Player Spotlight highlights the finer details and elements while supplying insight to the fans on what a player's thought process may be pertaining to a certain play, game or situation. It brings the intensity, passion, and inner most thoughts of the individual player that otherwise may not be felt or heard.
Glenn Clark - Toronto Rock
Glenn Clark, a veteran defender & perennial All-Star with the Toronto Rock, decided to sit out the OLA Major season this summer. Christine Kurt had a chance to chat with him about the game, his sons, golf and how he stays in shape in this, his first extended break from the game since he started playing.
|How did you get started in lacrosse in the first place?|
|It was probably like most kids. I played hockey and I didn't start playing lacrosse until I was nine. A guy I played hockey with asked me if I wanted to try lacrosse in the summer and I started playing in Ajax.
|Tell me about getting drafted into the NLL, for those who don't know your history? And how you ended up playing for the Toronto Rock?|
|I was a hockey player and I played university & semi-pro in the East Coast League, kind of like Jimmy Moss did. So, when I came out of university, Shane Sanderson was coaching the old Detroit Turbos and he invited me to come for a tryout. That was right when I was going down to play hockey for a couple of years. So, I sort of fell out of the lacrosse scene for a time. But when my hockey career wound down, that's when the Ontario Raiders started. I was a free agent and was picked up in the draft that they had.|
|You have been playing lacrosse, year round, for how many years?|
|Seven years now and I also played in 1991 in that old pro league in Brantford with Troy Cordingly, Jimmy Veltman, Brian Shanahan.
|And with the hockey?|
|Year round since I was nine.
|So...why did you decide to take this summer off?|
|A couple of reasons...personal reason with these guys, Taggart (who is five) and Grady (three). My body was hurting after the season. I had a nagging hamstring injury. I just wanted a break. I wanted to take the summer off and enjoy these guys. And just
get strong again for the winter season.
|Has it been really tough to come out and watch your buddies play?|
|Especially when I come to these kind of games. These are the ones you miss- the Brooklin and Brampton rivalry. You miss the games that are competitive and
fierce; the games that mean something. I don't miss the Tuesday night practice and Akwesasne on a Sunday. When I walked in here today and I saw them warming up
and I saw Gavin (Prout) out there firing the ball and...this is what I miss. I miss competing at this level.
|What is it with Brooklin and Brampton? Just my observation but none of you guys ever have trouble getting up for these games.|
|When I first came into senior, it was probably more Brooklin and Peterborough. But since '92 and those teams from Six Nations, it's been the Redmen and the Excelsiors- as long as I have been playing senior. Brampton, for the last six years, has been the team
to beat. We beat them that one year and we ended up winning the Mann Cup. But, other than that, they have dominated the OLA. Those type of competitions, with the intensity, mean more. You want to win them and you want the challenge of the best team.
|What have you been doing all summer?|
|I have been hanging out with these guys, and golfing, working out a lot - rehabbing and getting stronger overall, putting on a little muscle weight. I'm just working on feeling better and doing it without getting bashed around all summer.
|What is the importance of summer lacrosse?|
You are playing five days a week so you are staying in awesome shape. You are playing against a lot of the same guys so there is not a huge drop off in skill. It is a lot slower, rougher. And with the NLL season being only five months long, you notice the guys in training camp who take the summer off. And I'm only 22 so I should be playing all year around.
This was the point in the interview when I found out how much fun Taggart and Grady were having with Dad this summer. They had been to the zoo that afternoon and the smiles, while they were introducing me to the animals they got there, told me that all three Clark guys were enjoying their time together.
Glenn Clark is one of the fittest players in the NLL, according to his peers. I took this opportunity to ask him how he stays that way when he is not playing.
|Did you give yourself a break, at the end of the NLL season, before you got back into a training routine?|
I had a broken rib from the last regular season game. So, I took about three weeks, completely off. I didn't do anything. I just rested. Then, after the three weeks, I started getting back into riding the bike and lifting weights, building up a bit of foundation. And I have just been going harder since then.
|So, even for a player who isn't injured and just wants to take some time off, would you recommend a break?|
|For sure. You need that in any training regimen. You need your "down-time" because that is when the body heals and grows and strengthens- when it rests.
Even right now, I took three weeks off and then I went hard for about six weeks. Then I took a week off. I'll go hard again for about six weeks and then take a
week off. And when you come back, after a bit of a rest, you are stronger.
|And is this the pattern until it is time to get yourself ready for training camp?|
I am doing things a little bit differently right now. I am going hard to build up a bit more muscle. And then, when I get close to season, I will pick up the intensity. I will decrease the weight but do things quicker, with shorter rest intervals in between. That better mirrors what you are going to do on the floor and the quickness required.
|For somebody who is going to take a season off and just train, what might a week look like?|
|I would do cardio five of those days. I would workout and do weights six of those days. I work my lower body with weights and run on one day. Then, on the next two days, focus on other body areas and run; then rest and start again.
|How much time is involved in each session?|
|About an hour and a half - thirty minutes of cardio either cycling or running, then an hour of weights and stretching.
|What kind of diet do you combine with the physical workouts?|
|Just a healthy, balanced diet, all year.
|To get the maximum effect of the workout, how do you plan your diet?|
|Because I like working out in the morning, I try to plan things so I have about an hour in between breakfast (cereal with milk, banana, orange juice) and my workout. Then I try to eat when I've finished. And I try and drink a lot of water while I'm working out,
maybe a little Gatorade.
|How about any kind of supplements- vitamins, protein?|
|Sometimes I use a little extra protein after a workout but I prefer to get what I need from a balanced diet.
|One more question...I hear you coached this summer?|
|I coached Taggart's team. It was great. Jimmy Veltman was coaching as well. His son, Kristoffer, was on the same team.
|Were they any good?|
Ya, they were pretty good. They were strong out there because they have been around it so much.
And, if the big grin on his face was any indication, Taggart enjoyed have his Dad coach him.
This fall, Glenn has agreed to chat again about getting in shape for the upcoming NLL season and I suspect he may be "persuaded" to chat about the season itself.
Christine Kurt, a.k.a. The Goddess of Lacrosse, writes a fan column for www.thelacrossejournal.com and The Lacrosse Journal. She is an unapologetic homer when it comes to her beloved Toronto Rock and her "boys of summer", the Brampton Excelsiors. But, first and foremost, she is a true fan of "the creator's game" and can be found all year around watching whatever lacrosse game is going, when she is not working at her real job, as a labour & deliver nurse.