Editor’s note: Muamer Razic, our main lax man in Kentucky, sits down with John Christmas of Lower Merion, PA, Virginia, MLL and NLL fame to discuss what he’s doing now in the lacrosse world. John is a busy man, with a schedule full of lax-y goodness. Get to know Mr. Christmas in this installment of our Fireside Chat Interview Series!
We’ll start off with a BIG question! Can you give us a brief summary on this new venture called “Access Lacrosse”?
John Christmas: Access Lacrosse is a website designed to give players, parents, coaches, and fans the opportunity to watch full length lacrosse games for free! It’s almost like Lacrosse TV.
You’re one of the best there is at what you do, what kind of work did you have to do to become the athlete you are now?
John Christmas: I guess I would say the most important thing is having a healthy obsession with perfecting your craft but realizing that it will never be perfect.
Do you think that (in the future), that AL will be updated on a regular basis with recent games played?
John Christmas: AL will be updated as games become available. I think there is a great opportunity for anyone to help “grow the game” by sending film in, and I’m talking ANY film. Also, I think if you’re a fan of the site and the concept, you should also go like our Facebook page. A little shameless plug!
How is working with Maverik and all those GREAT players? Do you get to influence the gear that they come up with?
John Christmas: Maverik is an awesome company to work for, and the best thing is that the company literally gets better every month. All the guys are passionate about what they are doing and it’s cool to have input on the product and gear, that ends up in the stores.
How do you guys try to spread the word about the company in areas that aren’t really “hot-beds” for lacrosse? We could use some help down here in the KY!
John Christmas: Maverik needs to be in KY!
What’s your preferred stick set-up?
John Christmas: All Mav gear! Maverik Prep head, an H2 shaft, then throw in some Marc mesh with a nice, high pocket.
I’ve heard you mention that you need to be in the best shape possible, how do you train to be one of the greatest players there is?
John Christmas: A lot of cardio for me these days!
Who are you bumpin on your iPod nowadays?
John Christmas: Mumford and Sons
Boston Cannons, Virginia, and Philly Wings: you’ve got quite the resume, do you plan on adding another team to that list?
John Christmas: My days with the MLL and NLL are over, I think the LXM Pro tour is a great place for me in this particular phase of my life and career.
How do you help “Grow the Game”?
Are you still coaching? How does it feel to be on the coaching staff of one of the best all star squads; Duke’s LC?
John Christmas: It’s a privilege to be able to coach such dedicated, skilled, and hard working players.
Ever since you’ve told me about it, I’ve watched so many games on AL; how did you become involved with Access Lacrosse?
John Christmas: When I was a kid my brother would tape EVERY game that came on TV. The first game I ever saw was Syracuse – UNC for the 1993 National Championship, on CBS, on tape delay. I would watch it everyday after school. This became a routine with my older brother, watching different games we had at the time. So I truly believe that made a huge impact on my development as a lacrosse player. So I decided others should have the same access to random games to watch and learn from. So I started the site with a friend of mine.
What steps are you guys taking to get recent games uploaded and improve the overall experience users have? I mean it’s already amazing that you guys offer the ability to watch games on a mobile device!
John Christmas: We have a lot of things in the works, one is the search capabilities on the site. We want the viewer to be able to find a certain player they want to watch in the game. So if a kid wants to see a game AJ Haugen played in, all he has to do is search his name and all the games he’s played in on our site will pop up.
You are also the co-founder of LEAPS Lacrosse, what’s that all about?
John Christmas: Our mission with LEAPS is to spread the game to underprivileged kids in urban areas.
LEAPS offers free demonstrations, which is HUGE, I can’t think of any Lacrosse related companies/organizations that do that. Why are you guys so amazing? What is your traveling limit for that, I’d love that here in the KY.
John Christmas: Thanks! And that could be a possibility!
You also started 141 Lacrosse – how’s that going?
John Christmas: 141 is awesome, I do small group training and have been blessed enough to coach almost 40+ high school All-Americans, who have gone on to be college All-Americans. We also do camps, clinics, tournaments, leagues and select teams.
You’re doing BIG things for lacrosse, I mean you’re all about helping out the lacrosse world with the organizations you work with or the camps/clinics you have so I just want to say thank you!
John Christmas: Thanks, it means a lot… a lot of people have helped me out along they way in good times and bad, and I feel passionate about doing the same.
What’s one thing you think every lacrosse player should know?
John Christmas: The moment you start thinking you are good enough is the moment you are done.
What was it like playing Lacrosse at Virginia and being such an outstanding player/winning a championship?
John Christmas: I think the best thing was truly learning the game and coming to practice everyday and competing at the highest level. And having amazing coaches shape me from being a boy into a respectable man.
Statement: You remind me of the lacrosse player version of Wale, any musical talent?
John Christmas: Love music, always singing, dancing. Wish I had some musical talent it’s the greatest thing in the universe.
Best lacrosse memory?
John Christmas: Easy. Winning the 2003 National Championship.
What are your goals for the lacrosse organizations you started or help out with?
John Christmas: For LEAPS I want it to spread to different cities all over the world, and for 141 Lacrosse, to continue to produce high school and college All-Americans!