The holidays are here with plenty of tidings of comfort and joy as well as yuletide cheer for all the good people of the world. It is the season of celebration and gift giving as 2019 reaches its end and lacrosse players, parents, and coaches can take a break at least for a few days in the hectic schedule of pro, college, club, high school, and youth lacrosse.
It is a great chance to take a break after a busy year and enjoy time with friends and family. To show our love and appreciation for those close to us with meaningful gifts that we hope bring a smile to their faces.
We can also begin to prepare for the upcoming college season with Inside Lacrosse’s version of “Twelve Days of Laxmas”
Lacrosse players will probably be celebrating Christmas or “Laxmas” hoping for a new stick, stringing kit, or gloves under the tree in preparation for their upcoming season.
I remember as a kid not being able to sleep Christmas night eagerly waiting for the morning. As my family got up, I went running into my living room to see the outline of a lacrosse stick in wrapping paper under the tree. I ripped off the wrapping paper as fast as I could to receive my first shiny new stick that was all mine and not borrowed. I immediately started to try and break in the pocket as stiff hard mesh was the norm 15 or so years ago. I ran the mesh under hot water and then stuck a ball with a butter knife through the sidewalls to stretch the pocket. I raced outside before it was dry to play wall ball in the snow because I couldn’t wait to try it out.
I’m sure every lacrosse player can relate as that feeling of getting a new stick for the first time, especially on Christmas, was something magical. The first stick that is truly your own. The stick you play your first ever lacrosse games with it, scored your first goal with it, and by trial and error learned to use it the right way.
I look back fondly on those memories as they were key to fueling my passion for lacrosse. As I began taking faceoffs in high school I needed to replace my sticks more often and the novelty of getting a new stick began to fade. In college, I became spoiled as I got two sticks a year and replacement heads when they broke when I needed them.
This time of year it’s also important to think of ways to help other who aren’t as fortunate.
On Laxmas, I would encourage anyone who can to donate old lacrosse equipment your local sports store, youth ot high school teams in your area, or donate it online to places like Sideline Swap, Harlem Lacrosse, or other non-profit organizations helping to spread lacrosse. Pass on the equipment that gave you so much joy so that someone else can experience the same magic that you felt.
You can make an impact in other ways too by playing catch with your younger cousins or the neighbor kids at the family Christmas party. Give back to your high school or youth team by asking to help out at a practice or skills session when their seasons start up. Help inspire the next generation with Christmas/Laxmas cheer. Remember that to be able to play, coach, and watch lacrosse is a gift.
I hope all the young lacrosse players out there get the mesh, stick, gloves, or their favorite college, NLL, MLL, or PLL player’s jersey they were wishing for under the tree and are already dreaming of a year of fun in the backyard with friends and scoring the game winning goal for their team.
Merry Christmas/Laxmas from everybody at Powell Lacrosse.