We’ve all heard the quote, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Major League Lacrosse player Jeremy Sieverts definitely can attest to this. While Jeremy has had his fair share of trials and triumphs, it’s the way in which he reacts to them that sets him apart from others. We had the chance to sit down with the two-time MLL Champion to learn his journey to becoming a professional athlete and the valuable lessons he’s learned to keep going, both on and off the field.
Tell us how you got started in lacrosse. What has the journey looked like to get to where you are today?
My Dad got me started playing lacrosse when I was about 4 years old. He played a little in high school and college and got me going and interested at a young age. I played lacrosse and soccer throughout high school (playing multiple sports is paramount).
I was recruited to play college lacrosse and committed and played at the now defunct program Butler University. I transferred and continued my career at the University of Maryland.
After college I attended Graduate School at Durham University in England. Following my time in the UK, I returned to the US and my lacrosse playing, and my high school coaching career began. I then spent two years with the MLL team the Chesapeake Bayhawks before being traded to the Denver Outlaws and coaching high school lacrosse in Southern California.
Being a professional athlete takes a lot of discipline. How do you stay healthy and fit? Any favorite workouts or go-to meals?
Staying healthy and fit is always a challenge. Also what I eat and how I workout can look very different depending on the time of year. Ultimately I try to stick to eating good food – proteins, vegetables and fruits. I don’t go crazy though – I’m not counting calories or portion sizes. Moderation is the key with anything outside the healthy foods.
During the off-season I try to stay active by doing different things like playing basketball, hiking, swimming and yoga. I believe it’s important to give my body rest from the repetitiveness of motions and the training required during the season. Also, a good mental break is just as important. I believe feeling fresh and excited plays a big part in how hard I’m able to push myself during the season.
Before and during the season I work with a personal trainer two times a week on flexibility, mobility, conditioning and injury prevention. That, in addition to lifting and conditioning on my own and solo shooting sessions with nothing else but my headphones gets me dialed in for the season or that weekend’s game.
You have a list of accolades – 2x MLL All-Pro, 5x MLL All-Star, 2nd leading scorer in Denver Outlaws franchise history – wow. What moment in your career has made you the most proud?
By far my most proud moments have been the two Championships we have won in Denver (2014 and 2016). As cliché as it is, at the end of it all, I’m more thrilled to have those two rings over any individual recognition.
I think they make me the most proud because I got to share them with my teammates. We will always get to share the memory and victory of those Championships which is something special.
Two MLL Championships are incredible. Describe those moments when you won.
Both of those games were exciting and nerve-racking but in the end, our dream came true.
In 2014 it was more of a sigh of relief that we’d finally won a Championship for Denver. The Outlaws had made the playoffs for 10 straight years (every year of their existence), but previously had always come up short in the Playoffs. To win the first MLL Championship for the city of Denver still brings a smile to my face.
2016 was the ultimate comeback story. I’d say the moments after the Championship were sheer disbelief. By the midpoint of the season, we sat at the bottom of the league with a 2-6 record, we lacked an identity, confidence, and were one loss away from being removed from playoff contention.
We ended up going on an 8-game winning streak to win our 2nd Championship in 3 years. In the Championship game we trailed by 6 in the 2nd quarter, cut the lead to 2, only to be trailing at halftime by 7, all before going on an 11-1 3rd quarter run. We ultimately scored with 12 seconds left in the game to win 19-18. We’d been so down and out in the middle of the season, and then twice during the Championship game, the fact that we were holding the trophy at the end was remarkable and truly unbelievable.
As typical with most athletes after winning a Championship, it’s difficult to describe those moments. At the end of every season, especially Championship seasons, I do a great deal of reflecting on all of the hard work I’ve put in, but just as much, I think about the coaches, trainers, teammates, friends, and family that have supported me in many different ways throughout my career. I’m truly grateful to those people.
What has been the biggest challenge throughout your career? Was there a moment when you wanted to quit?
There are two challenges I look back on that have really shaped my career.
First, just before my sophomore season at Butler University, our Athletic Director informed us that the Butler Lacrosse program would be cut. As a result, I transferred within a week to the University of Maryland to continue my lacrosse career. Although I loved Butler, I now realize that was a blessing in disguise for my playing career. I truly believe my life would be much different had that not happened. I’d probably be working in Real Estate living in Baltimore or Chicago.
The second challenge I faced was over the course of my first few years as a professional lacrosse player. I was a practice squad guy and had only played in 3 games in two years. Frankly, yes, I thought about giving it up. But I really felt like I could be successful in the MLL and I ended up being thrown in on a trade to Denver. Since that day, my lacrosse career has gone above and beyond any story I could have written for myself.
Who and what inspired you to start Enjoy Lacrosse Camps? And who and what inspires you to keep going?
Enjoy Lacrosse Camps was formed through a partnership with a great friend, college and pro teammate of mine, Max Schmidt. Max runs a club program in Las Vegas called Lacrosse Force, and I coach at Oaks Christian School outside of Los Angeles. With both of us being based in emerging lacrosse areas on the West Coast (extended), and sharing a passion for coaching and lacrosse, we decided to start our own youth camps.
We focus on developing fundamental skills and creating a passion among kids for the sport that we love. We have dance competitions and the kids tell jokes at lunch… it’s been a rewarding experience and we’ve had a great deal of fun so far.
Being an entrepreneur is a commitment to highs, lows, and everything in between. What has the journey been like so far?
I think with anything you’re going to experience highs and lows – it’s a part of life. The sort of catch 22 with being an entrepreneur is that a lot of times it falls on you as an individual. I think a great lesson I’ve learned is to try to stay even-keeled. Don’t get too high when things are good, or too low when the going gets tough. At the end of the day, I love what I do, so a lot of it doesn’t feel like work and the parts that do still aren’t so bad.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? What is the best advice you’d share?
Two things come to mind, both of which are from my parents.
First, we shouldn’t ever consider ourselves to have arrived. I think I had this perception that once I graduated from college that my education was finished and that I had learned all that I’d need to know for life. I remember having a conversation with my Dad and he told me how important it is to always be educating myself. I now understand whether it’s education or training, there is always room for growth, development and self-improvement.
Second, my Mom has always talked about seasons of life. I think a lot of times we start to believe things will always be a certain way, whether good or bad. I’ve realized that isn’t always the case – rather the only constant is change. So I try and enjoy each and every moment whether a triumph or challenge. A grateful attitude is a powerful thing.
When you’re not busy playing or coaching, what are you doing?
So much of what I do is physically demanding whether coaching, training or traveling. It’s important to unwind and get involved in other things. That said, I enjoy watching other sports, especially live. I like watching the game but also the coaches and players, their demeanor and the little things they do.
A goal of mine this year is to read more, so I try to spend some time each day doing that. I’ve recently started to really enjoy bowling. I bowled a personal best of 190 last week (not so humble brag). Living near Malibu also has its perks – I head there as often as I can. Other than that, I love spending time with family and friends, especially my nephew, Ethan, he’s an absolute meat and a ton of fun.
What’s next for you? Tell us everything!
We’re offering our first overnight Enjoy Lacrosse Camp this summer, which we’re really excited about. It’s taking place at Rising Star Sports Ranch Resort in Mesquite, Nevada, which is an awesome new resort that caters to sports teams and events.
Other than that, the high school and Outlaw seasons are just around the corner, so preparations are in the works for both.