INTERVIEWS | Peter Langkammerer

Honestly, it was probably the cab driver my buddy & I had from school to practice each day.  Both our parents worked and the field where we practiced was miles from school so our parents arranged for a cab to take us to practice each day.  The driver was a complete character and on the first day he asked us what we were doing with “those nets” as he had never seen lacrosse sticks before.  This was 1997 in the Bay Area, most people were unfamiliar with lacrosse so those types of questions were common.  I remember liking the feeling that I was doing something nobody knew about.  

Salisbury was a trip.  Mostly because Salisbury, Maryland could not be more different than San Francisco, CA.  I had been fortunate enough to be recruited to a few places, but Salisbury was the only place I felt I’d have a chance to compete for a National Championship and that was important to me.  From the start I knew I made the right choice.  Coach Berkman demanded a lot and he knew how to get it out of us.  It was a grind but we all got after it together and everyone wanted to be there so we kind of knew what we signed up for.  Getting to play with guys like Eric Martin and Jeff Bigas really helped me learn not just how to play the position, but how to work.  Work ethic took on a whole knew meaning.  These guys were among the best players in the country, but they worked like dogs.  That has really stuck with me.

Work ethic.  I try to convey the value of hard work to our guys.  Not just when it’s easy or convenient but all the time.  Embrace the grind and it becomes part of you, part of what you do and before you know it, it’s no longer a grind.  At every place I’ve coached I have tried to impart the value of hard work.  You want to be great, you want a roster spot on a college team, you want to play for a national championship?  You better work your tail off because a thousand other guys are working just as hard and want what you’re after just as bad.  If you can learn how to work on the lacrosse field, in the weight room, on the wall, etc, then you will know how to work in the classroom and eventually on the job.  

Part of it is time.  We’ve been around for a long time.  We had our first team in 2009.  Since then we’ve worked with a lot of guys and some have gone on to play at the highest level.  Lacrosse is a tight community and we’ve always ran our club like a family.  If you’re one of our guys, we’re gonna take care of you and not just when you’re wearing the jersey.  I think guys remember their time on the Braves and not only how much fun they had but what they learned, along with the exposure it provided them and they want to continue being apart of that.  We talk a lot about being part of something bigger than yourself and when guys go on to play at big D1 programs they see that and appreciate where they came from that much more.  They want to come back and help give the next crop of young kids the same opportunities they had and we love that.

In terms of practice, there is no difference.  We run our club teams like we run SI, or as close to it as possible.  Obviously we aren’t with our club guys 5-6 days a week but when we are out on the field together, we’re at work.  As a player, I was having the most fun when I was working, when things were up tempo, everything was a competition and there was something on the line.  Whether it was prep for a big game, a lot of running or just your pride, I wanted to win and more importantly put myself and the team in a position to win the next game and the one after that.  It’s the same way at club practice, compete, work hard, get better everyday.
Tournament selection is usually pretty straightforward.  We want the best competition, solid recruiting exposure and an affordable locale that our families will enjoy.  We have been going to the Gait Cup at Gettysburg for several years now and always enjoy our time there.  The Chicago Cup is also among my favorites.

I want to have another one so he will have someone to go against! He’s only 15 months but I know how important he is to Kelsey & I and how we can obsess over the smallest thing so it makes me appreciate the parents who are hands off and let us do our job that much more.