next to the crease as the midfielder runs off a pick up top and gets wide open to catch and score.
The play develops and just as it was drawn out.
I get the pass in line with the goal line to the right of the crease and Ryan…I remember this clear as day…
Starts to come off the pick, BUT, out of the corner of my left eye I see Kevin on the other side of the goal standing there wide open. His defenseman left him to slide inside to help.
I didn’t flinch, I switched hands, took a step back behind the goal and stuck that ball in Kevins stick so hard all he had to do was aim and push forward to put it in the back of the net.
Sure enough, that’s what happened.
We celebrate and my line comes off the field to get a rest.
As I’m running off it hits me that I DIDN’T follow the the play. Then…
I see Coach yelling on the sidelines. I can’t hear what he’s saying yet because of all the crowd noise.
I’m thinking at this point, “Oh SH*T I’m in some trouble.”
As I get closer, he walks towards the scorers table and I can hear him,
“That’s an assist from White, that’s an assist from White”
Because I passed behind the goal it might not be counted as an assist. Coach wanted to make sure I got credit.
Stats tell the truth about how you’re really doing. In fact…
I used to keep a notecard on my Jeep visor of a tally of all the goals and assists I had.
The stats were always front and center and a reminder of how I was doing regardless of how I “felt” about my effort.
I reach the sideline and Coach looks me right in the eyes with the look …
“You know I don’t like it when someone goes off play. BUT…Nice work, you deserve credit for finding the open man and us getting the goal 😉”
And pats me on the back with out saying a word.
What happens if Kevin doesn’t score❓
Doesn’t matter, he did.
👉 Sometimes in life you’re going to have a life plan, a business plan, a product launch plan, a race plan, some plan that you’ve spend A LOT of time coming up with and practicing.
Don’t get so lost in it that you don’t look up to see if there isn’t an open man, woman, opportunity, green field, that can get you a goal. AND…
When you see that opening, don’t hesitate, trust all the fundamentals work you’ve put in and make the move.
You will score.
If you enjoyed this article be sure to claim your subscription to the weekly email I send out. It’s full of great information and other articles just like this one. This piece is from my 4/9/23, Week 16 update.