Jim Veltman on “In the Crease”
Q: It seems like the Rock are getting back to their earlier years of real hard tough defence. Is this something (Coach) Clark has brought in changing to become a better defensive team?
Jim: Totally. It’s no surprise Glenn himself being one of the best defenders in the league, has an eye for defence first. He understands that a lot of our Championships won in the past were built from the goaltender out and defences were one of the main reasons why we won those Championships.
Q: You guys were able to get a couple wins under your belt this weekend and looked pretty good doing it, but is there anything you feel the team still needs to work on?
Jim: You’re never perfect in this game, there’s always things to work on. I think in our case we still need to work on transitioning the ball out of our end. We still need to work on faceoff assignments and tweaking our defence and still maybe ball movement on offence.
Q: I’ve never seen anyone pass the ball so well. Do you consider yourself and offensive or defensive player?
Jim: Both. When you play this game I don’t think you should label yourself as an offensive or defensive player. You never know where you’ll find yourself on the floor. Defensive players should still practice offensive skills and vice-versa, so you have those skills when the time comes to use them.
Q: Any chance we might see you coaching the Rock one day?
Jim: I think it’s one of those dreams out there. But right now I’m very happy playing and frankly I’m probably a little afraid of retiring and seeing what life would be like without being on the floor playing. But coaching in the NLL is definitely in the plans for when that time comes.
Q: Do you think that lacrosse will ever become a world wide or Olympic sport?
Jim: Yes, I think we’re on the cusp of seeing that happen. With all the exposure this sport has gotten with the NLL going global and some of their video webcasts, the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships happening again this year and the World Fields last summer, there is a lot of activity on the International Level.
Q: How important is it to you to have such dedicated fans behind the team? Does it bring a sense of pride and respect throughout the dressing room when the guys are aware that “we” are in the building, especially on the road?
Jim: Totally important – a good example of that was to hear the Rock chants our first game in Rochester’s home arena. It gave the players a real boost and desire to play, even though the score didn’t indicate it. At home it gets deafening, so that your adrenaline just starts pumping and you find that extra energy to do something special on the floor.