Editor’s Note: Chris Rosenthall sits down with John Galloway, Syracuse goaltending legend, assistant coach at Duke, and MLL Pro. They cover Galloway’s new Wallball 365 initiative, coaching at Duke, working hard, playing in the MLL and so much more. Plus John is a pretty super American Gladiator! Better than Joel White anyway!
Tell us a little more about your Wallball 365 campaign. How did you come up with it, and how’s it going so far? Have you heard from others who are jumping on board?
John Galloway: Wallball 365 has been one of the most rewarding initiatives I have ever been involved with in the game of lacrosse. I was out on New Year’s Day, on my old high school wall, and I was just alone kind of thinking how that same place gave me so many opportunities to grow as a lacrosse player. I wanted everyone to realize the power of playing on the wall and the chances it could give you in life for a simple 10 minutes a day.
I went right home and used social media to spread it as much as I could. I get emails from older gentlemen who say they leave work to play every day now. It has been an unbelievably rewarding experience!
What’s your standard wall ball routine?
John Galloway: On a normal day, I will do 200 reps lefty, 200 righty from about 20 yards away from the wall. After, I will get really close and work on my goaltending fundamentals, hitting each of the 6 spots for a shooter 25x each. At the end, I will pick areas and have to hit that spot 10 times left and 10 times right before I can go home.
I hear you’re putting together a new website. What can we expect? Will there be a Wall Ball 365 component to it?
John Galloway: My website should be launching in the next 1-2 weeks. The focus of the site will be promoting the new generation of goaltending instruction. G3 Lacrosse has been an idea of mine since I was in high school looking for position specific training. I am teaming up with professional lacrosse players around the country to offer a unique service that changes the way we look at teaching the game. The focus will be on character, respect, passion and obviously becoming a great lacrosse player. The difference is we want to manifest great players off the field as well.
Wallball 365 will have a component on the site. That is the last part under construction, but hopefully players who have made the pledge will be able to go into the site and record their data to keep track as the year progresses. It is going to be a very fun way to continue playing every day.
G3 Lacrosse will have academies, clinics, goalie vs shooter challenges and a variety of other services to begin my vision of creating the standard for goaltending and position specific instruction. Eventually, we want to break into the apparel, equipment line and recruiting consultation, but for now we will be focused on teaching the game the right way, both on and off the field.
You were born and raised in Syracuse. Now you’re living in North Carolina. How’s the move been? Any surprises?
John Galloway: The move from Syracuse to NC has been great. I miss my family and friends, but I am learning a whole new way of life here. To be honest, it was hardest to leave SU. My fondest memories are playing for the Orange, but I am learning different ways to do things while also remembering my roots of how I was taught the game by my coaches at West Genesee and Syracuse. I was very lucky to be part of that program, and hope to give back to them in some manner down the road.
You joined the Duke lacrosse program as an assistant coach last fall. What drew you to Duke, what are your responsibilities, and what’s it been like so far?
John Galloway: Duke was such an amazing opportunity for a recent graduate. Coach Danowski has allowed me to take on responsibilities I would have never imagined I would have in my first year. I work primarily with the goaltenders, and assist with Coach Gabrielli in anything he may need. I love being able to provide my input for the clearing game, defensive packages, etc. I also try go to down to the offensive end as much as I can to pick up shooting drills, offensive sets and so forth from Coach Caputo. I want to understand all aspects of the game in the event that I am heading a program some day.
What I have learned the most is the involvement Coach Danowski has off the field. He has an unbelievable pulse for his players and does so much in the community to give back. I love his involvement on campus, around Duke, and in the country, growing the game while still focusing on what is really important in life.
Duke plays Syracuse this year in the Big City Classic. What do you think it’s going to be like to line up against Coach Desko and some of your old teammates?
John Galloway: To answer the question about Syracuse vs. Duke, I must preface that I bleed Orange. That will be the toughest week ever when we play the Orange this spring! I talk to all of my teammates because those are my best friends, but it is hard when the game is brought up. I am going to root for them every game, but I will be wearing my coaching hat on April 1st. For those 60 minutes, I am going to do my job to the fullest and help the guys now playing here at Duke to win a lacrosse game. After, I can’t wait to get to the tailgate and see the people that gave me this opportunity.
We’ve heard that you had an interest in playing pro indoor lacrosse. Granted some of the pro indoor scene is currently up in the air, but if there’s an opportunity, is this something you still plan to pursue?
John Galloway: I would love to pursue indoor lacrosse, but right now it isn’t a reality. With the commitments to coaching, and my focus on becoming a better goalie for the Rattlers in the summer, that pursuit is on the back burner.
The Rattlers were widely praised for their recent work at the collegiate draft. Did you have a chance to follow it? What’d you think of the new additions?
John Galloway: I absolutely followed the draft! I think Coach Soudan and our owner (Rob Clark) have done a tremendous job with every off season move they have made. I will be honest, I am really itching for April 28th. We have a young team, but we sincerely believe we can be a special team this summer, and are all looking forward to get back out there. I believe we shored up all we needed! Lets go Ratz!
They say the transition from NCAA to MLL play is toughest for a goalie. Last year was your first in the MLL, what was the biggest adjustment to make? Any changes you’ll make going into your second season?
John Galloway: The biggest adjustment is the number of shots you face. Obviously the ball moves faster, but because of the shot clock I was making 18 or 19 saves and still playing very stinky! This year, I am working on my conditioning, and trying to face as many shots as I can in the preseason to make sure I am ready come gametime. It is a challenge without playing in college, but one I look forward to.
Last question: You’re up by a goal with five seconds to go in a championship game. Who’s one player you’d rather not see coming towards you on a breakaway?
John Galloway: One guy I would not want to face in a breakaway is Mike Leveille. I don’t think I ever made a save on him. Mike, if you hear this… quit your job and come to Roch-Vegas this summer. It is time to get you back on the horse!