Editor’s Note: Join us in welcoming Frederic Larsson to LaxAllStars! Fred will be LAS’s resident “Brit abroad” this year as the UK native spends the school year in the US at Cal State Long Beach in Southern California. He will be sharing his experiences in the States all year on LAS, starting with today. So without further ado, here is the beginning of Fred’s American lacrosse adventure!
[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″]
My obsession with lacrosse only began at university, when many people in the UK pick up the game, and I’ve been playing for two years now. I’m a starting face-off midfielder for the University of Leicester Men’s Lacrosse team and last year I was Treasurer for the club too. Lacrosse, as with the majority of UK university sport, is as much about the social side of a team as well as the sport itself. As such, the competitiveness of lacrosse lacks the intensity of American teams – especially since we could easily qualify as a drinking team too!
However, for my third year of university I’ve hopped across the pond and will be attending California State University, Long Beach, where the lacrosse scene is completely different.
I had many worries about coming to play in the US. Will I be good enough to play? Will I just sit on the bench? Am I going to get wrecked by kids half my age?
Whilst this could all still be a possibility, the three weeks that I’ve spent out here so far have reassured me somewhat.
Experiencing a few pickup games, as well as attending my first training session with CSULB, has shown me how friendly and willing to help everyone is. More than keen to give me tips on how to improve and better my game, I’ve no doubt this team will have a huge impact upon my lacrosse experience.
I thought that my biggest challenge would be stepping up to the level of American lacrosse compared to that of England. Yet the first thing I noticed when I padded up and went to warm up was the heat.
My first pick-up game was in Seal Beach, CA, and despite the light sea breeze it was ridiculously hot to say the least. I have gotten used to playing in the grey and drizzle with temperatures from 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit, the mid 80s did not bode well with me. But it’s mind over matter and I’m sure in time I’ll barely notice it!
The overall level of lacrosse that is being played here in the US is unparalleled to anything I’ve witnessed before. Even the high school players, as juniors, were playing with skill better than anything I’d played, having even competed against some English National Team players.
Interestingly this made it both easier and more difficult to play. Obviously more difficult because of how good everyone was, but every pass thrown to me seemed perfectly accurate – something which is not common on many UK teams.
The game out here has provided some of the most fun lacrosse I’ve ever played, especially at this higher level. I’ll be playing as much lacrosse as I can, whether that is pick-up games, in the ULAX Los Angeles League with the Long Beach Men’s team, or in the MCLA with the CSULB team.
Essentially what my blog posts will do is track my lacrosse journey and experiences whilst here in the states playing with different teams, players and coaches. I hope to give readers both a chance to gain insight into English lacrosse and to compare it with the game in the US and SoCal.
It should be something that both UK and US players can enjoy and I’d love for you all to follow my American lacrosse adventure! I can’t wait to see what fall ball has in store!