JJ Gilbane: Behind-the-Scenes at Cornell
Hey guys, my name is JJ Gilbane and I am a senior midfielder at Cornell University. I am from Rumford, Rhode Island and am studying Urban and Regional Studies at school while gearing up for my senior spring up here in Ithaca, New York. I will be blogging throughout the season here on LaxMagazine.com, giving you insight on our team as we progress through practices, games, and life as a Cornell lacrosse player.
We started up in mid-August when our team got back to campus and began captain's practice in anticipation of fall ball. These are some of the most fun days that we have; everyone coming back from a long time apart, finally getting to come together and start throwing the ball around. The weather up here was still nice, so trips to the gorges to cliff jump, swim, and float on tubes were a high priority while outdoor activities were still an option. Shortly after classes start up we began to start team workouts with our conditioning coach, Tom Howley, who always gets us pumped up to get back after it. We also began our fall practices, which were limited to a total of 12 throughout the semester due to Ivy League rules. We had two practices and three lifts a week, with one of our practices being Wednesday mornings, bright and early, in the locker room at 4:45 am.
This fall I thought we had great effort and great enthusiasm throughout all of our workouts and practices, but we were disappointed with the effort we put forth when we went down to Ridley, Pennsylvania to play in the annual Nick Colleluori Collegiate Classic. Once we returned from the tournament we had film sessions every week to watch every second of every game to review and learn from each play that was made over the weekend.
Once we wrapped up fall ball we began individual sessions with the coaches and box lacrosse, as well as continuing our strength and conditioning program. Unlike many other Division I teams we are not allowed to practice year-round, and are only allowed to have team workouts and individual sessions with one coach and six players at a time during the winter. We would have three workouts a week, with two individual sessions a week, which included one skill session, and one live dodging session. For the skill sessions the offense would do shooting individuals where we would do shooting drills for about an hour and the defense would work on their footwork. To help the defenders, [Head] coach [Ben] Deluca and [assistant] coach [Paul] Richards would leave the sticks in the locker room and bring out a football, having one player on offense running routes and one player on defense to work on their footwork. This all occurred while the jealous offensive players sprinted tirelessly, shooting and sweating, making the offense extremely envious of the defensive sessions.
We also had indoor lacrosse, which we played Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 7 a.m., where we would draft teams and go at it. This is a time where the Canadians are in heaven, showing off their skills and showing that having only one hand can actually work. The teams that we split up into for the winter session are used for everything we do from the box lacrosse scores, to the grades we get, and the workouts we do. Each team will be given a certain amount of points for the events that they win and at the end of the winter a champion will be crowned and receive a trophy and new sweatshirts. My team, the Stray Cats, is still in the hunt for the famous "Winter Warriors" trophy with my co-caption Chip Daugherty.
That's all I have for this week. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, hope you enjoyed it, and stay tuned for the next blog coming up soon.
All the best,