Get to know Joe Walters of the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Rochester Rattlers. What has he been up to since graduating from Maryland in 2006?
1. How have you improved your box game to become a successful NLL player?
I'm a big advocate for the box game. It's a brand of lacrosse that did not come easy to me. I struggled my first three seasons in the NLL and it took a few summers playing "Senior A" for Brampton to gain the experience to start becoming a better box player. Dedication has been the biggest piece for me. Learning the two-man game, physicality, passing and shooting were all challenges. I thought about quitting, but made the decision to stick with it and dedicate myself to the process of hard work.
2. You have returned to Team USA after playing for the 2006 senior men's team. What motivated you during that 10-year span?
I don't really think about the time between playing in 2006 and the potential to represent USA in 2018. Three years ago, I made a commitment to change my diet and focus daily on strength and conditioning. This has kept my body in a position to play at an elite level. Losing in 2006 and watching our team lose in 2014 has been very motivating. I will be working hard and tirelessly for the opportunity to represent our nation in 2018.
3. Why do you continue to remain actively involved with an anti-bullying campaign?
Being of a mixed race, I was called racial slurs growing up. I see it amongst kids daily. We have heard and read about the horror stories stemming from bullying. I enjoy sharing my experiences and helping those that are facing this issue. My main message is to be vocal — if you are being bullied and maybe more importantly, if you see someone else being bullied, do something about it and tell someone right away. That's the tough part. We see someone being bullied and we don't do anything to help that person. We ignore it. It's challenging and a message that is important to get across.