Below is my interview with Israel Lacrosse National team goalie: Andrew Landsman on the “AriLouisShow” on IsraelSportsandNewsRadio.com.

Welcome everybody to another episode of the Ari Louis show here on Israel Sports News Radio. Thank you for joining us. At any point in the show you can email the program at arilouisshow@hotmail.com or you can email the station israelsportsnewsnation@gmail.com.

Ari: Israel Lacrosse absolutely killing it, doing a lot of great things. Some great things coming up in the near future. On the line right now, the national team goalie, talking about all the wonderful things going on with the league. Welcome to the program.

Andrew: Thank you so much, pleasure to be here.

Ari: Yes indeed. So let’s get started. First, tell us how you first got involved with Israel Lacrosse.

Andrew: My experience was a little different than most people’s. I actually graduated college from Ithaca College in NY, and went to Law School directly after graduation. After a year I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life, I knew I didn’t want to go back to law school. I was kind of in an in-between phase and I had happened to go on the first-ever Israel Lacrosse Birthright trip that brought me over here for ten days and after being there for a bit I was like this is amazing, I would love to go back and work with the program. So I went home for a few months and came back last January and except for a few months last summer I’ve basically been here ever since.

Ari: So Andrew, after dealing with law school I imagine getting clocked in the face is not so difficult.

Andrew: (laughs) Yeah law school was a whole different beast. I mean as a goalie, very tough position, eyes are always on you, but law school was just a grind 24/7 and I just wasn’t enjoying myself and I knew I needed to do something different. I had this great opportunity to continue playing lacrosse post-collegiate which is something you just usually don’t have so I just jumped on it and I live here now.

Ari: Tell us more about your collegiate career and did you then when that was finished that your lacrosse career was also finished?

Andrew: I absolutely thought it was finished. I mean in America, after college, unless you make it to the pros, besides from a few summer tournaments you can do with your friends, you don’t really get much of an opportunity to play again. So I remember my last game in college taking off that jersey and helmet for the last time and thinking “oh man I’ll never put on a helmet and jersey like this again and actually be able to play competitive sports.” And then I got this opportunity and I was like this is amazing, I can’t believe I’m 24 years old and still get to play competitive sports for lacrosse, you know a true blessing. To be over here in this great country, teaching all these kids and still playing it’s just so much fun.

Ari: And so a lot of pride to wear that Magen David on your helmet when you go out and compete, right?

Andrew: Yes absolutely, of course. Yeah, it’s amazing to be able to do that.

Ari: When you ask a lot of lacrosse players in America it to be segmented parts of the country that play lacrosse, generally the east coast, some places perhaps in California, not most of the country like with other sports. What is your take of why that is?

Andrew: Yeah I grew up in what is more considered as a lacrosse hotbed, in Connecticut. Where I went to college is also a big hotbed, with Long Island not too far away. The game is just still growing, it really started out of the east coast and down in Washington DC, Maryland kind of area and it’s just been slowing growing out of those areas. I remember in High School hearing about kids playing from places like Texas and Ohio and I thought there was no way these kids could be good because I didn’t think lacrosse was really there and now if you go into america and you look at lacrosse there are great programs in all different states: Florida, California, Washington, Texas, it’s just really growing, the sport is just getting so popular which is really cool to see.

Ari: It certainly is. And now it’s getting more popular in the now 4+ years that it’s been around in Israel, and before you know it will creep into number 3. It’s just a matter of time, you know soccer and basketball are going to be top two for a while, but you know lacrosse is doing very very well. And speaking of that doing very very well concept the men’s European Championships is going to be this summer in Budapest— give us details on it.

Andrew: Yeah so that tournament is taking place the end of July, early August in Budapest. I think we’re going to have a really great team going out there. Our goal is to win the gold obviously. We really think we have a realistic shot at that. We recently got put into our group stages and we’re looking forward to the teams we’ll be playing. I think we have Switzerland first, the best team in our group is Sweden who we played in the World’s back in 2014. So we think we can win that group and go out from there and really make some damage in the tournament and hopefully win the gold medal.

Ari: So obviously a tremendous goal. You’re obviously going to be the goalie on that squad, what kind of training do you do? Do you do anything different than the rest of the team because you have a unique position on the team.

Andrew: I try to do a lot of conditioning to keep myself in great shape. As a goalie I need to be quick and agile so I’m doing a lot of stuff on my own to stay in shape. And then at practice I am always asking the guys just to take more shots on me, the more shots you know the better I can pick up the ball. And then a couple times outside of practice just talking with our coach Jeff Schwartz asking him what I can be better on and what to improve on. And also as a goalie, you are kind of like what they would say the quarterback of the defense because you’re always talking to the team, telling them where to be and what’s going on so I’m always working on my vocal commands telling the guys what to do and hopefully leading by example out there.

