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Marcus Holman Has His Sights Set on Gold
Coming off a career-making season and MLL championship win, Marcus Holman is eyeing gold. He’s spent the last four years preparing for the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship, and after finishing as runner-up in the 2014 tournament, the Team USA and Ohio Machine attacker is laser-focused on one thing — to bring home the gold.
Here’s a look at our Q&A with the North Carolina Tar Heels alum on how he’s preparing for FIL and using the MLL season to turn his weaknesses into strengths:
Israel is getting close! How does it feel to be representing Team USA at FIL again?
It’s still so surreal to me every time I get to suit up in that USA jersey. It’s such an honor to take the field with such a super talented group of guys and work towards winning the ultimate prize — man, it would be everything to win gold and bring a championship victory back to the states!
This is your second go-round at FIL – any takeaways from Denver that you're building into your prep this time around?
I’ve really grown a lot as a person and player since my first experience in 2014. Obviously, a tournament like FIL demands your very best so you want to be in top physical shape.
This time around, I’ve really tried to develop the mental side of my game more than anything. In a tournament of this magnitude, with so much on the line, having the mental side of your game down is crucial. All the guys out there are top notch and play at an extremely high level. You've gotta get creative and push the boundaries. You have to be a problem solver out on the field and be prepared to adjust to any situation you may face once you’re between those lines.
From a skills perspective, what are you doing to elevate your game?
The MLL season is really setting me up for success! I get the opportunity to face the top competition in the sport on a weekly basis, which helps keep me at the top of my game and challenges me to learn and refine new techniques.
I’m extremely focused on improving my left hand and ability to shoot on the run. Those are probably my two biggest weaknesses, so I want to do anything I can to improve them.
What does your training routine look like as you prepare for FIL 2018?
Right now, I’m trying to incorporate a few different training styles into my routine for more holistic development. Most days, I’ll focus on weightlifting to continue building strength, with footwork/running drills worked in as well to improve my endurance and reaction time.
Recently, I added yoga into my routine a couple times a week and I am loving it! My flexibility has improved like crazy. I would recommend anyone who hasn’t tried it to give it a shot! (Tap here for ways this STX Olympic gold medalist incorporates yoga into a training routine.)
What type of gear will you be rocking when you hit the field this summer?
That’s the easiest question you’ve asked yet! I’ve been in STX gear since high school, so you know I’ll be bringing my Cell IV Gloves and Cell IV Elbow Pads, Ultra Power Head and Surgeon SC-TI Shaft. I can’t imagine leaving home without them!
You have a lot of experience with high-pressure games – and a lot of success (we see you, 2017 MLL trophy). Any advice for aspiring young players?
Always work your hardest, even when no one’s watching. Not only will this help you continue to grow your game, but that hardworking attitude will translate directly to the field. In terms of your mindset, try to treat every game like it’s a big one. This will help you to approach every game the same way and relieve some of the pre-game anxiety.
Most importantly, try to relax and calm your mind as much as possible. Rather than focusing on the outcome of the game – something that you unfortunately can’t always control – focus on making the next play your team needs you to make.
Can you let us in on your game day routine?
I try to keep a simple routine to avoid any superstitions or overthinking. Game day naps (20-30 minutes) are a go-to, as well as a healthy pre-game meal and some great music in the locker room to get the team hyped. Then, I apply my eye-black, meditate for a few minutes and say a prayer just before the game starts.
Speaking of great music, what’s on your pre-game hype playlist?
You’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot for lacrosse. What’s one place you haven’t been that you would love to go?
This sport continues to build relationships & inspire me. We had so much fun sharing our love for lacrosse with these Portuguese players! ???? ???? Este esporte continua a construir relacionamentos e me inspira. Tivemos tanta diversão compartilhar nosso amor pelo esporte com esses jogadores Portugueses!
One place I really want to visit is Australia. Lacrosse is pretty big there so it would be great to see the game from their perspective! Also, I’ve heard it’s out of this world and amazingly beautiful – who wouldn’t want to visit somewhere like that?!
Get to know more of the guys reppin’ Team USA at FIL this summer: Meet Jake and Jesse Bernhardt, the brothers from Florida dominating the lacrosse world.
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