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Pros Tell All: How to Make the Most of Your Time as a College Athlete
As we look ahead to the 2020 season, we sat down with a few elite players to reflect on their stellar college careers and how they made the most of their time as college lacrosse stars.
Ronbeck (University of Florida), Dempsey Arsenault (Boston College), and Kenzie Kent (Boston College) looked back on their memorable experiences on the field, and shared some wisdom for those just settling into life as a college student-athlete:
Be ready to hit the ground running.
Lindsey Ronbeck, Attack, University of Florida Gators (‘19 alum)
The biggest thing you can do going into your freshman year is prepare. Take the summer before to do the workout packet, work on your agility, and do tons of wall ball. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel. Confidence is key when trying to perform at your highest. When you come to every practice and workout giving 110%, it shows your dedication to your team and coaches.
Play like 2019 AAC Attacker of the Year Lindsey Ronbeck with the Crux 600.
Dempsey Arsenault, Midfield, Boston College Eagles (‘19 alum)
Be in amazing shape. It’s so important to be at the top of your game so you can give your best effort at every practice. You also need to be coachable. You should be ready to accept both praise and constructive criticism, and be prepared to take direction in order to improve as a player and leader.
Kenzie Kent, Attack, Boston College Eagles (‘19 alum)
Do the little things right and hold yourself accountable. Listen to your coach and teammates so you can improve as an individual and as a team. Focus on what you can control — like being a good teammate and working hard!
Take strategic risks.
Always be willing to take on whatever challenge comes your way. Of course that’s much easier said than done, but you’d be surprised at how much more you will grow by taking the right risks to build the confidence you need both on and off the field.
Check out the stick that MVP Dempsey Arsenault used to win the WPLL Championship — the Exult 600.
Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to speak up or voice your opinion. Everyone around you has been in your position before and, chances are, lots of other people are thinking the same thing you are. Everyone is there not only to succeed individually, but also to help each other succeed.
Take the time to learn something about every person on your team. The more connected you feel with the entire team, the quicker you become comfortable and are able to be yourself. Being unapologetically yourself will allow people to respect who you are as a person and player.
Leave it all on the field.
Find a positive in every practice or workout session with your team. Remember that you're so lucky to be in the position you’re in — you’ve worked so hard to get there, so let the opportunity fuel your motivation. When you aren’t in the mood to practice or lift, choose not to complain and remind yourself that every effort is part of the process of getting you where you want to go.
Get First Team All-American Kenzie Kent’s set-up here.
Some advice, especially for seniors, is to never take a day for granted. I know it seems generic, but I always kept it top of mind. I went into every practice ready to work hard and get better, and I left Florida feeling as though I gave the team and my coaches everything I had. If you don’t give 100% effort, 100% of the time, you’ll have regrets when it’s all over. Leave nothing to regret.
Take a deep breath and appreciate every moment.
It’s easy to say in hindsight, but really, appreciate every moment. It all goes by so fast that sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and appreciate how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come. Be thankful for every moment because so many players want to be in your shoes.
Someone told me this during my final year at Florida (and I wish I was reminded earlier) — this is the same game I’ve been playing since I was five years old. Yes, the sport has changed and the pace of the game is much faster, but stop overthinking every little thing you do and just play! Focus on being in the moment, and you’ll have so much more fun, feel more relaxed and be more confident.
BONUS...We asked Kent, Arsenault and Ronbeck to let us in on some of their favorite college memories. Here’s what they had to say:
My favorite memory would have to be playing in the Final Four in Gillette. It was the first time BC Lacrosse had ever gone to the Final Four, and it couldn’t have been more special that it was in Massachusetts.
Beating UNC in double OT to make it to the 2019 National Championship!
It’s so hard for me to pick one memory. I had the most amazing four years at Florida and made so many friendships that will last a lifetime. I think that’s my favorite memory — the whole thing. The friends, coaches, laughs, cries and everything else in between.
Seriously though, soak up EVERY minute! When the season’s over, here are all the things you’ll miss.