As a part of our weekly blog series, we got in touch with professional lacrosse player, Chris Collins. Collins, who is a Goalie for the New England Black Wolves, was three year starter at Delaware University. He finished his college career with a .573 save percentage. Below, you can find our Q&A with him.
Question: When did you begin playing lacrosse? What influenced you to pick up the sport?
Answer: For me once I picked up a stick as a young child, I never looked back. The game for me then, as it is now, is still so addicting, freeing and enjoyable. Growing up in Yorktown, New York, lacrosse was the ticket. Small town NY, watching Roy Colsey, the Carcaterra’s, Rick Beardsley, and the MILL’s New York Saints was what made me want to be a pro lacrosse player--that got me hooked.
Q: Currently, you are playing for the New England Black Wolves in the NLL. How has your experience with the Black Wolves differed from your experience with the Chesapeake Bayhawks? Do you prefer playing in the NLL?
A: I have been very lucky to play pro lacrosse for the last 10 years after my college career at Delaware. In both leagues I have been a career back up goaltender, always ready. The NLL experience is by far my most favorite. The teams, I have been with 3, the New York Titans, the Philadelphia Wings and now apart of the New England Black Wolves. The indoor game is my favorite kind of lacrosse, fast paced, always see a ton of shots, the arenas and the fans are wild, but most of all I like the long season just about 6 month when its all said and done. It’s a great feeling going to work with the boys beginning in training camp in November and then putting a run together for shot at a championship In May.
Q: What do you do in the off season, how do you prepare for the next season at hand?
A: My off season routine, as I have gotten older, it has gotten more specific, and less all over the place. The big things I focus on are eating healthy, yoga, and cross training for cardio, almost like a cross fit style. I am big on cross training, incorporating, playing basketball, tennis & squash. But the only way to truly impact your game is to truly dedicate, not spend, dedicate time owning your craft. And those you don’t have to go very far to do… 1 is a incorporate a ton of wall ball into my workouts. I take pride in my stick work, plus I am an O guy at heart, and 2 is in order to be a better stopper you need to see shots, high level shots by current pro and elite college players. Hard work doesn’t come easy and you need to be willing to be sore and still get after it no mater what you did yesterday or the night before.
Q: Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
A: I don’t like to over do it. I like to get to the arena real early, get on the floor to warm up & stretch and get my stick going. Play a lil quick game of 3 bar and head inside to get dressed and come out for warm ups.
Q: What’s your pregame ritual?
A: The only real ritual is stepping into the net for the first time, I have my tick where I touch up all 3 pipes and draw a cross at the top of my crease with my stick on the floor. Then im dialed in and all set to go.
Q: What type of music do you listen to before a game? What’s your favorite pump-up song?
A: Music! I love my music. I literally have everything--you name it I have it. On game day, I am a big techno guy, gets my heart goin and gets me focused. Don’t be surprised to mix in a lil Pearl Jam in on game day.
Q: After a big win, how do you and your teammates celebrate?
A: After win’s, nothing better than getting back into the dressing room and pumping that victory song. Song changes year after year, and some songs are more interesting than others ha!
Q: Looking back on your entire career, what has been your number one moment on the field?
A: Number one moment, Ive been blessed to play this game for a very long time, and for me im very glad that I still have chances to go out and play. Im always looking for that next moment, and to be honest, I am more looking forward to having the shot to represent the USA in this Septembers World Indoor Lacrosse Championships hosted by the Onondaga Nation.
Q: In addition to playing in the NLL, you are also the Defensive Coordinator of Men’s Lacrosse at Drexel University. What is the most rewarding part of your job? What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: Ah the Drexel Dragons, I have an awesome job representing Drexel University. I love going to work everyday with dedicated young men who wish to learn about the game of lacrosse and to compete at the college games highest level to compete for a conference and national championship. The most difficult part of my job is sometimes remembering that these 18,19,20,21 year olds as much as we think they are grown ups, they still are kids. And I say kids in a fun way, they love to have fun, they love to laugh and sometimes they don’t take things seriously enough. But that’s just kids, and sometimes I forget what it was like to be that age. They need a good balance of competition and down time as do I. That has been the biggest challenge for me.
Q: Lastly, what advice would you give to younger kids who are just starting to get on the field?
A: My advice… Lacrosse is an amazing game, one with endless possibilities. And I say endless possibilities because the game of lacrosse is an open ended ticket. It is a vehicle to seek a higher education, it can allow you to travel the world, and meet a lot of interesting people. But to get there… enjoy your family, treat the game as your family, spend as much time on the wall as you can, learn and play every position, and lastly watch as much lacrosse as you can. Kids these days are blessed with ESPN and the Internet with the accessibility of lacrosse.
Stay tuned for our next Featured Athlete Friday with special guest, Coach Davis of the Ohio Machine!