Three Questions for Carol Cantele

[Editor’s Note: From time to time we will feature a short Q&A with an IWLCA member coach. The format will be one question about lacrosse, one question about life, and one fun question.]

Q&A with Carol Cantele, Head Coach, Gettysburg College, @GburgWlax

1 – Describe a team you’ve coached that “overachieved” on the field and how you thought they did it.

Without question, the team that “overachieved” on the field was the 2011 team that went on to win the National Championship on a magical weekend in Long Island! With ten talented senior starters having graduated in 2010, we were uncertain of how far this team could go and we considered asking the team to set more realistic goals. Good thing we didn’t because they set the bar high and went after it! They believed in themselves despite the obvious inexperience that this particular group had going into the season. The difference maker was the leadership displayed by our small senior class of 3 – an unshakeable confidence and competitive mindset that anything is possible! The team was unwavering in their belief of themselves and of each other. It was a pretty cool thing to witness and one I will long remember. I was just along for the ride and what a journey it was!

Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Athletic Communications
Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Athletic Communications

2 – What is one lesson you’ve learned over the course of your coaching career that you wish you had learned earlier?

I have learned many lessons over the course of my coaching career; too many to count, actually! Many of these lessons have been shared with me from my mentors and colleagues and many have been learned from trial and error. The one lesson I wish that I had learned earlier is that “Less is More!” In the early part of my coaching career I micro-managed everything. I over planned. I over coached. I got caught up too much in the details. I worked way too many hours. I planned for every situation that could possibly occur. Practices were too long with drills lasting longer than needed.

I would like to think that I have changed (guess my colleagues would have to weigh in on this). Working smarter, not harder is the new mantra. While we still feel like we prepare the team well and that they are ready for each competition, we also work towards keeping it simple!  It’s a simple game, right! Less is More.

3 – Your season just ended and you have your first day off in what seems like forever – how do you spend the day and with whom?

That is easy but it does require teleportation because I wouldn’t want to spend my first day off on a long car ride (after a season of bus rides) or in an airport but…this “outside of Philly” girl would head “down the shore” to my happy place….Ocean City, NJ. I would start the day with a nice cup of WAWA coffee on the beach, listening to the waves and watching the sand pipers get their morning workout in as they dart in and out of the surf hunting for breakfast. I would follow this with a long bike ride through the Gardens and on the Boardwalk and explore all the new construction since my last visit. Next would be serious beach time with a good novel (a break from all those leadership books, etc) while hubby, Mike casts his line into the surf to see if anything bites. The day would close with a trip to one of our Somers Point watering holes for a cold beverage (or two) and some fun eats!  With our Phillies playing in the background and great tunes playing on the juke box, or better yet, live music… the day is complete! I would love to be surrounded by friends and family and I count my coaching staff in that mix – that is if they feel still like hanging out with me at that point!

2 thoughts on “Three Questions for Carol Cantele

  1. Love this lady! She is a top notch Coach who I have tons of respect for! Think about it..she is coaching young ladies. That in itself can lead to all kinds of medical issues..haha! I have 3-I am allowed to say that! Anyway-she helps to shape and mold these ladies at a time in their life when USUALLY it is all about them, right? I LOVE EVERY ONE OF THESE ladies, but its true! Carol has a magic touch and she is also a realist. She knows that they have to spread their wings, be snappy at times, be a pain some times and still she knows what she can get out of them on the field. You go, Carol!! Hey-enjoy that beach!


  2. Coach Cantele helps her players on and off the field. She has molded her girls into successful and confident women who take the life lessons she has taught them and achieved great success after college. Many of her players have gone on to successful coaching careers of their own having been inspired by Coach Cantele on a daily basis. Coach Cantele is a daily example of how hard work on the field can lead to success in lacrosse and in life after college.


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