EDITOR’S NOTE: Lacrosse All Stars is proud to be a partner of the Give & Go Foundation. Co-founders Adam Ghitelman and Scott Ratliff will be profiled today on our website. Look for future content coming from each of these lacrosse greats!
The mission of the Give & Go Foundation is to “provide free lacrosse education and equipment donation for underserved lacrosse programs worldwide,” according to the Give & Go Foundation website.
It was founded on the belief that lacrosse, specifically organized lacrosse teams, “have the power to heal and help lacrosse communities grow closer together.”
The program features international clinics, coaching abroad and personal development programs and gear and equipment donations.
We wanted to know more about Give & Go co-founders Adam Ghitelman and Scott Ratliff, so we interviewed each of them with some questions about their involvement in lacrosse, and what their vision is for the Give & Go Foundation.
Today, we are sitting down with Scott Ratliff, who is a native of Georgia that played for Loyola University Maryland, the first player from Georgia to do so. Scott won a national championship with the Greyhounds in 2012, and was a co-captain during his junior and season season. Ratliff was drafted 9th overall in the 2013 MLL draft to the Boston Cannons. He currently is an athlete for the Premier Lacrosse league for the PLL Archers along with Ghitelman.
Below is the full transcript of our interview with Scott Ratliff:
Lacrosse All Stars: What is your age?
LAS: Where do you currently live?
SR: Atlanta, Georgia
LAS:Please describe the state of lacrosse in your area.
SR: Lacrosse has BOOMED into one of the most popular youth sports in Atlanta. From my perspective lacrosse has very much become apart of the mainstream culture for kids growing up in metro-Atlanta. This transformation from a very widely unknown sport to where it is now has occurred over the last 10 years.
LAS: What else do you like to do? (Work, hobbies, etc.)
SR: I like to read & write. I love trail running and training for professional lacrosse, and I like to spend time with my dog Mr. Leo.
LAS: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
LAS: What has been your history in lacrosse? (i.e. How did you start, where have you been since then, etc.)
SR: My father played lacrosse at the University of Maryland. For as long as I can remember I have owned a lacrosse stick and have loved this game. Outside of my family, lacrosse has made a bigger impact on my life than just about anything else.
LAS: How are you currently involved in lacrosse? (Player, coach, etc.)
SR: I play in the PLL.
Coach @ Greater Atlanta Christian School
Coach with Thunder LB3 Lacrosse Club
Coach with The Give & Go Foundation
LAS: What have you done to grow the sport in your current area?
SR: I have dedicated a majority of my post college life to growing the game of lacrosse in Atlanta. Through consistent training opportunities, sticks in schools programs, camps & clinics, bringing college and pro showcase games into the market.
LAS: What is the biggest obstacle for the growth of lacrosse in your area?
SR: Exposure to the game, and quality coaching … The lack of TV or mainstream media coverage has hurt the pace of growth in Atlanta and the lack of good experienced coaches in the area who also teach and can devote time to the growth of the game.
LAS: What has been your biggest accomplishment when it comes to growing the game?
SR: Founding the Give & Go Foundation with Adam Ghitelman. and being the first player ever from the state of Georgia to win a NCAA DI National Championship.
LAS: What inspires you about lacrosse the most?
SR: The spiritual & creative aspect of the sport, I am inspired by the roots of the sport and by the inner peace and joy my lacrosse stick brings to my life.
LAS: Do you have a favorite lacrosse team? Favorite player(s)? Please tell us who and why.
SR: My two favorite players are Brodie Merill and Ryan Boyle. Both are legends of the game that I idolized as a kid and had a chance to play with as a pro. They are the two best leaders I have been around at the Pro level.
LAS: If you could change one thing about our sport, what would it be and why?
BR: My hope is that the sport continues to grow in its diversity. I believe attracting more people from different races, ethnicities & backgrounds to the game will add massive value to the sport and to the people playing it.
LAS: What lessons and skills have you learned from the game of lacrosse?
SR: There are too many to name but Ill try:
Trust, teamwork, discipline, creativity, resilience, toughness, the importance of giving back, American history and so much more.
LAS: Why should someone take up the sport of lacrosse?
SR: It will be the best decision they have ever made. When you pick up a lacrosse stick you are not just learning a new game. You are entering into an incredibly powerful community of people who care for you, will support you, and will help drive you forward in your goals on and off the field. Lacrosse will serve as medicine and will bring you peace and comfort through your most difficult challenges in life.
LAS: What is your greatest lacrosse memory?
SR: Every experience I have in lacrosse is better than the last. But a really special memory for me was spending New Years Eve in Trelew Argentina with Adam Ghitelman and a handful of lacrosse players in Argentina. They treated us like family, we had a blast, we went somewhere we would NEVER have gone without lacrosse, and there we found the inspiration to start the Give & Go Foundation.
LAS: Where is the coolest place that you have traveled to play or coach lacrosse?
SR: Impossible to pick just one, I am so grateful to have gone to every country that lacrosse has brought me to and allowed me to give back to their communities.
Japan, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Nicaragua, Spain, Portugal, Canada, and the Hawaiian Islands (I know this isn’t a country).
LAS: What is your vision for the Give and Go Foundation?
SR: My vision for the Give & Go foundation is that it empowers lacrosse players all over the world to share this game, to share the values and the lessons that this game teaches and represents, and to ultimately make the world a better place through a connected and inspired community of lacrosse players.