I met Lizzie (from London) in Prague when we played lacrosse together in the Prague Cup this past summer. She’d asked me to bring her a copy of my book, which she read during our 10 days of adventure and lacrosse playing in Berlin and Prague. We spoke about my philosophies as a coach and her past experiences with other coaches and teams. Though we couldn’t get around her eligibility issues in the end, I tried to recruit her to come play for me, because she is truly amazing as a person and a lacrosse player. Every so often you meet someone and immediately know you’ve just been introduced to someone who is going to do big things and you can feel the excitement for them (even if they don’t know it!)
Lizzie wrote a blog post about her recent year of adventures and included a part about our trip, being recruited and her impression of playing for me and reading my book. Thank you Lizzie for sharing this point of view. It’s why I do what I do and why I do it the way I do it. Love of the game, my athletes, the process, the challenges… Love is always out in front leading the way. It keeps me from burning out at a stressful job so that I can continued to be fulfilled in my work, but it also makes the lives of my players richer when they see how love can change everything for them too.
I hope every recruit who comes to play for me feels this way.
Lizzie: “I remembered the reasons why I had finally closed the door on going to the USA for college to begin with: the improbability of me getting recruited from my side of the pond, the lack of rapport or relationship with a coach, and the risk that even if I could address those two things, the risk of moving halfway around the world to be under the leadership of someone who lacked kindness would not be a smart move for me.
And kindness, I have learnt in this one year, is the key ingredient I need to be my best self. I don’t know if it’s a Lizzie thing, or a human thing, I imagine both, but if it is such a human thing, why is there such a lack of it? Kindness is a frustratingly rare gift and the most underrated, untalkedabout, character trait. Everyone who has inspired me and lead me forward in the last twelve months has been inherently kind. My physiotherapist, Steph, Janine Tucker, and my super helpful, encouraging contacts from Laxcon, Danielle, my former boss from St Mary’s who took me out for coffee a few times after Birmingham collapsed to make sure I was OK, all my friends who’s ridden out this roller coaster with me – kindness kindness kindness.
I don’t think I can even listen to someone who isn’t kind, even if they are brilliant. I need so much kindness from others, and I especially need it from my self. Kate’s book, ultimately is about kindness. It looks like it’s about how to be a great coach, how to motivate, how to build a positive culture where every member feels valued and is growing, encouraged and enjoying themselves, and it is about that stuff, but the foundation for all of that stuff is always, always kindness, compassion, and love. I knew she was my coach the more I got lost in the pages, and best of all she’d come to find me. She was describing everything lacrosse had been missing for me that ached so badly. We talked about what she saw in me as an athlete – a conversation that no one has had with me before, ever – and how I’d fit into the team given my extra years. If there was any way I could make this thing work, I had to do it.”
Lizzie is not only an incredible lacrosse player, she is also a brilliant writer. Check out her new blog at https://lizzielightning.wordpress.com/
You’ll be able to say you followed her before she made it big, which is undoubtedly her future.