Player Spotlight: Laura Zimmerman
Interview by Megan Schneider
1. How would you describe your life on Wall Street?
I work in sales and trading for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, located in New [lacrosse] City. Our division is located on a trading floor, so it's a very loud, fast-paced environment. The floor itself is similar in size to a football field lined with rows of desks, and each salesperson or trader has 3-5 monitor screens and a pair of phones. Most days are pretty hectic – phones are constantly ringing and it's often you see people yelling across the floor to one another. The exciting part about the markets is it's unpredictable. Every day, you come in and there can be a news headline that sends things upside down, which makes the day-to-day very exciting.
There's a strong pipeline of lacrosse players on Wall Street and in New [lacrosse]. I think demographically, you have a decent amount of lacrosse players from the tri-state area that come back to the city once they graduate. Also, athletes in general tend to do very well in this business. The competitive nature, ability to handle adversity, and ability to multi-task all carry over from athletics into this career. Most skills directly translate from the field to the trading floor – direct communication, hustle, a drive to outperform and make your team better. It's very competitive and I see people who have been in this business for 20-plus years still get the adrenaline rush.
2. You have been a part of the U.S. team since 2010. You made the 2013 World Cup training roster, but fell short of the final roster, and now you're back in the mix for the 2017 World Cup. What keeps you coming back?
After falling short of the 2013 World Cup team, I had to make a decision on whether or not to play the following year. At that point, I was one1 year out of school, so a commitment to return was a commitment to myself. My success was now entirely dependent on my own actions. I no longer had a team or training system to support me.
But when I finished that summer, I was not ready to stop playing. When it came time to tryout again, I wanted to be back on the field competing. I am no longer a college lacrosse player, nor do I coach the sport. I am not surrounded by “lax talk” on a daily basis or studying film of opposing teams. But I do love this sport and I wanted to stay involved in the lacrosse world we all love. I knew if I was willing to make some sacrifices, then I could do both.
This team has given my life balance and my teammates keep me motivated. I know every time I show up to a tryout or a tournament, it could be my last time playing at this level, so I’ve learned to not take the process for granted and enjoy every moment.
3. You are known for your speed. What kind of training do you do?
I take a variety of classes all over the city, usually consisting of strength training, boxing, spinning, and speed intervals. I've found that by changing my workouts daily I stay more engaged, and challenge myself in different ways. There is a class I take weekly, Tone House, which is the most humbling workout in the city. It tends to draw top athletes, and is 60 minutes of continuous speed work and strengthening exercises. I also train at New [lacrosse] Athletic Club (NYAC) and Velocity Sports Performance, where I work one-on-one with trainers focusing on speed and agility.
I think the degree of intensity from the "fast-paced NYC lifestyle" has carried over into my field play. The workouts I do on a daily basis are maximum effort for 60-70min. So when I get to the U.S. training weekends, the conditioning aspect is less of a concern; it's more focusing on the mental piece.
I love the type-A persona that fills the city. It pushes me in ways I would not on my own. This experience has been extremely challenging, yet the most rewarding. Most importantly, I can't wait to be back with the group who pushes me the most in January.