If I didn’t attend art school or majored in art in college, I would’ve been either a history or an international relations major. While I may not have grown up in a lacrosse hotbed, New York City, to me, will always be considered the Capital of the World. If you are willing to take advantage of the opportunities, NYC has the ability to imerse yourself in the many cultures from all over the world without having to get on a plane. And as lacrosse makes a closer push to becoming an Olympic Sport, a newly added focus this coming Spring, on top of the business will teach me what lacrosse really needs to become recognized as a global sport from the foreign view, or perspective.
Back in September, I saw the coaching ad and even though it’s been almost 9 years since I blew the coaching whistle, I decided to answer the call. You never know until you try, right? Regardless of the gap in my coaching resume, I knew that being a current player and having a business combining my two interests in art and lacrosse was going to make me a very serious candidate for this position. It got me the job of a title that I never had before: Head Coach.
The Keio Academy of New York is located just north, outside of New York City, in Purchase, NY. Adjacent to the global companies of MasterCard and Pepsi, The Keio Academy is an all-Japanese private-boarding school that is affiliated with the renowned, Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. Back in the summer of 1993, while attending the Johns Hopkins Blue Jay Lacrosse Camp, I played with and against players from Keio University. It was the first time I was exposed to lacrosse on the international level. While the players were college ages, their skills were just behind to the U.S. high school level due to not playing until college, or university in Japan. As my attention was glued to my U.S.-based teammates who eventually thrived in Division 1 collegiate programs, it was very impressive to see players from a foreign land.
As I am slowly learning the culture and environment at The Keio Academy, I can’t help but be very excited for the 2019 lacrosse season to start. As a person who is an avid traveler, especially in foreign travel, I believe that interaction with things and people, opposite or outside of your comfort zone, are the BEST teachers in life – that’s called growth. And while I may be teaching them the game of lacrosse, what I will really be teaching my student-athletes are life lessons that will make them succeed in adulthood – transferable skills.
And lastly, while coaching at the Keio Academy, a personal goal for myself is to learn a foreign language, something that I always thought The United States needs to be better at doing. Spring 2019 will be a long, intense and very busy season, but I know it will be worth it in the end!
I look forward to updating and sharing my experience with you all as the Head Coach of The Keio Academy Boys Lacrosse program. Stay tuned to future article posts on LaxAllStars.
“Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!” (Happy New Year)
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