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'Chalk Talk' part one: Meeting Paul Rabil

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Last Friday evening we had the pleasure of attending a chalk talk given by Paul Rabil at Lizards HQ, just before game time.

What an amazing opportunity to get an inside look into how one of the 'best of the best' looks at the game.

Paul Rabil giving a chalk talk before a Lizards game.
Photo courtesy of NY Lizards
Why this is important to you!?

What made the chalk talk so special? The fact that it was aimed at kids, not the press or any short term, high impact community.  The talk was set up to connect directly to the future of the sport.  For the kids in the room, this was a real opportunity to have a access to a inspiring player, in a way that builds heroes.

Paul Rabil giving a chalk talk before a Lizards game.
Photo courtesy of NY Lizards

Why else?
Well, this kind of access to players is available all over the lacrosse community and that kind of personal connection is compelling. If you are lucky enough to be within driving distance of an MLL team, consider going out to see a game. Their season runs through their August 20 championship game. (Full MLL schedule)

We've seen that the connection to fans isn't just a Hempstead NY phenomenon. Connecting players to fans benefits all involved.  If you follow MLL on Twitter you saw this post from the Ohio Machine earlier this week: 

“We have some of the best fans in the League. They’re loyal and energize our guys.”

Fans and players at Ohio Machine game courtesy of MLL Twitter feed.

Making childhood heroes.

Don't underestimate the impact this kind of connection can have.  Here's a link to a blog post Rob Pannell wrote recently titled 'From Fan to Stick Stringer', in which he says:

I attended the Lizards first games in 2001. I would line up against the fence after games, asking players for anything. Brian was always great with the fans and would come over and say hello. As I am standing there on the field about to take on the Florida Launch, I joked with him saying, “Who would have thought that 15 years ago I was asking for your stick, and now I’m stringing your stick.”

Personal connection is a powerful motivator.

And if you are still not convinced, here's one more for you.  At last month's NCAA tournament my husband had the opportunity to shake hands with Dave Pietramala, head coach at John's Hopkins.  Shaking hands with a Hall of Fame recognized player is a powerful moment.  Coming face to face with your high school hero - well that brought a middle aged man pretty close to tears. Dave's powerful presence as a defenseman is the reason our family IS a lacrosse family.

So, who knows? Maybe finding your way to an MLL event this summer, like the one we attended at the Lizards, could inspire your child to embrace the lacrosse lifestyle for good.

Photo opp at Paul Rabil chalk talk before Lizards game.Photo courtesy of NY Lizards

For my kids, the connection to Paul was a rewarding one. 

We've got signed sticks sitting in revered places now, which means we're off to replace them with ones we can use...but in the long run buying another shaft or two is well worth the investment.

Photo opp with Paul Rabil at chalk talk before Lizards gamePhoto courtesy of NY Lizards

 Go Lizards!

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