Lacrosse withdrawal is a serious thing, and if you were out at the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championhips in Denver, CO, this Summer, you’re probably feeling it pretty hard right now. Another option is that you’re just thankful for the break, and still recovering your energy. I’m honestly stuck somewhere in the middle myself, as the utter exhaustion of the WLC has caught up with me, but the overall feeling of community has not dissipated in the least.
Non-LAS marked photo credit: Nok Nokkie
This Hot Pot will review what I miss, and what I don’t miss quite as much, from my time as the General Manager for the first ever Thailand Lacrosse team to play in the World Lacrosse Championships.
I don’t miss getting less than six hours of sleep on any given night. It’s been nice to hit the hay and not have to worry about my alarm going off three hours before I really wanted it to. I do miss the feeling of absolute purpose I had each morning, even if I was exhausted. The TLA staff worked tirelessly to make sure things ran smoothly, and this meant late nights and early mornings. It crushed me physically, but with the constant help of other staff members, I powered through. Being part of a team like that was absolutely amazing.
I don’t miss the weather all that much, as it oscillated between the extremes of super hot and sunny, and then life-threatening storms. Colorado Summer weather is evidently insane, and I’m glad to be back in NYC, where the weather patterns seem to make more sense. That being said, I do miss being outside every day, all day. I miss looking around and seeing lacrosse fields everywhere, occupied by lacrosse players. Lacrosse sticks gleaming in the sunshine. It’s a beautiful thing…
I don’t miss the food at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and I’m not sure there is a lot of positive stuff to say about it. It was expensive ($5 sodas, $5 waters, $8 slice of pizza) and variety was lacking. There were also food trucks which had $4 waters and relatively delicious pulled pork sandwiches. That was better than the stadium food by far. The University of Denver dorm food was actually pretty darn good. Lots of options and to-go coffee cups. That last part was HUGE. Lacrosse withdrawal, maybe. Coffee withdrawal, can’t deal.
I miss the Thailand team. Opposing the food at DSGP, the Thai team was nothing but positive. From our Head Coach, Dylan Sheridan, to our stat girl, trainer, and local helpers, everyone contributed majorly. The players were responsive and a pleasure to be around. They took to ice baths quickly, and it became a fun nightly activity. That may seem weird, but it’s not. The team coming together as a family, uniting under a single banner, and loving each other’s company was truly special.
I also miss seeing meaningful lacrosse games each and every day. It didn’t matter if it was pool play, fighting to stay in the Blue Division, playing for a medal, or playing for 37th place… all of the teams went hard, left it all out on the field, and put on the best show they could. Many of the differences between a USA-Canada game and a Belgium-Costa Rica game were severe. The pace of play, skill level, crowds, and athleticism were all notably different. But the passion was always there, no matter what else was going on. No one was there to concede, and it was beautiful to see. It made me realize, yet again and on another level, what it meant to play for the Creator.
I also miss the fans. I met a great number of LAS readers along with people who had never heard of us. I spoke with as many people as I could, and truly enjoyed hearing their stories. It helped me see how strong, and varied, the lacrosse community has become, and will continue to become. There was talk of swag, and bros, and all that superfluous stuff, but the main conversation was almost always about the game. It gave me high hopes for our future.
I will always miss, but also remember fondly, the occasions of people helping people. When one team thought they had lost their goalie stick, another was found just in case, and quickly. When one team needed a new practice field, or a scrimmage partner, someone stepped in to help out. When the Swiss asked if they could use the ice baths on our floor at the DU dorms, I said “yes”, and then they shared their ice with us. Scouting reports were shared, face off help and instruction was handed down after games, teams lined up for photos together after contests, and people made new friends from around the world.
The above paragraph is also what I will truly take away from the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships. I’ll likely forget the ridiculously priced food, early morning wake up calls, and small issues that I faced. I might even forget the scores of many of our games, and where my team finished in the tournament. What I won’t forget are the friendships created, or the massive realization that our game truly is growing, and growing in the right way.
Thanks to US Lacrosse, the Federation of International Lacrosse, the University of Denver, and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for hosting a successful World Lacrosse Championships this past July. There was a lot of effort, time, and money put into this event, and it went off as a complete success. I’d also like to offer an even bigger thank you to each and every team, player, coach, fan, parent, vendor, journalist, and attendee who made it out to any of the days. Lacrosse needed an event like this, but you all made it what it was!
On to 2018 in Manchester, England!
How To End Lacrosse Withdrawal
Want to end the dreaded lacrosse withdrawal? Watch World Lacrosse Championships video from LaxAllStars on YouTube! Check out our post on why Canada won the gold medal! Check out some great photos of the Iroquois – Australia game. This was another fun game to watch. It was one of many!