We anticipate encountering mammoth egos. The expectation is for arrogance and entitlement.
What you actually end up getting is the complete opposite. The jerks, narcissists and bad apples have been weeded out on their way up the lacrosse food chain to the PLL. Like insufficient skill, or being too slow, being selfish or a ‘non-team player’ hinders a lacrosse player’s ability to climb to the PLL.
“One thing I was reminded of during the 2023 PLL season was the power of humility,” said Dana Boyle.
In a sports world where self-promotion is too often rewarded, humility is a refreshing and grounding force.
“Humility is a word that gets thrown around a lot within teams and organizations but spending time on the PLL sidelines this summer was full of moments watching players and coaches serve their teammates, peers and the game.”
Dana Boyle covers the PLL for ESPN and ABC as a field analyst/reporter. She played lacrosse at UVA.
PLL players have met the challenge of staying humble in the face of career success. Here are a few examples that resonated with Dana this summer:
“Tom Schreiber signing every autograph, greeting and taking selfies with each and every fan like they are the most important person in the room.”
“Trevor Baptiste donating $100 for every face-off win to support lacrosse in inner cities.”
“Nick Washuta without hesitation volunteered his backup stick for Brett Dobson to play with, after a string on Brett’s goalie stick broke mid-game in Dallas. Nick and PK worked on Brett Dobson’s game stick for an entire half of a game…only for him to use Nick’s backup stick for the remainder of the game. Archers won that contest by one goal.”
“Cannon goalie Adam Ghitelman’s endless passion to make those around him better and his investment in the success of second year pro Colin Kirst and his team despite his personal playing minutes likely not being where he wanted them to be.”
“Eric Law and his continued servanthood and dedication to Denver City Lax. A Hometown guy making the most of his platform with the Atlas in what was once considered a non-traditional hotbed of lacrosse. He had over 100 tickets allocated to Denver City lax members when the PLL came to Denver.”
“Cole Kirst not dressing during Week 5 in Fairfield, CT but instead was on the sidelines handing out WATERS during timeouts and stoppages in play. Fast forward to PLL Quarterfinals in Boston where he is on the active roster and was the last one on the practice field picking up balls and carrying the ball bag off the field.”
“Coach Bill Tierney offered his rain jacket and last granola bar to me during the stormy Denver PLL weekend delays. He literally took the jacket off his back for me to wear on the sidelines to evade the rain and wind.”
Leaders eat last.
“PLL executive Seth Tierney and McKenna Crilley always check in on me before, during and after every game, each and every weekend. Not to mention, Seth Tierney’s candy game is 10/10 which provided a much needed energy boost on the second day and second game of our doubleheader action!”
“Max Adler, not on the dress roster week one, driving from Buffalo through the early am hours after winning and celebrating the NLL title, just to be with his Chaos teammates on the sideline in Albany.”
No sleep. No problem. Just got to be with my guys. Small acts of kindness make a big difference.
People make the place. PLL player actions show an unwavering love of the game that extends beyond the X’s and O’s, the wins and the losses.
The same can be said for the coaches. The eight PLL coaches are genuinely honest, temperamentally balanced and contagiously optimistic.
“And the coaches — couldn’t be a greater group of guys. Treated me with respect and like their equal. THAT doesn’t always happen in other sports.”
It makes for one big happy family.
Humility is a source of strength and wisdom, allowing us to connect more deeply with others and to navigate the complexities of life and lacrosse with grace and humility.
Adding a dash of humility to what you do, will set you free.
Quint Kessenich covers lacrosse for ESPN and LaxAllStars. His podcast is available in the media section of the website. Follow him on X @QKessenich