Zippy Ice Player Spotlight: Ryan Flanagan

By Hounds PR |  7/11/13 4:24 PM

Zippy Ice Player Spotlight: Ryan Flanagan

The vast majority of Major League Lacrosse players work full-time jobs Monday through Friday, but that hardly means they treat their commitment to the league as a secondary gig. In order to play at the elite level required in the MLL, guys have to make training and preparation a 24/7/365 responsibility. In the second installment of the “Zippy Ice Player Spotlight,” Hounds defenseman Ryan Flanagan talks about what gets him motivated to hit the field every Saturday during the summer.

During the week…

Monday through Friday I’m usually up around 5:00am. I get to the gym around 5:30 and get an hour, hour-and-a-half workout in. I work at Bank of America as an analyst, so I get to my desk around 7:30 and spend my day reading about different types of companies at Bank of America, like casinos and the cruise lines. Then from there I’ll usually get out of the office around 5:45, 6:00 and head straight over to the field. If I can get there earlier enough on Monday nights -- I try to get there about a half hour early -- I’ll start working out with Tom Passenant, who’s one of our coaches at Team 24/7. So Tom and I will get a quick workout in again that night and then we’ll coach up the kids. I usually walk in my door around 8:30 every night and get back to parents e-mails or see what’s going on with the Hounds and what coach Cerino is sending us with our scouting report, that type of stuff.

My workouts leading up to gameday…

We play Saturday nights, and I usually try to get in the gym Sunday night to kind of roll out and loosen up my legs and try to get some of the soreness out. Then I’ll do a chest workout on Sunday night as well. Every day is running and speed work. So Monday I’ll get in the gym, run a mile, do about 20 minutes of speed work then do a leg workout. Tuesday will usually be the same thing: get in, run, do speed work then get a back workout in. Basically just pick a different part of my body every day depending on what the schedule is that weekend. So if we’re playing a game on Saturday night, then that means I can get a shoulder workout in on Friday or biceps and triceps, something light and do a lot of stretching.

I alter my diet during the MLL season by…

I usually put on a little weight before the season, maybe five or ten pounds, just because you know during the summer and during the season it’s going to go insane. Then during the year, every morning for breakfast I’ll have a protein shake and then I do Custom Fit Meals, which is Casey Cittadino’s company, I’ll do that for lunch every day. It’s all organic, paleo diet type stuff so you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients that you need in a really quick meal. Then I usually eat chicken for dinner or salad for dinner or yogurt and granola, something like that. I usually try to get a light snack in during the da tooy, whether it’s fruit or nuts or something like that just to get you through the day.

I keep in touch with my teammates and coaches during the week by…

We talk a bunch. I see Brett (Schmidt) and Casey at our gym, Charlotte Athletic Club, a bunch. We’ve got a couple guys in Charlotte with Jovan (Miller) here, again Casey and Brett are here, (Mike) Sawyer is here, (Chris) Schiller is here, Kevin Drew just moved here, so those guys we’ll talk to more. We see the guys in the front office a bunch. The guys on the team that are out of town you usually talk to or hear from one or two days a week online just saying “Hey, what are you guys up to, you working out?” or “What are your expectations or approach going in to this week?” So guys in town you see a lot more, while guys out of town you talk to once or twice.

My gameday routine consists of…

Usually I have a camp from 8-10:00 on Saturday mornings, so I’ll go out and coach the kids til 10, which is a great way for me to kind of start my day. To get out and get active and it puts everything into perspective leading in to the game night. The kids want to talk about the game and hear about it, so that’s awesome to engage with the fans and the kids. Then we go to our pregame warmups and do a walk through with the team. I get back to my house and relax, hang out with my roommate for a little bit or fix my sticks or stretch out some more. I usually like to get to the locker room two hours before the game and I don’t really hang around. I get dressed right away and go out and start stretching. My approach has always been: I want to be 100% ready to go when we go out for warmups. So I’ll get all my stretching in and break a sweat before we even stretch as a team.

The best person to room with on the road is…

I’ve been rooming with Michael McCormack, which has been awesome. He’s one of our rookies so it’s always good to hang out with the young guys and get to know them. Michael and I actually played high school lacrosse together, so it’s really cool to talk to him about where we both come from, what’s going on with friends from home, and what he’s doing because he’s living a different lifestyle up in New York City. Then last year I roomed with Joe Cinosky a bunch, which was fun because he’s got a totally different perspective as well. He’s coaching lacrosse (at Duke), he just had a son, so it’s fun to get to know a lot of guys, but Joe and Michael have been my roommates the most.

I enjoy playing in the MLL because…

The competition. You get a chance to play against the best players in the world and it’s guys that want to be there and guys that know the game. Our sport is growing so quickly and so many people are getting involved at so many different levels, but these are the best players in the world that know the game as well as anybody, who can play as well as anybody, who are as big and as fast as any lacrosse players in the world. So you have that level of competition and then the camaraderie. There’s only eight teams so there’s roughly 150, 160 of us. It’s a really small league so you get to know every guy and meet every guy. It’s fun to see everyone every weekend and again it’s just a level of competition that you can’t find anywhere else.

The impact and influence of the fans…

Is huge. They make it all worth it. Every time you come out to Charlotte and you’re playing a game here, they’re rowdy and excited. And the bigger the turnout is the more excited we are to play. Obviously you approach every game excited to play, but when you have people behind you that are watching you and there’s five or six thousand screaming fans, it just makes it that much better and you appreciate them coming out to support you, and all that time put in to work out during the week is worth it when they’re there supporting you.

When I do have downtime…

There’s not much of it at all, which is good, it’s the way I like it. But if I do have downtime it’s usually hanging out with buddies. We have a really good group of guys that all coach with us at Team 24/7, so we’ll all hang out and watch sports or we’ll play basketball or play football or lacrosse or go golfing or tennis. So a lot of sports and just hanging out with the guys, having a good time, being loose.

The ways the Hounds have grown and progressed from last year…

There’s a huge difference. I’ve been here from day one and it’s been an awesome ride and it’s becoming something more than I could have ever imagined. You see the team getting better and better every week. We have a lot of young guys. The guys who aren’t rookies, when you look at the two oldest guys on our team -- outside of Schills -- Cinosky and (Matt) Danowski are the two older guys and they’re like 27-28, which in our league is still somewhat young. So we’re a young team and we’ve got a lot of really good guys who work hard and keep getting better and better and you start to feel like, “Okay we’re one or two pieces away from being one of the best teams in the league.” So it’s fun and it’s still a process but hopefully we can start pulling together some of these one goal games and overtime games and hopefully that will lead in to a playoff spot and a championship.

For the Hounds to make the postseason we have to…

I think we absolutely have to win out. We have New York and Ohio, Chesapeake and Hamilton, which we all think we can win every game. It’s been close with all those teams but we’ve beaten some of those teams. Hamilton was an overtime game and the other three teams we’ve beat once already. So I think we’ve got to win all four of these games and cross our fingers that something shakes out differently for one of the other teams.

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