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Coach Talk

Womenslacrosse dsonmagspring21

by Tony Moore

Dave Webster ’88 has been the head men’s lacrosse coach at Dickinson for 20 years, along the way winning four Centennial Conference championships and 261 games (400+ over his entire career). Kim Masimore began leading the Red Devils woman’s LAX team in 2014 and has never had a losing season, leading the team to four straight conference playoff appearances and producing All-Americans in two seasons. With the Centennial Conference announcing that athletic activity will return in the spring, it seemed like a good time to check in and get a sense of the lacrosse landscape at Dickinson.

Kim Masimore

Kimmasimoresilhouette2 dsonmagspring21The women’s lacrosse team has never had a losing season under your leadership. What’s your strategy for landing even more wins this year?

We feel fortunate to have experienced success over the last few years and look to continue that momentum moving forward. This season will look and feel different, but our goal of Centennial Conference championship remains the same. We’ll be looking to implement our new-found skills of adaptability, resilience and perspective to achieve this goal, while giving our 10 seniors a memorable experience. 

What did you do to keep your players in shape while the CC wasn’t seeing any action?

Most recently, within our team’s four pods we created a Weekly Grid challenge. Each pod could earn points by completing different tasks together. Categories ranged from community building, fitness, strength, self-care, lacrosse and a “be better” section. While maintaining fitness is always a priority, we wanted to incorporate time to develop our individual selves and relationships with each other and contribute positively to our communities.

What do you say to recruits to make them see what a great program they’ll be joining?

I don’t think it’s about what I say; I think it’s more about what prospective student-athletes feel when they’re on campus, sitting in on a class and having lunch with our team. I hope they feel valued for who they are and that they can pursue a variety of interests while be challenged to grow as a person, a student and a lacrosse player.

Besides raw talent, what do you look for in your players when building your team?

Our recruiting philosophy involves recruiting good people, good students and good athletes, in that order. We are looking to add student-athletes to our program who are eager to pursue rigorous academic offerings, will be good citizens of our campus and want to be part of building a team that is a competing for national championships.

What are some highlights from your years with Dickinson, both on and off the field?

So many highlights, great memories and lots of laughs. Any spring break trip is bound to provide all of those, but a few of our best spring break trips included beating nationally ranked Ithaca, going to the Grand Ole Opry, volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club, getting a van towed and almost being eaten by a large bird of prey (we have the pic to prove it). I love reliving all of these memories with our alumnae when they come back to visit!

How do you keep players focused on LAX as well as academics across the season?

I think this goes back to the recruiting process. Our staff does a great job of identifying people who are highly motivated both in the classroom and on the field. One of our core values is balance, so we are really intentional about maintaining a healthy balance with school, lacrosse and any other competing interests. Part of this core value of balance also includes knowing when to grind it out and when to let loose a little. We certainly work hard, but we laugh a lot along the way too.

Dave Webster '88

Davewebstersilhouette dsonmagspring21Red Devils men’s lacrosse has a long history of excellence. What’s your strategy for keeping the program moving in the right direction and getting back to the CC championship? 

Our strategy for success always starts with building elite team culture. That begins with building relationships rooted in trust and respect. 18-22 year old men, and their old coach, make plenty of mistakes. However, when we first build trust and respect, we can work through the various challenges that arise on and off the field. Our focus has always been on the Tommy and Joes rather than on the Xs and Os. Develop the young men first and then develop the important on-the-field strategies.

What did you do to keep your players in shape while the CC wasn’t seeing any action?

We went from March 12, 2020, to Feb. 15, 2021, without a practice or team workout. In those 11 months, we tried to keep our young men physically, mentally and emotionally engaged and challenged. It was a fine balance we had to try and find. We provided workouts that the guys could try and make progress with. Many found their disciplined approach to fitness to be one of the few constants during this strange time.

What do you say to recruits to make them see what a great program they’ll be joining?

It’s less about what we say to recruits and much more important what they hear from our current players and alums. The perspective of these current players and recent graduates who have grown from this experience is what really impacts recruits in this very competitive market. Our program is going to challenge young men to be their best. It is not easy and it is certainly not for everyone. However, if you want to be challenged and are excited to realize your full potential on and off the field, then this is the best place to do that.

Besides raw talent, what do you look for in your players when building your team?

We are very intentional with what we seek in recruits. We build our team every year with young men who embrace our core values—hustle, enthusiasm, attitude, respect and toughness. We talk about these qualities as behaviors on and off the field. This is what we recruit, what we help develop and what we also help market about these young men to alums and other potential employers. These behaviors, our core values, make a difference in lacrosse games, in school, on campus and in their future professions and relationships.

What are some highlights from your years with Dickinson, both on and off the field?

This is my 20th year as the head lacrosse coach at Dickinson, and we have had amazing victories in each of those 20 seasons. We have also had tough losses in each of those seasons. However, the highlights for me mostly come off the field. It’s seeing a kid who grew up in New York City use a chainsaw for the first time while clearing some brush on a Native American school campus in New Mexico during one of our Winter Break service trips. It’s having a team of 50 loud college kids go absolutely silent as they witness firsthand the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina while immersed in cleanup work in Plaquemines Parish, LA. It’s watching our young college men working side by side with Mennonite carpenters while building houses in West Virginia. Those life-changing experiences and the perspective they provide our young men are my highlights of coaching at Dickinson. When those same young men who devoted a week of winter break to an amazing service trip also walk down the steps of Old West and receive their diploma after giving their all to teammates on Biddle Field, that is perhaps the ultimate highlight.

How do you keep players focused on LAX as well as academics across the season?

During the recruiting process, we are very transparent about the challenges of being a successful student-athlete at Dickinson. The focus needed to succeed here with both endeavors is a skill we help our young guys develop. Several will struggle with this from time to time. However, they all learn and grow, and the ability to sustain their focus and drive becomes a skill they will take with them far beyond Biddle Field.

Read more from the spring 2021 issue of Dickinson Magazine

TAKE THE NEXT STEPS

Published May 18, 2021