With the MLL 2016 Championship game right around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to ask our very own Huntington, NY store manager Tommy Kelly some questions about being on the Denver Outlaws MLL team. Kelly is currently in his rookie season with Denver, after previously playing at Virginia. Shortly after he started playing for Denver, Kelly became the manager of the Lax World Huntington location. We are certainly thankful for Kelly’s knowledge and love of the game, as well as his dedication to growing and promoting lacrosse. Kelly not only plays but also coaches at FogoLax, where they specialize in face-off instruction. As far as this weekend’s game is concerned, we got the inside scoop on Kelly as well as some insight into the MLL. Here’s some of what he had to say:
Q: How are you and your teammates preparing for your championship game against Ohio?
A: Hydrating, sticking to the game plan, taking care of our bodies, preparing mentally, and trying to stay focused. We’re treating this game the same way we treat every game.
Q: In what ways has the game of lacrosse changed since you started playing?
A: Starting at the age of 4, I’ve been through tons of rule changes; shot clock changes and annual face-off changes. And the game has continually gotten more competitive. Playing with some of the best players on earth is a huge experience as well. I’m lucky to have played with guys I used to look up to as a kid.
Q: What advice do you have for young players?
A: The term “hard work pays off” is 100% true. If you find your niche and find what you’re good at and work towards it, you’re going to achieve it.
Q: How is being on a competitive team similar to being a manager?
A: It’s all very communication based, you have to be able to talk to people in a proper manner and work as a unit.
Q: What pregame routines do you have?
A: Faceoff reps before every game! I always take an electrolyte tablet before a game too, it’s kind of mental, if I don’t have it I freak out a little.
Q: What is your most rewarding lacrosse experience?
A: As of right now, winning two championships. One in high school with Rocky Point (NY), playing with awesome players (some of them play MLL now too) and the second in college, playing for a national championship when we won in 2011.
Q: What is some of your favorite gear? What stick and pads do you play with?
A: I use all STX equipment at the moment, I play with an STX Duel stick, and STX gloves & elbow pads. Cleats are either Warrior or New Balance.
Q: What is your favorite off season activity?
A: Snowboarding or skiing. They’re both enjoyable and relaxing!