Chris Bocklet Interview: MLL player with Denver Outlaws
Chris Bocklet: https://www.instagram.com/cbocklet10/
Just For Lax Moms had the opportunity to talk with Chris Bocklet, MLL player with the Denver Outlaws. Chris is a down to earth, well accomplished lacrosse player and entrepreneur who has experienced the journey from youth player to pro. He shared interesting and insightful thoughts based on his experiences that, as a LaxMom and parents of a youth playing the sport today, we found extremely helpful.
The game is growing fast and much has changed since Chris’s day’s as a youth and at the same time his guidance, coaching and thoughts on what truly works and how to be successful are refreshing, grounded and sound.
Just For Lax Moms (LaxMom): Chris, how were you introduced to the game?
Chris Bocklet (CB): I grew up in a very active family. I have 2 older brothers and 1 younger sister and we played all kinds of sports. Our oldest brother Mike actually played baseball and our Dad coached. We went to visit a cousin in Syracuse and he was running around with some stick and said he played lacrosse. Mike picked up a stick and loved it. He made the switch and then the rest of us followed. Soon bats and gloves were being replaced with sticks, pads and balls.
LaxMom: It sounds like the whole family fell in love with the sport then?
CB: No doubt… it was for sure a family thing. We’d go to camps and stuff as there really weren’t travel teams then and we would work on our own in the backyard and go to clinics and trainings. I just basically wanted to be doing whatever my big brothers were doing. Our sister played to and she’s just as competitive.
LaxMom: How did you get to be good at the game?
CB: I watched a ton of games with my brothers playing, went to camps and was always asking the coaches to show me this or teach me that. I had in my head a goal and wrote down in elementary school that I wanted be a HS All American and I worked towards it. I had great support from my Dad and brothers and my mom too. I guess I just had a passion for it and they just guided me forward.
LaxMom: Was it lacrosse 24/7?
CB: No not at all. We played all kinds of sports- football, basketball, etc. that helped develop all kinds of skills and sometimes just putting down the stick was a good thing. I believe you learn a lot from other sports, other values and skills. I also think if you just do the one thing you can possibly have burnout. I’ve seen that happen.
LaxMom: What would you say to kids and parents given what seems to be a lot of internal/external pressure to specialize today?
CB: Yeah… good question. I’d say play multiple sports, put the stick down sometimes and just take a break and play something else in the off season. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick it up and throw at the wall, etc. but doing nothing but lacrosse winter, spring, summer, fall could definitely lead to burnout. You should be fired up to pick up the stick! The reality is 90% of the recruits at University of Virginia, my alma mater, are well balanced multi sports kids. Coaches prefer that.
LaxMom: Speaking of college and recruits, what trends do you see and what would be your advice?
CB: Recruiting seems to be happening earlier and earlier so it puts more pressure on parents and players at younger ages. The reality is you have to let the kids want it, guide them but the burn has to come from within. I had the motivation, the burn and desire… my parents just guided and supported me and all my siblings. We did each go on to play at college and now me and my two brothers play major league lacrosse together for the Denver Outlaws, but the fire and passion all along came from us.
It seems sometimes some care more about the team and the jersey they get to wear instead of the playing time, learning and skill development. You need to really consider the college and like the school because you are a student/athlete; you are not getting a degree in lacrosse. It’s a 40 year decision not just a 4 year decision. Use the game and the opportunity to help get you to a better place or right situation in life and not just playing because of a name or school.
Same goes for younger players and considering travel teams. They need to think about the actual play time and what the organization is doing for you and your development and skill building and be less obsessed about the winning record. It needs to be a good fit all around.
LaxMom: It’s evident by looking at your social media and talking with you that you live a pretty healthy and active lifestyle and of course playing in the pros probably demands you be in top shape. How has nutrition, exercise and overall healthy living played a part in your life and your success? What would you say to kids today about food and nutrition?
CB: I’m very active and really focus on eating well. Fortunately I grew up with a mom who knew about food and nutrition and I was taught about the right things to eat which certainly helps. The amount of sugar and stuff in food today is just so terrible for kids. I think parents have it much harder to make sure kids are eating well. Proper nutrition is key to performing your best. I would always see a direct correlation to my eating and my performance. Hydrating with water is the best, eating as natural and as clean as possible, eating well balanced meals and minimizing the junk too! It’s about building good habits from early on. I’m sure we all have that one friend whose house is the junk mecca and you go there and just indulge. In my house growing up there was little of that. Now I see that same kid as an adult and he still eats poorly so my point is learning good habits young in life and talking about nutrition at home will stick with you and it definitely will have a positive impact on your game.
LaxMom: Besides the MLL what are you doing now?
CB: Well I am pretty much looking to avoid the 9-5 office life as it just doesn’t suit me. After college most of my friends got jobs in NYC and being from there I didn’t want to work there. I had always thought I’d get into teaching, counseling, coaching. So today I, along with my brothers and sisters, run a lacrosse camp called X10Lax. We share with campers our philosophy of multi- sport participation, leadership, having fun and learning the game. The reality is you’re not going to make a living being a pro lacrosse player so I use it to build businesses and income via coaching, camps and private lessons. I also help people lead healthy and productive lives as a Beach Body coach.
LaxMom: Thanks Chris for your time and for sharing what you’ve learned through your journey. This has been really insightful and good luck in your season!
CB: Thank you guys for taking the time and it’s pretty awesome what you are all doing too!
** For more info on Chris Bocklet and the Bocklet family camp please visit http://www.x10lacrosse.com/ You can always catch Chris with the Denver Outlaws when they come to a city near you! Here’s info on his career with the Outlaws https://www.denveroutlaws.com/players/chris–bocklet