Coach Brett Miller - Making the TEAM

Coming to Liberty has been an awesome experience. The campus is beautiful, the professors are extraordinary and the students are unique. Liberty has many successful teams on campus and lacrosse is just one of them. In the past three years, the Liberty Flames Men’s Lacrosse team has finished top 25 in the nation. They haven’t lost at home in three seasons and have had players selected for All-Conference and All-American multiple years in a row. Liberty is a part of the MCLA Division 1 league and plays in the SELC. With the team possessing attractive accomplishments, I knew I was going to have to work hard if I wanted to be on the team.

September 1st marked day one of a three-day tryout process. Emotions of nervousness, curiosity and anxiety blanketed over me as I walked onto the field. The first thing coach said to everyone was “Don’t worry about putting your equipment on, all you need is your cleats today.” From there, people looked left and right at each other and murmurs of the dreaded conditioning test arose.

 

Finals-6

The first day of tryouts consisted of an hour of strength, agility and speed testing. All players were split up into three groups where we went around to different stations being tested on our shuttle run, broad jumps and medicine ball swings/throws. What followed after that series of tests is one thing I’ve never experienced before, the conditioning test.

 

I’ve always thought I was in decent shape but I quickly learned that I could be in better shape. The conditioning test was a format of short and long distance sprints that had to be completed within a specific time.

300 yard sprints in under 52 seconds (3 times).

200 yard sprints (4 times).

50 yard sprints (8 times).

Finally, eight 50 yard sprints were to be ran within seven seconds, each time. After what felt like a lifetime of running, simply put, I was tired. Despite being drained mentally and physically, I was ready to come back for day two and show the coaches what I had to offer.

Day two was the bulk of the tryout where you would make or break your chances of making the team. Everything from simple ground balls and shooting drills were scheduled. Throughout day two, I was constantly reminding myself of two things: 1. Leave everything on the field, and, 2. Have fun! The moment lacrosse isn’t something I enjoy and love doing is the moment I need to change something.

 

Finals-2

 

 

 

Day three was a full scrimmage and a final day for the coaches to decide who they wanted to bring onto the team. At the end of day three, the coaches sat us down, talked about the tryouts as a whole and let us know that we would find out whether we made the team by midnight that night. Walking away from the tryout I felt confident in some areas and fearful in others. Overall I felt I had a 50/50 chance of making the team so from the moment I walked off the field until 11:57 that night, many thoughts ran through my head wondering if I could have done something better to help my chances. At 11:57 pm, my phone buzzed and the long wait for an email from coach was over. As I read the email communicating that I made the team, I was filled with joy and happiness. Hard work always pays off in the end.