Lacrosse is one of Nathaniel Whittle’s favorite sports because it is high intensity, fun to play, and can promote a host of health benefits for its players. Additionally, Nathaniel Whittle speaks to how lacrosse teaches players skills that will be valuable throughout their personal and professional development.
Learning to work with people of other backgrounds, skillsets, and personality types inevitably means that players need to learn how to play an effective role in their team and support one another. After all, coaches and players want to be in the company of people who want to win and want to be the best for their teams.
Here, Nathaniel explores a few of the traits that lacrosse teaches its players- as well as why they are important on and off the field.
It is true that just about any team sport emphasizes the importance of teamwork in pursuit of a goal. Nathaniel believes that lacrosse takes this to the next level for several reasons. For example, it can be difficult to be a one-man army in a game of lacrosse. The length of the field, number of players on the team, intensity of the sport, and its physicality mean that those who try to take on too much can be quickly dispatched.
Lacrosse players learn early on how to respect our limitations and find out how we can bring value to our team. The best lacrosse teams are filled with players of different talents and preferences for playing all working together to uplift each other to victory. Off the field, teamwork remains an important skillset because there are many tasks throughout our lives that will involve working productively with others.
Communicating in lacrosse is an important factor of winning games. In games that move quickly, the field is run by individuals who can assess situations and communicate with their teammates accordingly. Nathaniel recognizes that there are many different elements of communicating, whether it be on the sidelines or the field. The best players learn the quickest and most effective ways to communicate with their teammates during even the most intense moments of the game.
Remember that great lacrosse games are not always won by the team with the best individual players. Instead, they are usually won by the team that can communicate and adapt in tandem with each other most effectively. Things are very similar off the field as well. Communicating effectively helps ensure that you always get the correct point across, which is excellent for working together to tackle even life’s toughest situations.
Perseverance and Resilience
It is no secret that lacrosse can be a tough sport- both physically and mentally. One of the most important skillsets that lacrosse instills in players is the ability to persevere under pressure. Reason being players that are only effective in winning situations are a dime a dozen. Coaches and sports institutions are always on the lookout for players that can focus on the tasks at hand and the greater good of the team under even the worst circumstances. We will all encounter obstacles on our path to becoming better players and people. Sometimes you can do everything right and still experience a tough loss. Learning from experiences, staying motivated in tough times, and always being ready to give your best performance are all great skills that lacrosse instills for on and off the field.
There is no “I’ in team, but lacrosse does still teach important leadership values that can help us with our personal development. One way that the sport does so is by showing players that there are a variety of effective ways to lead. Some players lead by example, rallying the team to play at their best by showing up ready to leave it all on the field. Some inspire leadership both through their playstyle and by always remaining encouraging, both telling and showing other players that they are valuable members of the team.
Leadership is a great skill to learn early because it can be valuable in all types of situations. If you are winning, it is crucial to keep morale and the level of play high to keep it that way. During losing games, proper leadership can turn the tide and give your team the opportunity to take the lead. Nathaniel acknowledges that leadership skills remain relevant off the field because they empower us to refine our own potential while also helping to uplift those around us. People recognize and look up to positive leaders and knowing when and how to lead is critical for personal and professional development.