Dhane Smith is a multisport athlete.
This is something that’s known – his football and hockey histories are documented, and Lax All Stars previously looked into how his family’s multi-sport background helped propel him into professional lacrosse. But football and hockey have fell by the wayside years ago in favor of lacrosse. How is Smith getting his mixed bags of athletic avenues now?
Golf and tennis, that’s how.
During the offseason, these two sports fill Smith’s newfound free time. He said he’s golfed for several years at this point, but he’s really turned up his game in the last two years after getting a golf club membership.
“I’ve been taking it a lot more seriously,” he explained. “Been golfing four to seven days a week.”
Tennis is a recent phenomenon, though. With the lacrosse season not going as planned thanks to the pandemic, Smith’s offseason stretched much longer than usual, and he needed something to keep him in good condition. Tennis offers him that.
“I’ve been playing a lot of tennis to stay in shape, but I also still want to be competitive,” Smith said.
Beyond the practical reasons to maintain physical exercise, that competitive edge helps drive the Buffalo Bandits star to dig for athletic opportunities wherever he can find them.
While golf can be played against no one, tennis does require an opponent, and golf prefers it, too. Smith lives with three of his Bandits teammates – Josh Byrne, Ian McKay, and Chris Cloutier – and he described them all as big golfers, too. Head-to-head battles among the four have been known to get intense, and that has spread to tennis, too, which Smith said he introduced to his roommates this year as he began to play it more.
“I’m kind of changing them into tennis players as well,” Smith explained. “We get competitive when we play a lot.”
The pandemic is the cause for all four to miss out on the lacrosse season they and all fans expected. The pandemic has also made playing any contact sport a challenge. If there are two sports wonderfully tailored for the situation the current world find itself in, it’s golf and tennis.
For Smith, the initial reprieve from sports was tough. He has played sports throughout the entirety of his life, and to lose his sports structure at the snap of a finger meant coping and adjusting.
“I always played so many different sports growing up,” he said. “It was difficult not playing sports for a very long time, and with the pandemic, it’s been very difficult to even watch sports. You seem them now, but it’s been crazy, and these two sports are perfect. To be able to play these things and still keep your distance has been awesome.”
There is one major difference between golf and tennis and all the other sports Dhane Smith has ever played: they’re individual sports. That means when something goes wrong, it’s all on you, and there’s no question about it.
“You definitely can’t blame anybody else,” Smith said, jokingly. “It’s all on you. It makes you get that much more competitive to do your job.”