Chat with Inside Lacrosse
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, our friends from Inside Lacrosse will stop by to take your questions about the 2012 season.
Our experts will be joined by Princeton's Alex Capretta, whose Tigers are gearing up for Friday night's Ivy League semifinals. Both semifinal matchups, Yale-Cornell (5 p.m. ET) and Princeton-Brown (8 p.m. ET) can be seen on ESPN3.com.
Send your questions now and join Inside Lacrosse Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Matt Kinnear (2:59 PM)
Alex Capretta had a big game against Cornell last weekend. He scored five goals, leading the Tigers past Cornell and into the top spot in the Ivy League tournament. That means Princeton will host this weekend, kicking things off vs. Brown on Friday. Princeton's on the bubble, so the Tigers want to remove all doubt and win the Ivy AQ.
Matt Kinnear (3:00 PM)
Alex just got back from his final class as a Princeton student to join us for the chat. Start firing away...
Mike Gibroni (San Francisco, CA)
Alex - First off, you are the best shooter in the country. That said, what advice can you give young laxers who want to learn how to shoot the ball high and hard like you? Also, do you think the time you spent with lax guru Chris Debiase assisted in your growth?
Alex Capretta (3:05 PM)
Hey Mike, I think we met at St. Ignatius a while back. Good to hear from you again. First, thank you for the compliment, but I think that's a bit of an overstatement... Second, my advice is to do everything you can to make shooting a full body movement. I see a lot of young kids only shoot with their arms, and not their legs and core, which are much more important than one might think. Regarding Coach D, I was incredibly fortunate to have his guidance as a young lacrosse player; he really is a lax guru. From what I hear, he's guiding a huge star in Cooper Angilly.
There are quite a few guys from your high school in Mill Valley, CA (St. Ignatius Prep) playing for a number of big time Division 1 programs. To what do you attribute this success?
Alex Capretta (3:06 PM)
I would say it is a combination of the coaching and fundamentals the program builds itself around. Coach Chris Packard, Coach Greg Angilly, Coach Debiase (mentioned above), Coach David Bowe, Coach Fredericks, Abou Jaude, Brittain...the list goes on forever. Each coach not only has an incredible dedication to the program but also to developing the players as hard workers first and lacrosse players second. From day 1, the coaches expect the best of every player.
Alex, great game last Saturday. I have heard that you are always hungry, both on and off the field. I was wondering: what is your favorite post-game meal?
Alex Capretta (3:09 PM)
Hey Matt, I'm embarrassed this got out. I do eat a lot, it's somewhat of a problem, and probably the reason I'm 5-10 pounds overweight right now. I don't really know how to explain the issue other than I'm just always very, very hungry. My favorite pre and post game meal is, hands down, chicken parmesan and pasta.
Seth (The Dojo )
Watched the Cornell game on ESPNU.. what a performance! I noticed after the game you and your teammates celebrated with class, but I also saw you doing some sort of dance, anything behind those swagged out moves?
Alex Capretta (3:11 PM)
Hey Seth, the dance you're referring to is the District Swag Anthem. What's District Swag? Michael Grossman (#8), Thomas Schreiber (
Alex,Great game against Cornell the other night...what is Princeton like as a school and how much time do you spend a night doing homework? Is it difficult to balance lacrosse with academics? Do you still have time to have fun in college? Good luck tomorrow night.
Alex Capretta (3:13 PM)
Hey Peter, thanks a lot for your support. As a school, Princeton is challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Even though I might spend 4 or more hours working per night, we all really value the great teachers and academic experience here. Balance between school and lacrosse can be difficult, but the older members of the team make sure the younger guys cope well. I do still have fun in college...I'm not doing homework all day!
Alex, I had the pleasure of meeting your family after your game this past weekend and they referred to you as "Shreds" multiple times. What's up with that?
Alex Capretta (3:15 PM)
Hey Tim, Shreds, or Shredda, or Shreddzilla, or Shreddmasterflex, or Shreddamus Prime, or any other possible combination of the word Shred, is what my teammates refer to me as. During a fall practice freshman year, I scored a sweet goal on Ivy League Player of the Year Tyler Fiorito, and Chad Wiedmaier screamed out, "Shredda Capretta!" The name just stuck I guess...
Brendan D (Long Island)
I understand that Princeton lacrosse work extremely hard in the off season. Which players have the best work ethics in the weight room? Who has the best beach body on the team?
Alex Capretta (3:17 PM)
Hey Brendan, we do work hard in the off season, but all teams seem to do that now. If I had to name three guys, I would say John Cunningham, Chad Wiedmaier, and Nick Fernandez have the best work ethic. In terms of beach body, look no further than Brendan DeTomasso; kid's got a 12 pack.
Brady Dougan (New York, NY)
Alex, I've noticed that the Princeton offense has taken on a more "loose mentality" this year among past years. How do you think this new "swag" has helped/hurt the teams play?
Short Ellis (NYC)
What do you think the reason for all your personal success is this year /
Alex Capretta (3:21 PM)
Hey Long, miss ya! I truly believe my personal success is a result of my teammates' play and our collective chemistry as an offense and a whole team. Additionally, being healthy and having 3 years of previous experience has helped a lot as well.
Lexington Steele (Miami, Fl)
If you had to equate your game to a mythical creature, which one would it be? I'd say the loch ness monster.
Alex Capretta (3:24 PM)
Hey Lex, I've never asked myself that question but the loch ness monster sounds good. That thing is an animal!
