Thanks, Dad! Lax & Life Lessons – off the field.
A little shout-out to all the Dads for yesterday being, Father’s Day.
I think I can count in one hand the amount of times my Dad (Vicente Ricasio) saw me play lacrosse – Four. He was not against playing and/or watching sports. Rather, he was always focused on working extremely hard to make sure his children had the opportunities for a better quality of life. Better than what he and my Mom had before immigrating to the United States. Those opportunities were to be hard earned with strict lessons learned.
Back in 8th grade, I was playing at a youth lacrosse festival in Long Island. At the days end, I slung my gloves, pads and helmet on my goalie stick that rested on my shoulder, and headed with my Dad to the parking lot. Passing the game fields, I saw in the far distance a bucket of lacrosse balls by the substitution box that was partially full, with nobody around. I looked at my Dad, who was about 10 yards ahead of me, his attention grabbed by talking to some parents and yelled that I ‘would meet him at the car’. I quickly dropped my equipment on the ground and ran towards the bucket of lacrosse balls in the interest of taking a few home. I searched for unused or hardly used ones while the worn-out, “slick” or “glossy” ones didn’t grab my attention. Regardless, I grabbed about six lacrosse balls in total.
I ran back to see my lacrosse equipment already taken from the ground and found my Dad waiting for me in the car. I hopped in the passenger side, placed the lacrosse balls at my feet and buckled up. On the return trip home, I noticed my lacrosse equipment wasn’t in the back seat, where it usually was. I asked my Dad if he placed [it] in the trunk. He shook his head, ‘NO’. My false of stealing lacrosse balls gave way to my lacrosse equipment being stolen.
I argued why he did not take care of my equipment and he answered by telling me that, that was NOT his responsibility. He eventually told me that there would come a time where people, or strangers, would not know or care what’s really important to you. It was tough love he dished out but I eventually understood it. I made sure that my equipment was always taken care of, always in my sight and under my fullest responsibility.
Hindsight is 20/20. Lesson Learned.
Look, it’s pretty simple, now that I’m an adult. If something is VERY important to you, you really need to be accountable for it. My Dad set the self-reliance factor at a high-bar and at an early-age. It might have been unconventional, but he was RIGHT. In lacrosse, just like any sport, you have to be accountable for your actions. Most importantly, that definitely goes correctly for your decisions and actions off-the-field.
When I started The Art of Lax™, I had no clear idea how the venture would start, but I knew NOBODY was going to do it for me.
(L-to-R: Vicente Ricasio & Vinnie Ricasio, family trip to Harbour Island-Bahamas. Jan. 2011)