Hello, from Ireland!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 5TH:
After a 4.5 hour flight from Seattle to Toronto, a 5 hour layover in Toronto, and a 6 hour flight on to Dublin, I am finally here! I showed up just in time for a quick nap and we were off to our first team training session. After months of virtual communication, it was so great to finally be out on the field together (or “pitch” as they call it here).
Having never played together as a complete team until this training camp, I was intrigued to see how the first practice would go. Well, it was AWESOME. I was blown away by how fired up and ready to compete every single player was the moment they stepped on the field. Whether it was stickwork, 4v3s, or 7v7, it was obvious that they had all put in work in the off-season leading up to this great opportunity. The energy of the team was contagious and even though I was tired and jet legged, it got me fired up!
Highlights of the Day:
We just completed our second day of training. It was a long day but a lot of great work was put in. As it is the fundamental component of good lacrosse, we worked on a ton of stickwork. All the same things we do back in Seattle! I think that is the biggest takeaway – even at the highest levels of lacrosse, we continue to work on the same fundamentals that we do at a young age. One of my favorite quotes is by Bruce Lee and it goes like this:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
It is the players who are willing to commit to continue to hone their craft and work on the same fundamentals over and over again that will be successful. This is why we always make time for stickwork at practice.
I also had the opportunity to work specifically with the offense. It was exciting to see the chemistry we had on this end of the field and to see how our offensive IQ and playmaking has evolved even since Euros. In the afternoon we did a lot of 1v1s, 2v2s, 3v3s, and finished with 3v2 Continuous – the best drill ever!! As is customary with just about every Ireland Lacrosse practice, we ended with our circle up, singing Ireland’s Call, and a slow clap into our cheer. I get chills every time we sing. Not necessarily because of the awesome voices (haha), but because there is this strong sense of Irish pride on this team and it is a special moment shared when we all sing together. While I didn’t get a video of us singing (don’t worry, there will be many more opportunities), I did get a video of our slow clap and cheer.
I have been with Irish Lacrosse since the European Championships back in 2015 and it is exciting to see the players and program continue to grow and evolve. We only have a short time together in Dublin during this training camp and yet I feel that the girls have already established a strong baseline for this team and they continue to raise the bar each time they step on the field – challenging themselves and each other. I think my favorite part about this group, and about the Irish culture in general, is this strong since of community and camaraderie that exists. As competitive as the team is on the field, the second we are off the field it is lots of laughter, jokes, and good times. I feel very fortunate to be working with such a dedicated, fun, and supportive group.
I am pretty excited to be here….
The team during training camp..