The Art of Lax Blog

For the player, coach, parent & lacrosse enthusiast in us!

Posts Tagged ‘lacrosse

MY 2011 NCAA Lax bracket

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“You don’t have to be the BEST team in the league, just the BEST on game day!”

Yup, it’s about that time where I make my decision(s) & publicly display them for the 2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament, which starts tomorrow at 12noon EST.
I have my upsets in mind/listed on here. Call me crazy on some of them but that’s the best thing about sport – anything can just happen.

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May 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm

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Looking EAST-making the stride to ASIA.

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My flight is booked and my equipment will be carefully selected as to making the trip to Thailand on May 31st for the “Grow the Game” event in Bangkok on June 4th.

Prior to all this was getting the chance to piece together and design the promotional card for our host, Thailand Lacrosse. Discussing with their team leader, Payu Nernchamnong, we went back & forth on concepts and tweaking little details here and there. The final result came out to this card.

Thailand Lacrosse has it also on their blog:
http://thailand.laxallstars.com/captains-log-vol-4-never-stop/

I’m very happy to see the final product for the event and to open up a different network in international lacrosse and for both brands to succeed and grow — The Art of Lax™ and Thailand Lacrosse.

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May 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

You LEARN something EVERYDAY

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A few weeks ago, I played a lacrosse game out in Long Island on a rainy, cold, Wednesday night and returned to NYC late. I was starving and thankfully in my neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens has a diner that is open 24-hours. As I sat down and ordered my bacon-cheeseburger w/ fries, the waiter looked closely at my lacrosse equipment lying on the floor and asked if my goalie sticks are “used for fishing?”.

I get questions like that often – esp., in my hometown of NYC! But I remember one time back in boarding school, I was outside the 30th St. Train Station in Philadelphia with my lacrosse equipment in hand when a stranger inquired,

“Oh, that’s the sport you play with a horse, correct?”

I rolled my eyes and giggled a bit and told him, “that’s Polo and this is Lacrosse.” Fast-forward to today, I googled “Lacrosse” and found on wikipedia “Polocrosse” and below is the picture of what came up. I guess that person in Philly (15 years ago) was correct.

You really LEARN SOMETHING EVERYDAY!

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April 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm

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“The Elements of STYLE!”

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I still have that book from boarding school, also known as “Strunk & White” (William Strunk, Jr. & EB White), a guide for proper American English writing style.

I NEVER opened the book (the spine doesn’t have a crease) and it still sits on my bookshelf at home.

“Don’t look for a style.  Let if find you, again and again as it deepens and grows in richness, and as to your style, your friends will recognize it, you won’t, unless you stole someone else’s.  Style comes to you when it is ready and it comes as inevitably as sweat on a July day.” – Charles Goslin (Pratt Institute. Former professor of design. Feb 23, 1932 – May 16, 2007)

As an artist, the two questions I get the most are:

“Where do you get your style from?”

“What inspires you?”

I figured to somehow combine both art and lacrosse here, considering my two passions  I’m known for.  My artistic style comes from a variety of artists that I love.  I was fortunate to spend 3 years of my childhood growing up in Milan, Italy where I was able to see an abundance of original masterpieces up front.  You might be able to see the influence in my work(s).  The list of ARTISTS goes:

Leonardo Da Vinci (Italian. April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519)

Albrecht Durer (German. May 21, 1417 -April 6, 1528)

Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch. March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)

John Singer Sargent (American. January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925)

There are so many more artists but these are my top dawgs!

As far as an ATHLETE. This is where it gets interesting!

Scott Bacigalupo (American, Goalie. Princeton University 1991-1994)

Mike Richter (American, Goalie. New York Rangers 1989-2003)

Lighting quick reflexes, aggressive, acrobatic and flexible!

Mix all contents in a bowl.  Stir frequently.  The final product(s) should look something like the following:

Art:

Lacrosse:

Inspiration and style comes from a multitude of things.  From Leornardo’s invention drawings, Van Gogh’s vibrant use of color, Bacigalupo’s unorthodox execution to Richter’s gymnast-style of flexibility – the more, the better.  But getting points for STYLE is not enough.  I’m constantly reminded how HARD these famous artists and decorated athletes had to WORK, growing their craft and expertise – and that is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect! As for that book, “The Elements of Style” maybe I can sell it to buy much needed art supplies and/or lacrosse equipment.

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December 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Gracias! Grazie! Danke! Salamat! Mahalo! Xie-Xie! Arigato! It means THANK YOU!

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The only way you can look at life in a straight line is looking back. Hindsight is 20/20. As year 2 since launching The Art of Lax™ comes to a near close, I just want to say THANK YOU to ALL those who have given me (and keep giving) the confidence and validation to keep The Art of Lax™ growing. There are so names – I can not list them all!

LACROSSE – the BEST thing that ever happened to me. Simply put, THANK YOU!

Vinnie Ricasio
The Art of Lax™
Thanksgiving Day 2010
New York City

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November 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

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Everything Counts

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“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.  Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” -Colin Powell (former Secretary of State)

One of my lacrosse coaches in boarding school was a man named David Reece, who has most definitely, taught me the importance of life in two, simple words.  It happened before the start of one particular practice when we did not have a game scheduled during the week.  A player asked Coach Reece if we could skip the routine (and often boring) stretch and warm-up, in the interest of just getting practice started and finished.  Coach’s response was very simple:

“No, because we will not skip what is important!”

The player inquired how it [stretching] was important and coach responded by saying:

“…because it’s one little thing that adds to a big part of our regimen and responsibility… whether it’s stretching out, tying your shoe laces, taping your stick, tweaking your pocket… even in practice… Everything Counts!

He would always say that in a commanding voice when somebody would try and “cut corners” sort-of-speak.  I take those words very seriously.  It has not only helped me as a player on the field but as a professional – trying not to overlook or take anything for granted, especially in the “real world”.

2 years ago to this day, the foundation of The Art of Lax™ was being finalized.  I promised myself, 24 drawings and 3 paintings done before the deadline of my 30th birthday – Nov. 16, 2008.  One of those paintings is titled “Everything Counts” and it is based on my experience and lesson from Coach Reece and the sport of lacrosse.  It is a reminder that if something is very important to you, make Everything related to it CountEVERYDAY.

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November 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Creating “The Stare Down”

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I was looking at the “drawings section” of the website, in particular – the goalies.  I noticed the contents displayed had them; starting a game, stopping a shot, clearing the ball, looking relaxed, etc.  What was missing was a piece displaying a typical goalie defending the cage.  So I came up with “The Stare Down”

“Get comfortable in a uncomfortable position” – Vinnie Pfeifer (former NLL goalie, NY Saints)

Funny that quote comes from a guy named Vinnie, but I remember him presenting that at the 2007 US Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia, PA.  While doing the piece, I remembered my days in boarding school, practicing my “goalie stance” in front of a mirror in my room.  I would spend mornings before breakfast doing the “invisible chair” or “Wall Sits” in the hallway of my dorm, just before my dorm mates woke up.  I made sure my arms/hands were not resting on my legs, rather held up in the air, out and in front – just like holding the stick.  Sometimes, I would get in my stance and walk a 3-5 point step (left to right & vice-versa), practicing side-to-side or what is a “pipe-to-pipe” shuffle-step.  My ‘top hand’ was always kept at eye level, acting as my guideline in tracing the ball from a pass, feed and eventually – a shot!  The routine back then is still found in me to this day, defending the cage and “staring down” the opposition.

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November 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Art, Childhood, Lacrosse

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