North of the Border with Nathan Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) Senior, Defense
Being Canadian in an American League:
People in the US are going to be interested: What is it like being the only Canadian team in an American field lacrosse league? Do most of your guys grow up playing box or field? Both?
Personally, as a Canadian, it’s something I’m very proud of, being able to not only represent my school and lacrosse program, but also, in a sense, my country. It really ignites me and helps me focus when I draw parallels between our games and the rivalry that the United States and Canada have created throughout a wide range of sports. I really enjoy the opportunity and, for me, it’s one of the most powerful aspects of suiting up for Simon Fraser.
I grew up playing box lacrosse. It took me until I was 13 to discover field lacrosse as a way of staying fresh for box. In the last few years I’ve seen this dynamic change and kids are starting to enjoy field more, at least that is the case for my younger brother’s generation. And, to be honest, I think I’ve joined that group, to the point that I enjoy field a lot more.
What is holding back Canadian field lacrosse growth?
Not to understate the growth of field lacrosse in Canada, but I think a lot of it has to do with hockey. I know as a kid I always wanted to play hockey but couldn’t pick up the core skill of skating. My parents turned me to lacrosse and I’ve been playing ever since. Thankfully, programs like the Burnaby Mountain Selects are changing the growth of lacrosse in a positive manor by providing a window for young scholar athletes to not only see the opportunities lacrosse holds in terms of a college experience, but also helping them excel into elite players.
During the Season/Gametime:
It’s midweek during the season so you’re in between weekend games. Tell us about a day in the life of YOU. What do you do? Where do you go (classes, places, practices, movies, etc)? Who are you with (friends, girlfriend, teammates, parents)? What do you think about? What do you watch or listen to?
Normally my day starts with a 5:45am wake up. My roommate/teammate Ben Johnson and I head up to campus for practice. After practice, we generally hit the kitchen together, sometimes Adam Foss (SFU ’10 and current Assistant Coach) will come over and we’ll make a big breakfast. After that, it’s time to hit the books. This semester I have class every day, so regardless; I’ll be making my way up to campus for class at some point. I don’t generally like using the library as a place to work unless I have an exam, so I get a lot of my work done at home. I like being able to access food easily, a relatively clean bathroom and catch up with my various shows (Californication, Jersey Shore, Gold Rush Alaska, and others) during my break times. When I get a chance, I like to make the drive home for my mom’s home cooked meals, and maybe make a case for a charitable donation to my bank account. I don’t have a job this semester so money can get pretty tight at times. Not having a job has its perks though. I have a lot more time to hang out with friends and my girlfriend come weekends. To finish up, I either make dinner and watch sports or hit the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the team.
Share the songs on your game day playlist and shed a little light on why you’ve chosen each of them.
I have a few. While I’m getting ready for the game I like to take myself through a serious of highs and lows to simulate some emotions I may encounter throughout the game. I’ve used “Anthem for the Year 2000” by Silverchair for the last few years in both box and field. Just the power chords alone can get a sweat out of me with adrenaline. Then I’ll follow it up with a more mellow beat like “Shining Down” by Lupe Fiasco to bring me back down, and then it’s right back up again with something else.
Tell us about your pregame rituals.
The feet come first, is pretty much my cardinal rule. The tape, socks and cleats have to be right before I put any of my gear on. This can be an easy task, or it can make me the last guy to be ready for warm up.
My other gig is pretty widely used. I use eye black really close to my eyes. It’s not really an intimidation thing; I like it really close to my eyes so you can’t see my eyes. I like to portray myself as an emotionless player, which can sometimes be the complete opposite, and by taking away the eyes; you can hide a lot about what you’re thinking during the game.
Looking back on last weekend’s game against Michigan State, is there anything you wish had gone better?
It was a loss that I think took its toll on the guys, me included. Fortunately we were able to right the ship in the fourth quarter and prove, not only to league, but also to ourselves about what we’re capable of when we focus and execute our game plan. We came out flat after halftime and Michigan State was able to capitalize on a string of mental mistakes before we managed to get back into our systems. It’s a good learning lesson for such a young group though. I know when I was a freshman; I took this league for granted and got a huge wakeup call in my first game, which happened to be Brigham Young.
One thing to utilize is, because of the competitive schedule we’ve had over the past couple of years, every weekend is another opportunity to bounce back against another formidable opponent. This weekend versus #3 Colorado State is no different and I’m excited about the opportunity.
What’s your favorite piece of 2011 SFU Team Gear and why?
This week we received our new track suits for this season. I liked them the first moment I saw them. Because of the extreme weather we sometimes endure throughout practice, having team wear that is waterproof is pretty essential.
Fronts of the track suits
Back of the track suits
Bottoms of the track suit.
Thanks for your time Nathan, good luck this weekend! The Clan is just getting started so come back each week to hear from a new player. Follow their scores at @FraserLacrosse and check out SFULacrosse.com.