Grow the Game®

pride and character New York Lizards vs. Charlotte Hounds 6.21.14 Photo Credit: Casey Kermes
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Hot Pot: Pride and Character

I’ve been working lacrosse camp again this week, and each day, we come up with a word of the day. On day one, Dom DiNapoli (assistant coach at St. John’s University) gave us the word CHARACTER. On day two, Dom’s brother Steve (who plays for the NY Lizards) gave us the word PRIDE. Both words have something to do with one another, but they also have their own nuance.

Photo Credit: Casey Kermes


Dom defined character as what you do when no one is looking. Its’ the stuff that YOU know about, but other probably do not. It’s the big things, the little things, and everything in between.

If it’s lunch break, and you’re getting in extra shots, are you doing so overhand? Are you practicing the skills you just learned? Or are you shooting sidearm, like you usually do?

If there is a camp-wide ball hunt, do you run off and look for balls? Or pick up the ones closest to the bucket and in front of the coaches? Do you come back with 8 balls right away and then stop? Or do you find 8 balls, and then find 3 more?

Perhaps you threw a lacrosse ball on the field. Perhaps that ball went slightly astray, and hit another player or coach. Do you laugh with your friends? Do you act like you had nothing to do with it? Or do you walk up to the person and apologize?

If one of the other kids at camp, or on your team, is struggling, do you belittle them? Or do you find ways where you can help them become a better player? Someone has helped you learn, so will you in turn help others?


Pride could be the same thing as Character, but it was defined in a slightly different way by Steve. Pride relates to what we all do, and how we do it. It has to do with why we are “here”, and why we do anything in life.

Pride for Steve was all about doing things right. Success comes from consistently doing things correctly, so that was this DeNapoli’s key word of the day. Good rationale!

Pride means practicing hard, and for no reason other than you want to be there. Pride means running and lifting because you want to do it. Pride means that you and your teammates KNOW how much work you’re putting in, and you believe in what you’re doing. It’s not something that comes and goes. Pride has to be a 24-7 thing, and it’s constantly something to work on.

When you look out on your team, or your efforts, are you really happy with where you’re at? Are you consistently doing things the right way? Do you want success? Take pride in what you do, and how you live, and you’ll be just fine.

It can be hard to be honest with yourself, but that is what real pride is all about!

Word Of The Day

I can’t wait to find out what today’s Word Of The Day will be. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be excellent and inspiring. I hope that my short query into Pride and Character has got you thinking… what would be YOUR Word Of The Day? And how would you define it?

Subscribe to the LaxAllStars YouTube Channel for more with the New York Lizards’ Steve DeNapoli!