Editor’s Note: Join us in welcoming Frederic Larsson to LaxAllStars! Fred will be one of LAS’s resident “Brit abroad” writers 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!
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It’s been over a month since my first blog post and since then I’ve been living the lacrosse dream.
A customized kit, private gym sessions, and help from a nutritionist – it couldn’t be further from the twice per week training sessions in the far slower pace of UK university play.
Having experienced the game with both the CSULB college team and the Long Beach post-collegiate team, I have found my confidence to have grown. My initial concerns about playing lacrosse on the wrong side of the Atlantic have been put to rest, at least a little. I’m managing to keep up with the American players having won many face-offs and scoring goals whilst playing in pick-up games on the weekends!
Most importantly I’ve become accustomed to the heat, making playing lacrosse a lot easier as I can now focus purely on my game and not on the fear of passing out! Other than lacrosse it’s great to be fully settled in college, midterms are keeping me busy but as you’ve probably guessed, my priority is lacrosse, all day and every day.
I’ve learnt a lot in the short time I’ve been playing stateside. Since everyone here is so friendly and willing to help I’ve picked up many tips as to how I can improve my game.
For example, the way I shoot has been completely changed. Pointers such as planting my feet and really using my whole body to drive my shot takes the technique to a depth that we never really focused on back at university in England.
Similarly I’m starting to adapt to the pace of the game, the idea of a “lacrosse IQ” comes in as I now know where to be and when my matchup allows to me take a dodge down the alley.
This past Tuesday I played my first truly competitive game in America. Previously it’s just been pick-up games where everyone is just out to have a good time with friends. The first game of the ULAX league put my team, Long Beach, up against the USC Trojans.
This turned out to be the actual University of Southern California college team, and as far as me and my teammates could tell, they were just using to the league as part of their fall ball.
Our match began informally, there was no real significance placed on any mental or physical warm up which set the tone for the game. But, the intensity rose as coach told me to take the first face-off, which was a lot of weight on my shoulders.
Although I lost my first attempt, I had a few later wins that I did take during the game, which really got my adrenaline flowing! Unfortunately we lost 7-4 but it was the first time we had played together as a team and next time I’m positive we’ll get a win over USC!
The coming weeks will be filled with more of the same I’d imagine. Tryouts to make the final team roster for the CSULB team will take place in two weeks time and I’m hoping that I’ll make the cut! Once that’s done we’ll begin to receive our team helmets, gloves etc. – something I’m super excited for!
Practice, wall ball, lifting, and conditioning will most likely take up a significant amount of my time as I prepare for the coming lacrosse season. My aims for the moment are to try and improve as much as I can whilst playing in the home continent of the game.
As for my progress, I’ll keep you posted!