Training Camp for the Rochester Knighthawks kicked off last weekend, and although the team made ample moves over the offseason, much still remains the same.
Like Knighthawks captain Paul Dawson, who’s returning for his 17th season in the National Lacrosse League, third with the current Knighthawks squad and 10th in the Flower City amongst both Rochester franchises.
Let’s take a look at how the Knighthawks veteran goes about his offseason training, makes the transition from offseason to in-season travel look seamless and more as we get closer to the 2022-23 season in Rochester.
HOW DAWSON GOES ABOUT HIS OFFSEASON TRAINING:
“Kind of stick to the basics, but always add in something that is new and kind of exciting into my training that maybe other strength coaches and trainers are doing,” said Dawson when asked how goes about his offseason to prepare him for the next year.
“As you get older, I find more of an emphasis on my conditioning,” continued the Knighthawks captain when elaborating on his offseason habits. “So, it’s adding a lot more conditioning now as I get older and, again the strength is kind of – I’m going to be as strong as I’m going to be at 37, but I think you can always kind of push your conditioning. So that’s kind of how I approach every offseason, just trying to be as conditioned as possible.”
DAWSON ON TRANSITION FROM OFFSEASON TO IN-SEASON TRAVEL:
“I think it comes with the territory and being year 17, you’re kind of used to it,” started Dawson when asked about going from being at home all the time to constantly on the road traveling while in season.
“The good thing for me is I got my schedule set for years to come and the schedule comes out early enough that I can kind of foresee the future of conflicts that I have with work. So, it allows me to kind of get organized way ahead of time for the whole season, which is nice. Again, being a firefighter for 10 years and playing in this league for 17, you kind of have the routine down. So, it’s not too bad.”
ON HOW DAWSON SETS PRESEASON PRIORITIES TO BE READY FOR THE REGULAR SEASON:
“Just kind of what I need to be successful,” explained Dawson when asked how he strategizes his priorities heading into the season.
“It’s just taking a look at some goals and what I think I need to do to be successful this year. It’s kind of the same thing year after year and it’s just the excitement coming into cam. The priorities are always the same. Being in shape and leading by example and see what happens next.”
DAWSON ON THE EXCITEMENT SURROUNDING YEAR 17
“It’s funny,” started Dawson when asked if he still gets excited for each season like he did in his earlier playing days.
“Each age is a weird thing where you don’t really realize how old you are sometimes and it’s probably a good thing. Year after year I always put three things in in my mind, if I’m going to keep playing, you know, am I good enough? Do I want to train? Am I having fun? Right now, all four of those things are still very high.”
Dawson truly values this sport and this league more than anything, knowing that he needs to continue to take advantage of the opportunity at hand for as long as possible.
“When this is all over, the one thing everyone misses is being in this dressing room. So, for me and being in this league, it gives me an opportunity to play as long as possible and I’m going to try and play as long as possible because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
THE KNIGHTHAWKS ROAD AHEAD:
In the weeks to come, practices will be far and few between with two more exhibition games on the docket for the Knighthawks.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Knighthawks take on the Calgary Roughnecks before battling Panther City in one final tune-up on Saturday, Nov. 26. Both face-offs are set for 6:00 p.m. at Brampton Memorial Arena.
The Knighthawks will officially embark on their third NLL season on Saturday, Dec. 3 on the road against the Georgia Swarm as part of the league’s Face-Off Weekend before returning home to host the Toronto Rock on Opening Knight on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Segar & Sciortino Field.