Ari: This is the Ari Louis show on Israel Sports News Radio, we’re speaking about Israel Lacrosse with the national team goalie Andrew Landsman. So Andrew you obviously have the goalie position in soccer, hockey, and lacrosse and I haven’t had a goalie on my program for a while and I’ve thought about this the last couple days knowing I was going to interview you. How would you describe the differences of being a goalie in lacrosse as compared to the other two sports that feature a goalie.

Andrew: Lacrosse is a lot different in the aspect that in the other sports: a) the ball is a lot smaller, and it’s just going so much faster than those other sports. I mean we have guys on our team who can shoot upwards of 100mph and you know when guys get in real close and they just let the ball fly like that it’s really hard to see— so that’s one aspect. And the other thing, lacrosse compared to hockey or soccer, well maybe not soccer, but we don’t wear that many pads, I have a lot of exposure especially on my legs and my arms so I’m constantly bruised up, I’m always beat up. I’ve broken my thumb multiple times; it’s a very tough position. So you really have to go out there and be willing to put your body on the line in order to take the team to the next level and that’s something i’m wiling and able to do. So soccer goalies, hockey goalies are great too but I just think there is a whole level of toughness that comes to being a lacrosse goalie compared to those other sports.

Ari: Right, it’s kind of like that joke where the guy says “be the goalie it’s the safest position on the team, you’re not going to get checked or anything.” And then the guy says “well if it’s the safest position on the field then why am I wearing 200 pounds of gear on me.” Right?

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Ari: So it’s that type of thing. Again this is the Ari Louis show on Israel Sports News Radio, we’re speaking about Israel Lacrosse national team goalie Andrew Landsman. So Andrew let’s talk about youth development, that’s a big key. I think one of the reasons why Israel Lacrosse is so successful is because of the emphasis on developing youth and is going to set up teams for the future. Under-19 World Championships tryouts, they took place earlier this month in Ashkelon, tell us about them.

Andrew: Yeah so we’re putting together our first ever U19 Championship team from Israel that is going to go to Vancouver, Canada this summer in July and they’re going to compete against all the countries in the world that have U19 teams America, Canada, the Iroquois are going to have a team and I think we’re going to do very well. We had a tryout in Ashkelon in the beginning of January where we had over 50 Israeli kids who have been playing in the country come play and tryout. We also had about 20 or so Americans join us to tryout for the team. So rosters will be announced pretty soon, next couple of weeks we’ll announce the 46-man roster and then that eventually will be whittled down to 23. I think we’re going to compete very well, some of the talent I saw out there during those tryouts was great. It’s amazing to see how far some of these kids over here in Israel have really gotten playing this sport. I mean it’s amazing to me. Every time I feel blessed when I get to go out there and coach these kids and I have to step back and think “wow I’m in the middle eat right now, I’m in Israel teaching lacrosse to these kids” and they just love it so much. It’s an amazing experience and I think we’re going to turn some heads at the tournament because of how good our kids actually are.

Ari: Lot of people say that the way they learn the most is by teaching others. Do you find that to be the case?

Andrew: Yes, absolutely. It was really great to see some of the American kids we had out there, you know stopping practice in the middle of a drill or even after the drill grabbing some of the Israeli kids who were;t as experienced or didn’t know as much as these American kids who have been playing longer and taking them aside and showing them new skills— so that was really cool. And then to see some of these Israeli kids who were at the tryouts then come back to their local club teams here, and then they would explain the new stuff going on to all the other kids who were here who weren’t invited to the tryout, that was amazing to me. The Israeli kids were talking about how much better they got after just a few days of playing with kids who were a lot better than them and how much pride they have just to have the opportunity to play with kids who are a lot better than them and possibly have the opportunity to represent their country at the U19 World Championships in Vancouver in July.

Ari: Alright everyone, if you want to know more information you can check out the Israel Lacrosse website at IsraelLeague.com

Andrew: You can also find us on our Facebook page at Israel Lacrosse.

Ari: It’s a beautiful website and it’s nice to see though that you are working on an even better website. Again, it’s really great stuff, I love watching and seeing it. A special shout out to, there was an award given out for the player of the year, is that correct? Brad MacArthur?

Andrew: It was actually Man of the Year and Woman of the Year. So Brad MacArthur was our World Championship Box lacrosse team coach for a tournament that took place in October, so he won that because we came in fourth place in the world for indoor lacrosse, very great finish. And then Woman of the Year was Emily Brodsky, who was over here for over a year working with our program and was one of the assistant coaches of the U19 national team that competed at the World Championships in Scotland over the summer.

Ari: Alright well congratulations to both of them and congratulations to you Andrew as well. Good luck, make us proud, you will be representing us, representing Israel on the national team. So we appreciate that and appreciate you being on the program today— so again thank you so much.

Andrew: Thank you for having me, my pleasure to be here, I had fun.

Ari: Thank you everyone for listening. Have a great day and be well.

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