Paul Rabil of Major League Lacrosse's Boston Cannons is asked a lot of questions on a daily basis. Maybe the most asked is “can I have your autograph,” which the MLL MVP is more than happy to provide.
But as the first in a six part series featuring Rabil, the two-time NCAA champion answers questions that participants in the 2012 Warrior 40 want to know about the star.
Over the next six weeks ESPNHS will showcase Rabil as a lead in to the Warrior 40, which takes place Aug. 13-15 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
ESPNHS: In a recent article, you stated that you're never satisfied. How do you keep all things in perspective if you're never satisfied?
Paul Rabil: “When I say I’m never satisfied it means I want to continue to win. You hate losing and losing sets a fire in you to go out, play better and win. For me when I win the next thing is to win again. When you win a championship after you’re done celebrating it feels so good you want to do it again.
ESPNHS: How did the excitement and pressure of playing in the final four or the national championship affect you and how did you stay focused while you were there?
PR: “That’s a difficult questions because I think it’s something that comes sort of natural or I attribute it to coach Dave Pietramala [Rabil’s coach at Johns Hopkins] and our practice and preparation before that game. You get so excited, but once you walk on the field you tone everything out. When you’re in the game it felt no different than playing on Homewood Field or right down the street on the park.”
ESPNHS: What advice or words of wisdom would you give to future D-I lacrosse players before they leave for college?
PR: “Focus on yourself and set goals for what you want to do at the school you’re going to. Watch film on guys that you want to play like or aspire to be. That’s what I did when I was in high school -- I watched a lot of the college All-Americans and pro players and tried to adapt to their game.”
ESPNHS: What type of work did you put in as a kid that got you to where you are today?
PR: “Tons of wall ball, tons of shooting. I get on the wall five hundred times a day and I shoot 100 to 200 shots a day.”
ESPNHS: What is the biggest transition from high school to college?
PR: “The speed of the game and the way it’s played. In high school you can get away with sheer athleticism and pace and endurance. In the college game when you’re tired you don’t have room to be tired. Everyone that’s on the field and in practice is always going 110 percent.”
ESPNHS: Who is the toughest defenseman you have ever gone against and why?
PR: “There’s been several for different reasons, but the best all-around defenseman I’ve gone against is Brodie Merrill. He can defend well, but he’s also such a threat when the balls on the ground and on the clear. He gets up the field as a long pole, right after a shot on the clear that makes me go back and defend. He’s forcing the offensive players do things that we’re not used to in different situations. That’s what makes him great.”