Women’s Lacrosse: playing with heart

Jackie Derasmo

Where do we go from here? After winning three games in a row, the women’s lacrosse team has hit a bump in the road. We lost a game that we should have won. We can blame it on the arctic temperatures that day or the fact that one of our best players had a sprained ankle. We can also blame it on the bad field conditions or even the fact that the girls we played against broke the rules a few times and got away with it. But whatever excuses we make, I think it all comes down to the fact that we didn’t play with heart.
Since I was a little girl every one of my coaches has told me to play with heart. Each of them taught us how to run after ground balls, how to check well, and even how to make your opponent get frustrated into making mistakes, but nobody ever taught us how to play with heart. It’s not something that can be taught and it’s not even something that can be practiced. Playing with heart is running after ground balls until you feel like your lungs are going to burst even though you know there is no way you will get to the ball first. When you are playing with heart there is still a little thing inside you that says maybe you will get there first.
There is something in each of us that drives us to play hard. We all know when it’s there, and we can all feel when it’s lacking. To me, heart is the one element that you can not play without. One of our strength and conditioning coaches, Pete, always tells us to “get the job done,” and I am finally realizing that playing from the heart is the first step in achieving that. The girls and I know how to play as a team, I have seen us do it. We know how to play smart, and I have seen us do that also, but if we don’t play with heart the other elements don’t matter.
So after a big loss to a team that we could have demolished, we get ready to face the next game. Our coaches have added a few new plays to help things run a little more smoothly and hopefully with everything we have going for us, and a little heart, we will be able to add a few more wins to this season.