Welcome to the first edition of ‘Zen. Lax. Lacrosse.’, which is a vegged-up version of Zen, Lacrosse and the Art of Stringing. This rebranded and refocused version of my LAS blog encompasses the gamut of lacrosse, but from a totally unique and open viewpoint; asking the hard questions with the utmost of honesty, diving deep into the intentions behind our actions and providing some fun, fascinating and fresh, perhaps a bit funky, ideas on personal and team growth as a coach, player or fan are the way this blog intends to serve you.
That’s enough on the blog for now; too much talking about what you’re going to do for or how something is going to help someone seems to not be the best approach, in general. Rather, we will take small, careful, intuitive and child-like steps forward, focused on the present, with confidence that the future is built by our actions. We reap what we sow.
Now, on to the baby step! The opening of any activity sets the tone for participants. To open practice every single day, my high school lacrosse team is practicing yoga; it’s not a long sequences of poses, nor is it particularly “difficult” in that players are huffing and puffing, but what it does is zero the focus in around our body and what is going on with it in this moment. Is this not the ideal state of mind for players entering practice? Each player is now ready to learn individual skills: passing motion, groundball footwork, etc. etc. – that’s half the pie; if every player on your team can be more aware of what he can do better personally and executes on it, this translates to a gain for the whole team.
The other half of the pie, set up again by our opening practice, is teamwork, or chemistry, as I like to call it. In the opening yoga practice, not only are players becoming more aware of their own bodies as they breath into the poses, but they are consciously, or subconsciously, being made aware of the fact that our team is able to do the same activity in the same way at the same time, yet we are are acting individuals. Each player is now ready to learn team skills: fastbreak sets, sliding tactics, etc. etc. – if every player on your team can be more aware of how a team can come be fluid with a focused effort upon doing the right things individually, so the team does not suffer!
Whether your team chooses to do yoga or some other activity, an opening activity for practice that both promotes individual focus and team chemistry is a stepping stool to higher places of knowledge and awareness; bringing the breath into our thought helps with this.
It’s been three weeks of practice so far this season, so the seeds have been sowed. Now to see what we will reap. So far, players have memorized the routine, but are still working towards keeping focus on their breath through the entire practice without oversight. As we say, baby steps. Although we’ve lost our first few games against tough competition, will the time spent learn to focus in on ourselves help us persevere? To be told.
Comments? Questions? Ideas? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Namaste, all the way, with focus, we shall play.