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In The Crease: featuring Florida Launch Defenseman, Pat Frazier

September 6, 2016

How did you get introduced to lacrosse?

I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, MD.  At the time, it was one of the bigger lacrosse areas in the state of Maryland, so I think I went to a clinic when I was young, maybe 1st or 2nd grade.  A bunch of my neighbors had sticks and a few kids at school did too, so I think this is where my interest sparked from.  Also, my mom was pretty hesitant about me playing football, so it was a pretty good alternative in her mind.

 

What's your current stick setup?  

 

I’ve used the Brine Edge and Warrior Revolution since probably my freshman year of high school.  They’re both sturdy, wide defensive heads when trying to knock down passes and much easier to scoop up ground balls then other heads I’ve tried.  Recently, I’ve been using StringKing’s Type 3X (Semi-Hard) mesh.  The mesh doesn’t take much time to break in and is a good fit for how I like my stick to throw.  My pocket is probably a mid-high setup.  I like little to no whip in my sticks.  I just need enough hold for the ball not to fly out on a box fake and that’s pretty much the test for me.  I tape the bottom 8 inches or so fully, with a small nub of tape at the top of this 8 inches where my hand chokes up to.

 

What do you look for in your pockets?

Like I said above, I’m just looking for a pocket that has enough hold to throw a box fake.  This usually is a good test for me to be able to cradle and play comfortably with the ball in my stick.  Beyond that, I don’t need a lot of whip in my sticks.  I’m more concerned with the consistency of being able to throw an accurate pass/shot instead of the extra bit of speed I get with some more whip.  A mid or high pocket usually does the trick for me.

 

 

Do you string your own sticks, if not who does?

I do not string my own sticks. Shoutout to Ryan Fournier (current LSM at Loyola) who has strung my sticks for probably the last 3-4 years.  He’s been able to replicate the same type of pocket time after time, so pretty confident with my stick whenever he gets me a fresh one strung up.

 

What would we find in your gear bag?

I’ve used the Brine King gloves the past 2 years.  So I’ve got 2 pairs of them in my bag.  Nice to have the extra pair with all the sweat/humidity down in Florida and then I couldn’t guess the name of the arm pads, but they’re just the small defenseman arm pads (Sorry Warrior equipment reps).  I used the Warrior Burn low version this past session.  A lot better fit than last year, hopefully the New Balance technology is merging with the Warrior cleats moving forward.

 

Most important piece of gear in my bag, without a doubt, is my UE Boom2 Bluetooth speaker.  This thing is waterproof, shockproof and has pretty good sound for its size.  It was a must-have each week to bring on the field for practice, walkthroughs and team bus.  I certainly got an ear-full the one week I forgot it at my house…..

 

What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?

I think the most impactful piece of advice was from my high school coach at Georgetown Prep, Kevin Giblin.

He had a quote along the lines of, “When you step on the field, separate who you are, from what you do.”

 

It’s a simple message, but has a lot of applications in sports and life, in general.  When facing criticism or adversity surrounding yourself on the field/court/class/etc, you have to eliminate the emotion of feeling bad for yourself or being upset about having your “feelings hurt”.  You have to look beyond and understand the criticism isn’t being directed to the core of who you are as a person, but rather is directed purely at your actions as a player/student/employee.

 

If you can’t separate the criticism or comments made about a bad shot you took or play you messed up, then you would never be able to succeed at a high level.  Coach Giblin helped me immeasurably with my mental toughness through this piece of advice.

 

How do you feel the recruiting process has changed since you were recruited to Loyola University?

I think the obvious answer is that the decision-making has accelerated from when I graduated high school 5 years ago.  I remember back then, a handful of guys were committing after their freshman season and then maybe a few more of the top guys were going after their sophomore season, but the bulk of the recruits outside the top 10 schools were still available and searching for the right fit going into their Junior Fall.  Now it seems like, if you aren’t committed before you start your sophomore season, you are behind.  It’s absurd.  I didn’t know what type of college I wanted to even visit/look at my freshman year of high school, let alone make a decision.  I was still trying to maneuver my high school life/schedule.  It has to slow down, but how exactly to implement it effectively and realistically is an entirely different debate.

 

Speaking of the recruiting process, what's the best piece of advice you could give a high school athlete going through the process?

