August 8th, 2016 – Lake Placid, NY
SPEED Lacrosse™ – Mr. Lacrosse Purist, are you certain this is just a little kids game?
The sounds of gear bag zippers, loud slaps on the back, crisp high fives, shouts of “stay in touch”, laughter and the question “you in next year?” on a loop. The sight of wide smiles and the limps of earned soreness. At 44 years old there is a keen sense of gratitude and accomplishment in playing 6 games at midfield in a competitive and full Super Masters Division. The Lake Placid Summit Classic is an obligatory experience for anyone that loves lacrosse. The event stands alone in its history, stature, diversity, competitiveness and celebratory family atmosphere.
The personal highlight was a week in the Adirondacks with my oldest son. Exploring the Ausable River, Whiteface Mountain, the High Peaks, downtown Lake Placid and attending nightly gatherings with Dad’s old friends all over the town. Lacrosse has a unique way of building and maintaining bonds between people. This particular bond with my sons brings me great joy and is much larger than a game. After all, relationships are life’s only true currency.
Monday being our travel day, we packed it up early and headed for Florida. Suddenly, our flight was cancelled. Sarcastic disappointment and big grins were on tap as we made our way to the ferry to Vermont and a great day in Burlington. Since we had started the week in Montreal, Quebec Canada, we ended up full circle. There is something simple and clean and permanent about time well spent in the north.
Finally, in flight, I got the time to reflect. I scratched the mental itch that was taking a back seat to my post tourney pride. How could any strain of disappointment or frustration sneak its way into a crack in this fantastic week?
Then my thoughts cleared up. That was a ton of running! I dodged 4 times, shot 5 times, grabbed 5 assists and snagged 10 or 11 groundballs. That was a ton of running for that many touches! It hit me – I love playing SPEED Lacrosse™.
SPEED Lacrosse™ is getting new and varied players rapidly introduced to the sport. Seasoned athletes are using it to sharpen and get better. But God alive, it’s just crazy fun. And if I’m going to run hard, particularly at 44, give me a big, heaping load of fun!
I want to possess the ball. I want to catch it, cradle it, whip it around, feed it, pick it up, tuck it in corners and all at full tilt. I’m surely biased as a co-founder of SPEED Lacrosse™, but this ain’t no sales pitch. This is me coming back from Lake Placid and thinking “that was a great week but the only thing that would have been better would be the on court matches of high-end, competitive SPEED.”
Many of the most experienced lacrosse minds can’t seem get their heads fully around it. Past experience sometimes clouds their perception of the future. The past and the future, however, are not always linear when contemplating what is best for today – right now. Hence, the value placed on great ideas – on problem solving disruption.
And of course it (SPEED Lacrosse™) has been around forever too (LOL). Yet I’ve never seen anyone leave a “short” sided, “small” ball game of any kind (mini goals, trash can, Chumash, tipped goals) gushing with sweat and the unbridled excitement associated with discovering something great.
Give me the consistently intense exercise tempo of basketball with the gluttony of touches, touches, and more touches. Go to speedlacrosse.com and visit our Affiliate’s page. Reach out and ask any of the adult leadership involved if they can resist playing when they are hosting SPEED. It is impossible. SPEED is a game that was created to be played. It just can’t be played too much. When you later throw a helmet on and play for your school or club SPEED has made you undeniably better. The rules of SPEED have morphed, been messaged, been tweaked, collaborated on, and endorsed by some of the game’s greatest players. The rules are fluidly meant to be.
Inside the company, we’ve always talked about SPEED being the perfect masters game. But we’ve been busy developing the back end and product for our Affiliates, Player Members, Scholastic and YMCA programs. While SPEED may not necessarily be a substitute for the masters’ field game it is most certainly an awesome option – a complementary game for certain. OK, maybe even a replacement once you get a taste of it for yourself.
Let me be athletic in smaller space without getting my deltoids discolored and dented by a recent Wall Street divorcee that just went through an IRS audit. I just want to play. I want to be rewarded for the combination of fitness and luck required to still be able to run full bore. I want to indulge in the stick skills that come with 30 years of playing lacrosse.
I’ll play on the field as long as possible but give me the SPEED Court™ too. Many event operators or lacrosse leaders are in good enough shape to experience it for themselves. Which of them are going to ease back the blinders and realize that while this game has not been around forever, from this day forward it most certainly will be. SPEED has arrived and it is just plain sticky.
SPEED Lacrosse™ isn’t “short” sided. SPEED Lacrosse™ isn’t “small” ball. SPEED Lacrosse™ is a sport – a sport for everyone – perhaps especially for the masters.
Who’s got next?