Find out what it takes to actually walk in the cleats of a NCAA DI women’s lacrosse player. This year, the Dolphins of Jacksonville University are opening up the doors to not only their fancy new athletic facility, but into the lives of the women on the team.
They’re shooting their own film, telling their own stories, and making sure their picture is painted the right way. They know authenticity is key for any narrative and they believe the next step in the program’s growth is to take a honest examination of their progress. Lucky for us they’re willing to do it on video.
Aptly named “Inside the Pod”, the self-produced series is focused on a group that lives, works, socializes, and grows together. Exactly like a pod of dolphins in nature. From the preseason through playoffs, we’re diving in with the Dolphins through 2019.
“We’ve always strived to be original. It’s in our DNA to grow the sport and put good quality information out there specific to women’s lacrosse. With the advent of the quick highlight reel going super-social on the men’s side, we thought that space was a little crowded. We wanted to provide content that showed what it was actually like to be a women’s Division I student-athlete at a mid-major school. Almost 80% of the universities that sponsor the sport are mid-major, so this is the life that most kids live. We hope people who aren’t lacrosse people can find value in looking at the series. We also hope men’s programs watch as there is a lot of interaction between our men’s and women’s programs and a great deal of respect for one another. Unfortunately this is not always the case. But John Galloway and his program are our partners in growing the game here.” – Mindy McCord, Head Coach
The Dolphins have won an unprecedented five of their last six conference titles, in all six years that the Atlantic Sun has featured women’s lacrosse. This year, they’ll face two new teams in conference play; Kent State and Liberty both visit Jacksonville. Before they get there, they’ll look outside the NCAA for a preseason scrimmage, hosting Team Scotland on 2/12 to get into gear.
For a program that’s already experienced so much success on the field, you could think that their abilities make the team more than attractive to potential recruits and new fans. The entire coaching staff is on the same page about featuring an open an honest product about the lives of their student-athletes in the hopes of continuing to attract the right kind of personalities for their campus.
“You can expect honesty and a close look at the real lives that our players live and insights into the culture that we’ve been building over the past nine years. It’s really a rags to riches story when you consider how our programs got started. We will talk about that and how important it is for us to remain humble and blue collar in the midst of moving into a brand new facility, the JLC. We are taking great care to show the actual experience of our student-athletes. This is something that is deeper than a logo or something external like going to a football or basketball game on campus. It’s a “deep dive” with the dolphins as we say.” – Paul McCord
But it’s more than just a team telling their own story. They’re telling the stories of women’s lacrosse players everywhere. They love their sport and the people playing it. By creating Inside the Pod, the Dolphins are doing their part to continue growing the game by exposing its various elements through unique mediums.
“We want to grow interest in NCAA women’s sports and in women’s lacrosse in particular. It’s a game we love. It’s a life we live. There is 0 balance in it. It’s a huge passionate life that we share together here at JU. We also hope people sit up and pay attention to what it means to have a good program overall. Not just winning titles, but mentoring the lives of athletes while they grind on their classes, workouts, extra studying and socially too.” – Paul McCord
Look out for episode two dropping before the Dolphins take on UC Davis to open the season on 2/15. At least five of the Jacksonville home games will be available to stream live on ESPN this season, check out their entire schedule to keep up.