Alternative Movement: How Lifestyle Sports Offer Useful Outlets

I remember it vividly — sitting in the Rutgers training room my senior season waiting to hear the fate of my knee.

Things had been clicking on the field. My confidence was at an all-time high and I was ready to take on UConn, our first Big East opponent of the season.

The doctor entered the room and muttered those four dreaded words.

“Your ACL is torn.”

What would replace my lacrosse obsession? I set out to find different outlets to feed my desire to move, be active, gain confidence and most importantly, to be present. Strangely enough, it all started with a plastic circle. 

Hoop dance.

You heard that right, dancing with a hula-hoop.

My ACL left me bitter. Every time I picked up a stick it reminded me that I couldn’t go out on the field. So, I watched hours of YouTube videos learning hula-hoop tricks. Eventually my knee heeled (and so did my ego) and when I finally returned to my lacrosse stick, it felt different. I had developed a flow, a new fluidity between my left and right hands — a rhythmic, smooth pattern. It was the most comfortable I had ever felt with my stick. My hoop not only provided an outlet, but also a whole new sense of movement. 

Skateboarding, hiking and surfing followed. I had a new mission: Inspire young female lacrosse players using lifestyle sports and adventures.

Athletes are being forced to play on year-round clubs and seasons with little time for other sports, contradicting college coaches’ professed desire for multi-sport athletes. What if we provided options that fit into players’ busy schedules as they see fit and they can master alongside their structured practices and seasons — outlets where they can clear their mind, find new movement and gain confidence?

I was lucky enough to join a company that shares this same belief. At Trilogy Lacrosse, we continue to push the boundaries of exceedingly structured development. Our Surf + Lax Camp allows players to learn a new sport and shows them a different type of thinking. Imagine tackling your first wave in the morning. Using your left hand in your evening session doesn’t seem so tough now, does it? 

Riding my skateboard to work, looking forward to evening hoop sessions, tackling a 13,000-foot mountain — I’ve used these activities to shape a unique lifestyle that provides me with confidence to take on every day. It’s my goal to inspire athletes to know that they too are limitless on and off the field. 

Amanda Treadell is the director of girls’ programs at Trilogy Lacrosse. This article appears in the March edition of US Lacrosse Magazine.

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