Traveling from all corners of the country, the top 100 High School lacrosse players have gathered in Beaverton, OR at Nike’s World Headquarters for The Ride. In its 3rd year, The Ride provides these young athletes with the experience of a lifetime, a chance to learn from some of the greatest lacrosse players in the world outfitted in some of the sickest gear around!
Arriving on campus Tuesday afternoon, the event kicked off with a grand tour of Nike’s Headquarters full of history lessons and insights into the stories behind some of their remarkable athletes. As the tour wrapped up, the lessons kept coming with a live Q&A session hosted by the popular Quint Kessenich and Courtney Connor. Nike Pro athletes Kara Cannizzaro, Kitty Cullen and the entire Thompson crew (Lyle, Miles, Jerome & Jeremy) shed some light on what it takes to not only become a great lacrosse player but also a great person and great student. At the end of the night their message was clear, the hard work doesn’t stop here it only becomes more important. With their encouraging advice on mind, the athletes took to the field for some fun and games to let loose before the hard work starts on day two. For more sights from day 1, check out our Facebook page.
Bright and early on day 2, the young athletes geared up in some sweet new Nike footwear and apparel to hit the Bo Jackson turf field for a Thompson training session. Led by the NLL bruiser, Bill O’Brien, the athletes went through a series of tests measuring their overall athleticism including a vertical jump, medicine ball throw, 20 yard dash & speed shuttles. Cheering each other on while also getting motivation from the Thompsons, the athletes were pushing their physical limits to prove just why they are the top 100. O’Brien stressed the importance of always working to stay at the top of your game even when there is no gym around.
The morning session was then topped off with one of the Thompson’s favorite workout routines on the road which ended in a squat hold competition. Turns out Quint Kessenich and one of the male athletes from Florida have legs of steel as they lasted 5+ minutes sitting in the squat position. After getting in a good sweat, the athletes wrapped up the session for some R&R before their next practice. Check out our Facebook album for images from the Thompson training session.
Getting into their locker rooms to prep for their first practice, the athletes were stunned by all of the sweet new Nike gear. From the limited edition Huarache 4’s to the matte grey helmets, the athletes were looking fresh on the field. Split onto two fields this time, the boys and girls were put to work to see how well they all mesh together as lacrosse players. The coaches kicked things off with a number of fundamental drills getting a clue into just how well balanced their game is. As the practice progressed, the drills become more and more game-like. On the girls side, Nike Pro Kara Cannizzarro even hit the field to push the athletes to play their absolute best.
Once practice concluded, the athletes enjoyed a delicious food truck rodeo dinner and a chance to relax a bit before their next event, the SpeedLax 4v4 Coed tournament. Armed with mini sticks, the boys and girls were split into teams and set up in a 16 game round robin tournament. Much like an an And One basketball game, these mini stick battles gave the athletes a chance to not only have fun but to also show off their stick skills. It was hard to keep count on just how many pump fakes and behind the back plays happened.
Some teams were lucky enough to be paired up with one of the Thompsons for a few games. After the winning team were crowned Champions, the Thompson’s and Zack Greer put on a show as they went head to head on the fiddle stick field, the perfect way to end day one of The Ride. For photos from the practice and SpeedLax tournament, check out lacrossedotcom on Facebook.
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