FIT’s Allie Modica’s Blog #3: Why We Play the Game

 

I’m Allie Modica, a senior midfielder playing lacrosse at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida and I will be blogging my experience in lacrosse and collegiate athletics this 2017 season. Just some background, I was a high school All-American, and won four state championships at Vero Beach High School and then went up north to the University of Connecticut and played lacrosse at the Division 1 level my freshman year. After a lot of snow and a tough injury, I came to Florida Tech and found the perfect environment-the beach, an emerging D2 lacrosse team, a coach that believes in me and a school that challenges my academics. Since my time here starting in 2014, I have made huge leaps on the field- SSC Player of the Year, All South First Team Member and Second Team All-American last season.  I will be sharing my insights, experiences and provide some advice in this blog series on recruiting, hardships, collegiate athletics and the balance of it all.

 

I recently heard WNBA and ESPNW Sports Broadcaster Megan Hughes Perry speak at a conference and I haven’t been able to get something she said off my mind. She asked, “What inspires you to play the game?” At first I couldn’t put to words my answer, I couldn’t just say, “I play because I love it” or “it’s just what I’ve done my whole life”. So I really thought about it, trying to put a sentence together of why I and other athletes put 10,000+ hours of practice to perfect our game. I realized a sentence wouldn’t do it justice…

I play lacrosse and put my 100% effort in everyday, because I love the energy, excitement, fast paced action and mostly the elaborate skill it takes to be the best at this sport. I can chase excellence and commit myself every day to perfection and its always just one step further away. I keep playing because no play is ever perfect, I come back the next day to make that skill work and then I see another weakness of mine and return to work on that aspect of the game. Most recently, I learned I love lacrosse because I am able to lead and improve the people around me, having a positive impact on my team’s life. We all know Florida is a growing hot bed for our sport, and I’ve seen how by just playing lacrosse in this area I can be a voice in this amazing community and expand the sport in ways I never thought before. That’s why I play and it changed my mindset coming into this week of practice.

It’s important for every athlete to recognize why they go to practice everyday, do grueling workouts daily and spend hours playing their sport, especially going on to the next level. Knowing why you’re doing what you do helps the decision making process go so much more smoothly. This involves setting priorities early on about how you want to approach your position and role on the team. Lacrosse is not a stagnant sport, it changes everyday with every rep; so should you. Each day is another opportunity to do something great for your team! The only way to continually learn and grow is to put forth a positive attitude. By improving your own abilities, you ignite your teammates around you. Young players thrive off older players experience and behaviors at practice, and the upperclassmen are pushed by the newbies vibrant energies. In the moment, the sprints at the end of practice seem brutal. But those seconds and minutes where that negative idea is going through your head prove to be the most significant in determining attitude. There can be a positive spin on anything. You can do anything for 2 minutes, or 3 minutes however long the exercise is and that switch makes it not as painful, not as slow, not as hard and you’re able to empower the players around you.

A better mindset on the field leads to growth everyday. I wish I knew years ago that thinking more positively would make me so much more productive player, and a stronger individual. A happier, motivated player at practice leads to more energetic teammates, more excitement on the field and more positivity running through the veins of each person on the team, creating a bond that no opponent can stop. Find out why you play, commit to it and be great today. With the Super Bowl a few weeks back, it seems pretty relevant to throw in a Lombardi quote that drives me everyday…

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

 

 

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