September 19, 2012

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MLL Record Holder Leveille Talks Finishing Inside

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

What I Do

Be a Real Bro

Kevin (left) and Mike Leveille honed their talents growing up playing in the backyard and in "monster games with the whole neighborhood," Kevin said.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

My brother Mike and I spent countless hours in the backyard together. Early in our childhood, we had monster games with the whole neighborhood [Delmar, N.Y.]. It was mayhem. Later on, when I was in college and home for the summer, it was just the two of us — a couple hours a day. Later on, we got to play together with the Chicago Machine, which I tried to orchestrate forever. We didn't really know what to expect our first practice together. But within the first couple drills, we weren't sharing the ball with anyone else. We just kept connecting, making one play after the other. It was unreal. It was probably the coolest experience I've ever had in lacrosse.

Kick Some Ice

I played hockey for longer than lacrosse until I reached college. I still love the game. I started skating when I was 4 or 5. We didn't have a lacrosse program then. My dad started it when I was 8. So I had a three-year jump in hockey. It's fun because it's fast, high scoring and intense — just like lacrosse. We had ridiculous hockey games in our basement. When I go down there now, I still have no clue how those happened. There definitely were some broken pieces down there — walls, windows and whatnot.

Pick up the Garbage

I've scored a number of junk goals in my career. A lot of my hand-eye coordination and toughness comes from hockey. But half the battle is being there — in the right place, at the right time. We had this awesome drill at UMass called "Clear the Crease" with two attackmen and two long poles on the crease with our backs toward the midline. Coach would dump a ball into the goalie, and he would bounce it out for a rebound. The two offensive guys would scrap against the two defensive guys. There were no rules. The defensemen would hammer and hack you. It became about pride and toughness.

My Guilty Pleasure

I love chicken wings. I try not to eat them, but I have trouble staying away. There's a place in Syracuse called Wings, and there was one of those at UMass, so I like going there. I usually prefer bone-in, old-school traditional wings. Extra crispy with blue cheese; not too fat or squeaky. My threshold for heat has increased lately. Wings has five levels of buffalo hot sauce — Wimpy, Cruisin Altitude, Red Alert, Jet Fuel and Afterburner. I'm working my way up to Afterburner. I'm starting to like that burning feeling a little bit.

My Free Time

I like music and movies. When I'm working at the home office and doing emails, I always have music going. I'm a big Wes Anderson movie guy. The last movie I watched was A Simple Twist of Fate with Steve Martin from the early 1990s. It was pretty good. I like going to concerts. My last concert was Phish at Madison Square Garden. I went with my brother, Mike. It was awesome. The Garden is our favorite arena, because we're die-hard Rangers fans, and our favorite band rocking in there.

My Go-To Drill

From my days in the backyard with my brother, Mike, we used to jump in the net and take turns playing goalie, using tennis balls since they don't hurt too much. Every 10 goals, switch who shoots. Playing goalie helped me become a better shooter, and seeing him react to my shots helped too. Mike was pretty bad at goalie, and I'd smoke him, so I'd end up playing goalie most of the time. But we had some good battles.

A version of this article appears in the September 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.


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