Flynn Bowman ’22 talks about what goes into playing the unique position of lacrosse goalie, how he prepares, and some of his best St. Andrew's lacrosse memories
With the spring athletic season heading into the last stretch, lacrosse goalie and team captain Flynn Bowman ‘22 sat down for an interview about his experience on the SAS lacrosse team to bring attention to the sometimes overlooked position of goalie. The boy's lacrosse team would not hold their 9-4 record without Flynn's dedication to improving his own skills as well as pushing his teammates towards success as a captain. Flynn has committed to Sewanee college to continue his lacrosse career for the next four years. He would not have gotten where he is today without his hard work and the support from coaches and teammates here at St. Andrew’s. Flynn talked about his preparation for games, the recruiting process, and the unique challenges a goalie faces.
Q: What do you do to prepare for games?
A: My first step when preparing for upcoming games is watching film of previous games of the opponent. Personally, this is crucial because I try to find patterns and cues from the opposing players and apply what I saw when I am playing them. After watching the film I will meet with the defense to discuss how we will game plan against our opponent’s offensive attack. On the day of the game, I make sure to get over to the gym as early as possible. I try to get a good stretch and receive any treatment I may need on injuries to ensure I am physically ready. After that I go through my normal warm-up, working on my footwork and steps just to make sure my fundamentals are sound. Once I finish the physical warm-up, I go back to the locker room and prepare for the mental side. I block everything else out so my head is completely focused on my job in the game.
Q: What was the recruiting process like for you and how was it harder with COVID?
A: The recruiting process was crazy for me, because of the late start I had with it. Typically players begin playing in the summer circuit after their sophomore year, allowing coaches to have two full summers of watching them play which allows them to see how the players have developed from one summer to the next. For me this was different, due to COVID I didn’t have the summer of my sophomore year to play. The summer before my senior year I had been invited to join a team in Richmond, VA. After my first tournament, a few schools had reached out to me including Sewanee. I began to talk more and more with their coaches. As the tournament continued they began to attend more and more of my games, and the mutual interest was growing. I was invited down for an official visit and received my first offer in the fall of 2021.
Q: What challenges do you face that are unique to your position as goalie?
A: I think one of the biggest challenges of being a goalie is that I feel responsible for the success of the team. If opponents score, everyone knows it. With that comes a lot of pressure, if I play well and make saves, my team will be in a position to win. But if I don't, it will force my teammates to take on more in their position to help me as the goalie, that becomes chaotic and we move away from our game plan. There have been a lot of close games where the fate of the game lies in whether or not I save one ball. In these games, I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself because I want to make my school, teammates, and family proud.
Q: How do you overcome these challenges?
A: I feel that you only feel the intense pressure of these challenges if you are not prepared. I work endlessly to really hone my craft and this starts in the off-season and at home. I work with the goalie coach from Washington College when I am home. Coach Nick Triano is a great guy and has kind of molded me into the player and man I am today. I have been working with him since my freshman year giving us the chance to build a relationship so he really knows me as a player. Because of this, we can really focus on improving my weaknesses and building on my strengths. It sounds cliché, but I’d say the best way to overcome the challenges is just to put in the work to prepare yourself for every situation.
Q: Could you share the best moment you have had on the SAS lacrosse team?
A: It’s hard to choose one but some of the best moments have been this season. It’s a toss up between beating Tower Hill for my first time (and the team’s first time since 2018) and beating Wilmington Friends for the first time since my freshman year. We have a good chance to make the state tournament this year, so I am holding out that the best moments are still yet to come.