Rorke Denver was the keynote speaker for this year’s US Lacrosse National Convention in Baltimore, MD. Denver was an All-American defender at Syracuse, and the program won two titles while he was on the team. After school, Denver found his way to the United States Navy SEALs, where he served, and later trained, in one of the most elite fighting forces on the face of the planet.
Denver also had a role in the film Act Of Valor, and has written a popular book titled, Damn Few – Making The Modern Seal Warrior. He is also a public speaker and makes appearances around the country.
I wasn’t 100% sure as to what to expect from Rorke Denver’s speech to the US Lacrosse crowd, but I knew it would have to do with two things: 1) lacrosse, and 2) the Navy SEALs. Personally, I always find it tricky to talk about war and sport in the same breath, but I have a strong feeling that this has a lot to do with the fact that I do not know war. So while I was curious to hear what Rorke Denver had to say on the subject matter, I was really focused on how we could merge the two.
I’m glad I kept an open mind, because Rorke Denver delivered in a major way. He talked about training, about calm being contageous, and about keeping revenge off the table, even in the most emotional of circumstances. He talked about mental toughness and how important it is in everything we do. He made comparisons between war and lacrosse, but was also quite strong in his opinion that there were major differences between the two.
Rorke Denver wasn’t all rah-rah, or in your face. He was honest, self-effacing, humble, and forthright. He told you what he thought, and why he thought it, but he also seemed very open to new ideas. I was incredibly impressed by his delivery, and he did a great job of seamlessly mixing serious topics with moments of levity.
If you have the chance to see Rorke Denver speak, I highly recommend it. For a short preview of what you’ll get, check out the video above! Thanks to Rorke Denver for addressing the crowd at the Convention, and thanks to US Lacrosse for bringing him in. Awesome choice!
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