Interview #1- Jacob Stover
Jacob Stover is an American professional Lacrosse player currently on the roster for the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). Jacob was a star high school player, and was heavily recruited. Jacob played college ball at Loyola University (Maryland) where as a freshman, helped the team reach the final four of the NCAA tournament. In his four years at Loyola, he rose to the top of the mountain, and became one of the NCAA's best goaltenders. After college, Jacob signed to the PLL where he began his professional career. He's played for both the Atlas LC and Chaos LC, and was recently picked up by the Whipsnakes. Jacob is a bright talent, and has a successful career ahead of him!
The Jacob Stover Interview
Jacob Stover knows what it takes to become a success, after all, his father, Matt Stover, is one of the most successful kickers in NFL history. Jacob Stover, a goaltender, is one of the NCAA's most successful goaltenders of all time, now he's trying to make a name for himself in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL).
Stover, who was born in Texas, and raised in Maryland grew up in a sports family. Watching his dad kick field goals on the biggest stage didn't teach Stover about football, it taught him about mentality.
"There is a mentality you have to have as a goalie, where is you have to have a switch where you can just turn it on, and get into the zone," Stover told me in my exclusive interview with the goalie. Stover explained the mentality a goalie needs to have, and how kickers need that same switch. Both of these mentalities are 'special team mentalities' Stover told me. He went on to explain how both goalies and kickers are put in high pressured situations that can be the deciding factor if their team wins or not.
When I asked Jacob about why he chose Loyola over powerhouse schools in Lacrosse such as John Hopkins and Notre Dame, Stover talked about his coach, Charley Toomey, who also happened to be a goalie.
"When he was recruiting me, it was more than just lacrosse, he (Toomey) said 'I'm not trying to just grow you as a lacrosse player, I'm trying to grow you as a young man" Jacob told me how his coach impacted his career, and in fact, his life. While at Loyola, Stover caught the attention of Coach Charley and he became a starting goalie as a freshman, leading them to a final four appearance in the NCAA tournament, a feat millions could only dream of.
However, it wasn't always easy for Stover. In high school, he was on the smaller side, however that never stopped him from being the best he could be.
"I was going out at 6 in the morning to workout, or get shot on by the senior guys before school started." That was the way Stover went about, he just outworked everybody. Stover knew his lacrosse skills were better than everybody else's and by the time he finally grew, he would be the best. Stover was right. He became the best and helped his team reach the conference finals, becoming a star player, simply by outworking everyone else.
Now, Stover is a professional lacrosse player, and his teammates are some of the best to ever play the sport of lacrosse. Stover is now working to become a starter in the PLL. All he wants his one chance.
"I'm just waiting for the shot to get out on the field, to get in the game." Stover has a bright future ahead of him and can become a star player, and he knows that. However, professional sports can be a waiting game at times, and as of now, Stover is in that pool.
Stover and I then talked about the PLL, and what it's doing for the game of lacrosse. Stover loves it.
"The competition level, unbelievable. The platform of the PLL, unbelievable. The benefits of the PLL, awesome. It's what the sport of lacrosse needs. Hopefully, they may expand, but at the end of the day, I just want to compete." Stover said. In the meantime, Jacob Stover just got picked up by the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club, he's currently a part of their roster, but no the active roster. All Jacob Stover wants is to compete, and with his talent, it's hard to believe he won't. If anybody knows Stover, it's that he will outwork everyone, no matter the circumstances.
In the end, Stover gave his biggest advice for goalies, it's a technique that has helped him rise to the top. The technique is called, "Eyes, Thumb, Ball" To simplify it, your eyes, thumb, and ball, should all be in the same 'plain' as Stover called it. He also told me about his feet being square, and his chest over knees to create a balanced position. Having your chest over knees helps create a firm stance, where you're more centered to the ground, which is vital as a goalie in lacrosse. He compared his position to a linebacker, they aren't standing straight up, however, they're not unbalanced and centered to the ground.
To end, here are the three biggest tips Stover said...
FUNDAMENTALS (eyes thumb ball, stance, chest over knee)
Mentality (the switch to compete)
And lastly, have fun. That's what it's all about.
Interview by Chris Dailey
Huge thanks to Jacob for the awesome interview! Truly a class act, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. An inspiration too many young lacrosse players who want to replicate his success. Keep doing what you're doing Jacob!
A sports fanatic who loves to learn, share, and read. The owner of The Sports Court.