Foundation. Determination. Imagination.
A split second captures a million thoughts in one’s mind. A Lacrosse player’s mental capacity is unique and exists in a class on its own. With each pass and each step, there are endless paths for one to choose from. It is the decisions one makes that determines how the battle will go. These endless paths must be chosen in a fast and precise order. This is why determination and imagination are so important during combat.
That is also where the creative aspect of Lacrosse differs from other sports. While most sports utilize creativity for flare and show-boating, Lacrosse puts creativity in a different light.
For example, a behind the back pass may look flashy, but is used sparingly in situations that call for it. When switching to your off-hand is too slow for the obstacles and situation in front of you, pop one over the shoulder and find your teammate on the backdoor.
It’s that creativity and dedication to stick work that allows this sport to shine. It is the fast-pace and presence of mind that separates a player from the rest. “Baggataway” is a Native American word for Lacrosse that means, “little brother of war.” It is evident in its practice of how instinctive this game is.
The stick is an extension of your arm, just like a soldiers rifle. Your creative instinct only aids the loaded weapon you now hold in your hands.
Only the palms of your gloves separate you from your stick, weapon, and best friend. Warriors must be quick and maintain a vas imagination from the first to the last whistle. Take a deep breath when you step in between the lines.
The battlefield is your canvas. Your weapon is your paint brush. Your imagination is your best friend. We are all soldiers but not all of us possess the same skills. What separates the best from the rest is a presence of mind. Now put your creativity to the test. Here are my top 5 soldiers that use creativity and presence of mind to their advantage during battle.
Top Five Most Creative Lacrosse Players of All Time
5. Johnny Christmas
Johnny X was a high-flying player that loved bringing it to the paint. His mental awareness combined with his athleticism made for one player you would pay to see live. When Christmas stepped on the field, it seemed like he had entered his sanctuary. He played with a calm and cool confidence that seemed to trick defense men when he was ready to explode. His ability to fake several times in the air during a crease dive was incredible to watch and almost impossible to stop.
4. Mikey Powell
MP was undoubtedly the most exciting player to watch. With high-flying crease dives, ankle breaking moves, and front flips his creativity brought what Gait taught him to a new level. He is another player that could create something out of nothing. I don’t know if there has ever truly been a player who’s un-guardable, but Mikey was pretty close to claiming that title.
Just when you thought you were playing good defense, MP would jump the entire crease and dunk it on the backside. Mikey’s elevated creativity inspired a younger generation of lax rats.
3. Casey Powell
CP is an amazing player to watch, especially when he doesn’t have a ball in his stick. CP plays each game like a pawn in a chess match. Sure, CP has a highlight, goal, or assist almost every game, but that’s not what makes him the G.O.A.T. It is his precise and meticulous off-ball movement that allows him to stay on top of his game for all these years. He is the best at letting the game come to him.
2. John Grant, Jr.
JR has easily the best behind the back in the game. He can put a BTB quicker and more accurately on your stick better than most pros regular pass. Grants use of his body, spacial awareness, and knowledge of goalies’ tendencies allows him to find the back of the net almost willingly. John Grant may not be the most athletic guy on the field, but his instinctive mentality is what helps him be one of the best.
1. Gary Gait
G22 is a once and a lifetime player. His stick skills were enough to make him a great player, but his creativity is what makes him a legend. Scoring behind the back, in between the legs, and of course dunking it from behind. He was like Wayne Gretzky the way he could see angles that no one had seen before. His craftiness is second to none. Gait’s ability to create something out of nothing changed the face of the game.
Never lose sight of how fun this beautiful game is. Keep your paintbrush close by so you can create a masterpiece on your next canvas.