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In The Crease: featuring Denver Outlaws Goaltender, Jack Kelly

September 16, 2017

 

How did you get introduced to lacrosse? 

I have been playing lacrosse my entire life. My parents introduced me to the sport and I have fallen in love ever since. I grew up in West Islip, NY, which is a huge lacrosse town so I stuck with it. 

 

What’s the first 90 minutes of your day look like?

Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, commute to work on the subway, read the news, check emails, instagram, and groupme. Nothing too crazy. 

 

Growing up we're your a multi-sport athlete or focused strictly on lacrosse? 

I played football and lacrosse throughout my entire life. I did short stints in basketball, baseball and hockey as well but ultimately chose lacrosse and football. I think being a multi-sport athlete is one of the most important things a young kid can do to enhance his or her lacrosse skills. Many sports like soccer and basketball have elements that are really transferable to the lacrosse field not only physically but also mentally and from a scheme perspective. The specialization of certain positions in our game and the year-round full time commitment lacrosse has become for young players in many cases has limited them to strictly playing lacrosse, which I do not believe is beneficial in the long run. 

 

Growing up who was your biggest inspiration? 

On the lacrosse field it was definitely Tillman Johnson. His ability to take over a game and shut down opposing offenses was spectacular to watch. I still watch highlights to this day. 

 

What was your reaction to being named 2017 Major League Lacrosse Goalie of the Year?

Ecstatic. Winning Goalie of the Year has always been something I wanted to achieve. Hard work and a great defense unit in front of me is really what made it possible. I love those guys and they’re incredible. Its a pleasure to play behind them each game and it is definitely something I do not take for granted. 

 

We were excited to hear you signed with Maverik and Cascade. What drove you to their products? 

I used Maverik equipment in college and really like their goalie gloves and shafts. 

 

What's your current stick setup?

STX Eclipse Head dyed orange and white. Shaft I am using the silver Mission shaft. Mesh I use the ECD wax mesh.    

 

 

How do you tape your sticks? 

Tape at the top and bottom of my stick about 8 inches onto the stick. I also put a piece of tape towards the middle of my stick where my bottom hand (left) goes when I am in my stance. 

 

What do you look for in your pockets? 

I have never been one to really focus on this. I don’t know how to string so I have my friend Sean Rooney at Lacrosse Unlimited string my sticks. I tell him the shape I have used recently with a shallow pocket and it will break in naturally. 

 

Do you string your own sticks or do you have someone else?

Sean Rooney at Lacrosse Unlimited. He would string my sticks in college and does now as well. Lars Keil would string my sticks when I was at Brown as well. They’re both the best in the business. 

 

What would we find in your gear bag? 

Helmet, gloves, chest protector, cup, heart guard, cleats, eyeblack, some strings for repairs, screws, heads, shafts, foam roller, and a lot of extra clothes that I don’t need for the weekend but keep making it in there every weekend. 

 

How do you feel the recruiting process has changed since you have been recruited to Brown?

When I graduated it was becoming a race to the middle schools. It was getting ridiculous but I think it is a great thing that they changed the rule until Junior year. I don’t see any major downside to the rule change but I am definitely glad I do not have to go through that process again. 

 

What drove to to Brown? Were there other offers in the mix?

The opportunity to compete for playing time, the education, location, campus, and coaching staff were really why I decided on Brown. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Coming out of West Islip I had offers from Brown, Navy, and Marquette. I seriously considered each one and decided at that point in my life Brown would be the best option. Like I said I couldn’t be happier with how things played out. 

 

Why did you choose # 94?

I chose 94 for a few different reasons. Hockey is my favorite sport and I really like how many players have high numbers. Up until college I had to chose a number from a certain set of jerseys. When I got to Brown I chose 91 because i wanted a high number and I thought it was unique. When I was drafted by the Outlaws I knew i wanted a new number because it was a new stage in my career so 94 only seemed fitting because it was high, unique and its my birth year. 

 

What does your weekly workout regimen consist of? 

In the offseason I am in the gym 2-3 times per week. During the season my workouts become less frequent and intensive. My position and style of play requires me to be flexible so most of my time and energy in the gym is focused around staying flexible. 

 

What’s a workout every guy should be doing (but which few are)?

Yoga and meditation. Yoga is great for flexibility and teaches you how to be relaxed in strenuous situations which is transferable to the lacrosse field. Meditation and mindfulness are really important as well. Most guys are strictly working out to stay in shape physically but I think for the goalie position staying “in shape” mentally is just as important.

 

What was the toughest moment in your life? How’d it shape you?

I try not to rank them but like everyone else there have been tough moments in my life. They have been points of reflection that have demonstrated how I can always be improving.

 

Favorite pregame/post meal?

Pregame: Panera Bread

Postgame: Chick-fil-a

 

 

What is your career outside of the sport?

Currently I am working in consulting in NYC but that will most likely change by the time this is published. 

 

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

 Just go for it. Don’t do something because people expect you to do it. Dont be afraid to go off the “script” and do something unconventional. 

 

What's the best piece of advice you could give to a young Goalie looking to have success in between the pipes?

When you get over the fear of getting hit with the ball you can be a great goalie. I think it is something that even the best goalies still deal with today but to a different degree. Also, take responsibility for things that maybe you should have saved. Once you can take responsibility for your actions your defense will take responsibilities for theirs and will play harder for you. When they respect you they will fight for you. 

 

Most memorable play throughout your colligate career?

Scoring a goal against Villanova my senior year. I think every goalie wants to score and has planned out their celebration their entire life but when it happened I had no idea what to do. 

 

Can you describe the feeling of suiting of for your very first professional game with The Denver Outlaws?

Nervous. Focused. Excited.

 

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the sport?

Fishing. 

 

What's one personal goal and one overall team for the 2018 major league lacrosse season with The Denver Outlaws?

Team Goal: 2018 MLL Champions 

Personal goal: League MVP 

 

Are you superstitious?

I definitely used to be but as I got more mature and progressed in my college career I realized that being superstitious is simply mental weakness. I think there is a distinction between being superstitious and having a pregame routine. Superstitions like putting a certain shoe on first or listening to a certain song with the belief that it will impact performance is just ridiculous. Or even worse if you don’t do them and have a bad game its because of that superstition.  

 

Do you have any pregame rituals?

Anything that relaxes me. Songs I have listened to throughout my entire career or recapping my stick. These are routines that relax me as opposed to superstitions that I feel I “have” to do in order to perform well. 

 

Where do you see the MLL in the next ten years?

One year at a time. The end of 2017 and the 2018 season is a scary but exciting time for Major League Lacrosse. 

 

What motivates you to get up everyday and get better?

Family, friends, desire to just experience life

 

Who's the Biggest character on The Outlaws?

Simple. Nick Ossello. 

 

What's your top five songs in your pregame playlist? 

Victory 2004, All the way turnt up, Flower, Start it up, Blue lights  

 

What's one thing most people would be surprised to know about Jack Kelly? 

My friends & teammates will know this but I really enjoy watching games shows. Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune are my top 2 but you name it and I have definitely seen a few episodes. 

 

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