A Viewer’s Guide to “Lax-May-Hem”

By Kelly Gallagher, Head Coach, University of Tampa @TampaWLax

Move over, March. It’s my kind of madness time, Lax-May-HEM!

   Photo courtesy of University of Tampa Athletics.

Until an un-named sports media outlet gets it together and puts my favorite sport, let alone the NCAA tournament, on ALL the time, here’s my Lax-May-Hem gift to you – a viewer’s guide to watching tournament lacrosse!

  1. Athleticism. Not only are the teams running up and down the field as fast as they can, , they are whipping a small hard rubber ball at each other at the same time. You will see changes of direction on a dime, great defensive stops, fast break goals, and the strength and smarts to win the draw. Take just a moment to enjoy the pure athleticism that it takes to play our game.
  2. Stick Tricks. Throwing the ball behind your back or shooting mid-stride through your own legs? Those aren’t exactly basic skills. So, keep your eye out for something jaw-dropping! If you want to be impressed by creativity, google Kylie Ohlmiller from Stony Brook on YouTube. I dare you not to be floored!
  3. Upsets. I’m looking at you Navy & Boston College. Teams that use the post-season as a new season. You are awesome! All student- athletes work incredibly hard all year. My favorite part is watching the teams that really come alive in the tournament.
  4. Sidelines. Take a gander at the sidelines if you get a chance. First and foremost, I always watch the coaches. I love to see which coaches stand in the same place, which ones run up and down alongside the play, and what happens after a great play or a not so great one! Next, I love watching all the different ways teams interact and celebrate each other. And, you can always amuse yourself by those two kids that are doing something that makes you wonder…
  5. Love of the game. Ok, so this may be a little cheesy but, remember that the young women you are watching are true amateur athletes. There (currently) is no promise of some multi-million-dollar contract to come after the season or their collegiate career is over. Our athletes spend eight months preparing for their four-month season. And those four months FLY BY. If you want to see athletes who love their game, stream a lacrosse game… or better yet, travel to Salem, VA or Foxboro, MA to watch one in person this weekend!

Ok, now it’s time to go watch some games – remember to buy your tickets for the NCAA Championships! Get out to Foxboro & Salem everyone!

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