Seth (Long Island)
Hi Alex, do you have any nicknames that you like? Who has the best nickname on the team?
Alex Capretta (3:26 PM)
Hey Seth, I actually love nicknames . A few of my favorites are: GrossFace for Michael Grossman, HiYaDoin for Jeff Froccaro, PaleFace for Chris White, and Seth Cottle for Brian Swaganagh Kavanagh
Sredit Cuisse (New York, NY)
Alex, great stuff on Saturday. I read John McPhees New Yorker Article that references your stringing ability. How has Prof. McPhee influenced your game and overall life at Princeton?
Alex Capretta (3:27 PM)
Great question. Professor McPhee has been an incredible supporter and faculty fellow of our team from the day I got to Princeton. In terms of lacrosse, he and I have never spoken about things like going BTB on the run from 12 yards out, but he certainly has offered some interesting perspectives on how I should think about my time at Princeton, as well as my future. I know I speak for every kid on the team when I say I am truly blessed to have come across such a great person.
J.B. Murphy (San Francisco)
Alex, congrats on the big win and the big performance. You have a lot of little kids looking up to you around SF and the players at your high school. What advice do you have for kids getting in the stringing game? How do you string the stick you call the Shredda?
Alex Capretta (3:31 PM)
Hey Mr. Murphy, thanks for your support. My advice to the kids is to get a stringing kit, find a lacrosse stick that throws the way you like, and try to imitate that pocket on your own stick. It's also probably smarter to do this in the offseason. I actually don't call my signature pocket the Shredda, I call it the California Wand, and the recipe is secret. I'm sorry, it's nothing personal.
Are you ready to get weird tomorrow night?
Alex Capretta (3:33 PM)
Hey Derz, for sure. On some real levels, though, Brown is a very talented team and they definitely will throw something at us we haven't seen before, so it will be weird and we'll need to match that weirdness.
I read somewhere that your team has dance parties in the locker room before games. Who on your team would you say has the best dance moves?
Alex Capretta (3:37 PM)
Hey Brendan, we do have dance parties before games in our locker room. I'm surprised you know that because we close the doors, turn the lights off, turn on the strobe light, and dance until Coach is about to speak. Michael Grossman (aka SwagFace) has the best dance moves, of all time (all time!)
Stevie Brown (Pittsburgh PA)
As previously stated you are one of the best shooters in the country with a half a yer under my belt and a beginners camp experience do you know any drills that can not only improve my shot but also make sure that I am cradling correctly because I often find the ball out of my pocket after my shot. Also as a hopeful lacrosse player in the future do u know any worthwhile tips about anything lacrosse?
Alex Capretta (3:39 PM)
Hey Stevie, I had this problem when I was younger as well, it's frustrating but trust me you'll figure it out with practice. Here's what I would do: find a way to film yourself shooting and try to see what exact movement is causing the ball to pop out. Regarding the future, I'd tell you to find some players you like watching and study them meticulously. If Jesse Hubbard, David Evans, or Jake Byrne were ever on TV, I made it a point to watch them.
I'm a Syracuse student, got to see you play at the Carrier Dome. It was a great battle and props to you guys for being such a talented team. Best of luck in the post season. What does the Princeton-Cornell rivalry mean to you?
Alex Capretta (3:40 PM)
Hey Ben, thanks for coming to that game and thanks for your good luck. The Princeton-Cornell rivalry means a lot to me. One of my closest friends (Roy Lang) is on the team, there is a lot of history behind the match-up, and it's always a great game. Overall, I'm 2-4 against Cornell so any chance I get to play them is an opportunity I don't want to take lightly.
Peter Langkammerer (San Francisco)
Alex, congratulations on an excellent season and hitting your stride as the post season picks up. As a California native did you encounter much resistance as you went through the recruiting process? What advice can you offer aspiring college players who are coming out of non-traditional lacrosse areas? Finally, when are we going to get you back here for some coaching?
Alex Capretta (3:44 PM)
Thanks for your note, Pete. As a Californian, I had to actively go find places to play where coaches would see me. This meant spending a significant amount of my summer traveling across the country, as well as not playing football junior year to go play in tournaments. So, I wouldn't say there was much resistance, but I certainly had to put a lot of effort and time into the process. For all the kids coming from cold-bed areas, like California, or Detroit, or Kansas, or any place that isn't Baltimore, Long Island, Connecticut, upstate NY, or New Jersey, just do everything you can to get in front of coaches. If you're good enough to play, it won't matter where you are from. I'm not sure when I will get back to California for some coaching, but I hope that is in the cards a few years down the road.
Scotty D (SF)
if you could tell student-athletes to play any other sport besides lacrosse, which would you suggest young laxers concentrate on
Alex Capretta (3:46 PM)
That's a great question, and I've seen benefits from all sports. Playing squash improves your quickness, agility, and hand eye coordination. Soccer improves your motor and endurance. Basketball improves your quickness, burst, and knowledge of team defense and the pick-n-roll. Overall though, I'd say football takes the cake. It toughens you up, gets you stronger, and is mentally challenging.
Matt Kinnear (3:48 PM)
And we're about to wrap this up. One last question. What's your prediction for Friday vs. Brown?
Alex Capretta (3:49 PM)
Friday will be a very competitive game. Brown has done nothing but improve from the first time we played, and I know they will bring their absolute best tomorrow. They are a very talented team and won't back down for a second. We will need to really play our best lacrosse to come out on top, but I have complete faith that our entire team will come ready to take the Bears on!
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