Perfect Positioning Tips from Denver's Jesse Schwartzman
A version of this article appears in the September 2013 issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.
WHAT I DO
Juggle Anything I Can Find
During the season, I try to keep my body healthy. I'm not taking as many shots during the week. I rely on the weekend practices, shoot-around and game mostly. But I do a lot of footwork and hand-eye drills during the week: wall ball, juggling, jumping rope, different box drills just to keep my feet quick and eye-hand coordination good. I juggle lacrosse balls, tennis balls, beanbags, oranges —whatever is around.
Scout Teams, Not Players
Between college and pro, I've played against most MLL players. I don't as much scout shooters as the team's offense as a whole. I have all the games on my DVR and usually watch on the Thursday or Friday before I head out of town the team that we're playing that week. I watch for where most of their shots are coming from. I don't like to scout the shooters as much because then I'll be thinking too much in the goal. If you're thinking, then you're going to get beat.
Hope for Good Travel
The games might be the easiest part of the league. Sometimes you're just hoping your sticks and bags get there. I haven't had that bad of an experience, though. I usually fly from Denver to Baltimore on Southwest. My first year in the league, I met the Denver guys in Rochester for championship weekend and the flight got cancelled in Chicago, so they ended up renting a bus, driving 14 hours. Our bags didn't come, so guys were stringing sticks the morning of the game. Our jerseys never came so we wore practice shirts and pinnies as our jerseys for the game.
My Pre-Game Ritual
Once we break the huddle after the anthem, I run out to the top of the arc and run down to the goal, tap the pipes and point up. I've been doing that forever.
My Alter Ego
If I weren't a goalie, I'd probably be a roving attackman, like a Chris Bocklet style, with a mid-range game and inside moving off ball.
I've always had some trouble with Kyle Dixon. He has such a quick release and he can bring it high and low from the same spot.
Brian Carcaterra from Hopkins. I loved his energy and passion.
Brian Dougherty from Maryland. Both of my parents went to Maryland
and my brother played there. I kind of grew up a Maryland fan. We
have the same body type and styles of play. He was loud and very
energetic. And Greg Cattrano was just a winner from the time he
joined the league.