Scott Rodgers will be a speaker at the upcoming 2015 Ohio Machine Coaches Convention on Saturday, December 5 at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center. In addition to discussing leadership on and off the field, he will also give a demonstration on proper goalie warm-ups. Rodgers, the team’s 2015 Unsung Hero Award winner caught up with TheOhioMachine.com and talked a little offseason lacrosse.
Where are you currently living?
SR: Baltimore, Maryland
What are you up to this offseason?
SR: I am working as a strength coach at Johns Hopkins University. I work with men’s football, fencing, and water polo, along with women’s soccer. Then I also help out with any of the stuff with the men’s lacrosse team. Steele Stanwick and I also train pretty much every day. Nobody understands how hard Steele works in the offseason, everyone always gives him a lot of credit for his smarts and lacrosse IQ but the way he works physically is something not a lot of people realize.
How does strength training help transition into your goaltending skills?
SR: You know my style of play is different than everyone else, I come out and hit people around the crease which you’re not seeing too many other goalies do. I set the tone and come out and play physical, and you know you’re out here with guys shooting 105 mph from ten to twelve yards and you don’t have a lot of time to get your stick on it so I’m just trying to get a good read and get my body on it and I think being big and strong and having that layer of muscle on your chest and sternum isn’t a bad thing to have. Also in a sport like lacrosse where we kind of have to market ourselves, it has become my brand and niche within the sport.
What advice would you give to young goalies that are looking to improve their leadership on the field?
SR: I think you just have to be resilient in the cage. I know it sounds cliché, but in the sport we play , you’re going to get scored on a lot, so having that poise out on the field is huge for a good goalie and leader. You never want to be that guy out on the field who is throwing a tantrum and smashing his stick, you want to be focusing on making that next save. You never see guys like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady get rattled on the field because they are two great leaders, so I think that ability to stay calm out there is just what great leaders do.
Is there a particular aspect of your game you are trying to work on this offseason?
SR: You know every season you want to find an area that you can get better. Coach Davis is so dedicated to that with film and stats, and you know that if you have a weakness he’s going to find it and break it down and he’s going to let you know about it. I tell him all the time, he’s brutally honest, and with me I love that kind of coaching and grew up around that. But this offseason I’m trying to read the shot better and not cheat on the shot, you know I think as pro goalies we try to cheat to get an edge on the shot, but at the same time we have to be true and hold our position in the cage and I think I’m trying to improve that.
Where there any particularly memorable or funny moments from the past season?
SR: Every bus ride from practice to the hotel on the way home we had a little segment called “Story Time with Scotty.” You know I have a lot of experience in the league and I just let these guys know some stories about what I’ve gone through in the league and college so far and just kind of keep it light. I think there is a fine line for a leader of joking around and getting serious, so I have a serious side that I turn on when I’m on the field and side that’s pretty light so I think those stories I tell just kind of let the guys see that.
Other than winning a championship, do you have any specific goals for the upcoming season?
SR: As a competitive person, I feel like I’m one of the most competitive guys in this league, I always want to better myself and be at the top of the game but the most important thing to me at 28 years old is that I just want to win. The most important thing is just winning with this team, I want to win a championship and that really takes precedence over everything personal for me.
We know you’re a big WWE fan, who is your favorite wrestler? Did you ever consider getting involved in the WWE?
SR: Getting involved in that would be a dream come true. Paul Rabil and I are good friends and we both have a common interest in WWE, so whenever they come to town we always go and have a great time. I’d have to say Ryback is my favorite wrestler because of his stature, he’s 6’4” and 300 pounds of all muscle and I love his slogan of “feed me more”.
Is there anything you want to let Ohio Machine fans know?
SR: I think just how we have really made the culture of winning a staple in Ohio and now we have a target on us and I think last year we did a good job with that target on us. I think we have a good group of guys here so I’m excited for this upcoming season.