CALGARY, AB — 1,482,135 kilometres.
That’s how far the Calgary Roughnecks players flew during the 2015 season, and that doesn’t include bus trips for games in Edmonton.
For those on the team who reside in Calgary, they aren’t too concerned about the travel because of the proximity to teams like Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Colorado. Also, they do not have to travel for home games.
“I think living in Calgary, it’s one of the best places you could play,” said Mike Carnegie. “You have the trips to Edmonton which are close and the trips to Vancouver which are not that far at all, like an hour long flight. I actually feel like I’ve got it pretty good in comparison to some guys who are flying all over the country to play lacrosse. I can’t complain. It’s part of the game and you get used to it.”
However, for players who live outside Calgary, flying to every game – home and away – can start to wear on them.
The flying is more of a mental hurdle than anything else.
“I think it mentally wears on you,” Leung said. “Physically, everything’s fine. Mentally its just preparing for those flights, knowing that you’re travelling – sometimes across North America – to play a game. That’s the luxury of playing lacrosse at the highest level. That’s what we have to do. It’s something that I live with and enjoy doing.”
For Leung, making the flight from Victoria to Calgary isn’t a huge difficulty as it is only an hour flight.
That being said, [hyperlink Balancing Act] mixing in a full-time job, working out, and practicing, the weekend travel can take its toll.
“At times it does a little bit. Luckily the flight is only an hour, so that makes it a bit easier,” mentioned Leung. “With the busy work days and everything, the travel can catch up to you. On the weekends, it really doesn’t feel like work. I’m there to have fun for a purpose, to win games. Right now, being young, it’s a lot easier on me than some of the guys who have kids and families. Those are some of the guys who – I don’t know how they do it. I can imagine that it would be really tough.”
As one of few a players flying in from the East, Shawn Evans doesn’t care much for the flights.
He believes that with all the flying, taking care of your body is top priority. That is his biggest struggle as the season wears on.
“It sucks bit. You just have to watch what you’re doing and take care of your body,” Evans said. “When you’re playing a game and hopping on a plane the next day and your body is all sore and beat up, you’ve got to make sure you’re icing and putting fluids in your body. That way when you get home, you’re not to dehydrated or too sore.”
Doing these things to stay in tip-top condition is paramount for Evans as he knows that he needs to be prepared week in and week out to deliver a strong performance for his team.
While the travel is long, it’s a matter of keeping a good mind set to push that aside and perform at MVP levels.
“The trips are longs,” admitted Evans. “It’s about 7 hours a day travelling to Calgary – over the weekend I’m travelling 14 hours and doing that every weekend. It takes a toll, but it’s mind over matter. Regardless, I have to be ready to perform when I get out on the floor.”