Don’t be in such a rush to commit just because it, “looks cool to be committed”.  Take the time to be comfortable with your decision and ask yourself if you would still be happy with your college decision if, for whatever reason, you would never be able to play lacrosse in the future.  So much of the recruiting decision is focused on just the lacrosse aspect.  You will be attending the classes, navigating the campus and social scene, don’t let lacrosse overshadow those other aspects.

 

What's your most memorable play?

It may not be a specific play, but I’m going to cop out and say the 2012 National Championship w/ Loyola.  It was an unbelievable year and tournament.  I’ll always remember looking up at the scoreboard with a few minutes left in the game, with a sizeable lead and realizing we were actually going to win the national championship.  It was surreal, still is surreal.  I remember launching my helmet in the air and the next 10 minutes or so is a complete blur.

 

Who's the biggest character on the Florida Launch?

Steven Brooks #44.  He may be a veteran in the league and have a kid at home, but he must have found the fountain of youth somewhere with his combo of natural energy and constant humor.  Awesome guy to be around in the locker room and while traveling. He’s hosting a little reunion at his house with some of the guys that live in the Mid-Atlantic area in a few weeks, so here’s a plug for #LaunchaPalooza16.

 

What does your weekly workout regimen consist of?

Leading up to the season, I was probably lifting 3 days a week and running 5 or so days a week.  Then during the week, I tuned it down a bit to 2 days lifting and then 2-3 days of running.  I focused more on getting myself into the best shape possible leading into the season, and then with all of the travel/strain on my body during the season from games, just trying to maintain and emphasize more stretching/flexibility and recovery during the season.

 

Also, I’m fortunate to have a built-in workout partner in Joe Fletcher from the NY Lizards.  We live together in Baltimore and so it made it a little bit easier knowing someone else was also going to wake up at 5am to go run/lift.  Plus, he’s constantly in unbelievable shape, so I figure if I could try to keep up with him or even slightly behind at times, I would be doing OK in the offseason.

 

The off-season for the MLL vs. College is much different and difficult, with less resources (trainer/specialized weight rooms/etc) and also the team camaraderie in college each week makes the tough workouts more bearable.  Not as easy when it’s 7pm after work in January and you know you’ve gotta get a run in.

 

What's your favorite pregame/post meal?

For pre-game, Chicken Parm and some pasta.  Add a BodyArmor or Coconut Water and I’m all set.

 

What is your career outside of the sport?

I’m a private business valuation analyst.  Boring answer.  Next question.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to a young defenseman looking to be great, what would it be?

Footwork.  It doesn’t matter how big or strong you are, if you have bad feet changing directions or chasing after a ground ball, you won’t be able to succeed at a high level.  Strength is certainly important as a defenseman, don’t get me wrong, but if you can’t stay in front of your matchup first, how are you supposed to move him around with the strength you may have?

 

What's one personal goal for the 2017 major league lacrosse season?

I don’t have any personal goals in terms of stats or personal awards.  That stuff doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me.  I’d rather help contribute to our team in any way to make the playoffs next season.  That would be my personal goal.

 

What's one thing most people would be surprised to know about Pat Frazier?

I didn’t really mention it above in the recruiting part, but to come full circle, I was not recruited.  I was a walk-on at Loyola.  I physically was a late-bloomer with my height and then weight in high school, so I wasn’t really on any recruiting radars.  Our varsity high school team had probably 25+ Divison 1 or 3 recruits when I was a Junior, so playing time was tough to come by at that time for me.  Coming into that Senior spring, I had come to terms that I probably wouldn’t play lacrosse beyond that and just wanted to enjoy that one season with my classmates.  I grew some more senior year and was playing my senior spring and had a pretty good showing.  Loyola was the only school I had applied to that, coincidentally, had a Division 1 lacrosse team.  So instead of heading off to University of Georgia or Wake Forest, I decided to take a bit of a risk and enroll at Loyola.  Coach Giblin was able to contact Coach Toomey at Loyola and find out they had only 1 locker open and would hold tryouts in the fall.  I tried out for I think about 2 weeks and then was fortunate enough to make the team, alongside another walk-on.  We both shared the same locker for a few months, which wasn’t so glamorous at times, until another one opened up, but I was just ecstatic that I even made the team.  I was thankful for every day and opportunity I got, and a few years later down the road, here we are.

 

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