Driven by virtue, competing in faith: Men’s lacrosse coach talks spirituality, virtue in sports

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mens coachPeter Rosaschi, the second-year coach for the Men’s Lacrosse team, prepares for a recovery season in this Fall Ball season. For the Men’s Lacrosse team, the Fall Ball season is packed with 15 practices, and Rosaschi, equipped with his faith and experience and supported by his family, returns this fall semester with nearly a brand new team, ready to take on the spring season.

Last semester, the lacrosse team suffered many losses, a 1-12 season. Despite those statistics, what matters to Rosaschi is the virtue driving the team.

“The season was really, really tough because we had so many new players to the sport,” Rosaschi said. “[But] last year’s team had courage.”

Although he had yet to see what exactly his team would be like this semester, Rosaschi has confidence that the team will come together.

“This year’s team’s skills set is vastly improved, and the players are more experienced,” Rosaschi said. He hopes that last year’s courage will carry over into the skill set of this year’s team and make for a successful season.

Rosaschi, although having only two years of work at Franciscan University of Steubenville, is certainly no stranger to the school. His daughter, Katie, graduated in 2012. His other daughter, Lindsey, is a senior this year and would be followed closely by Rosaschi’s junior, Peter, if he were not taking a year off for mission work.

“It’s the spirituality,” Rosaschi said. “I can coach from a position which I’m very comfortable with.”

Rosaschi works closely in his faith with his players, as he works with SportLeader and weekly virtues to improve his team’s spirituality.

“We focus on a virtue each week; we read a quote from someone famous,” Rosaschi said. “Then, we share as a team what it means, both on and off the field, and how to apply it.”

Rosaschi reports no struggle in getting the players to talk about their faith, and he believes it is due to the safe environment that he sets up in his team.

“Faith tends to be a feeling sort of subject,” Rosaschi said. “You have to give people, men or women, a safe environment to talk about feelings.”

It is in this safe zone where Rosaschi encourages players to talk about their struggles and work through them as a team.

“Everybody’s going through something, and my job is just to facilitate the discussions,” Rosaschi said.

Despite whatever struggles the players may have though, Rosaschi makes sure Christ is the center of their lives.

“I told my guys, ‘Never tell me that God is first,'” Rosaschi said. “God should be always, in your academics, in sports, in everything you do.”

In the end, lacrosse is still a game for Rosaschi. He tries to keep things light-hearted with humor, as lacrosse is an intense sport.

“We want to have fun; it’s not supposed to be drudgery,” Rosaschi said. “We’re supposed to be players playing a sport, not working it.”

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