Geoff Snider fills free-time mentoring budding lacrosse players

For Geoff Snider, lacrosse is not his 9-to-5 job. From the moment he wakes up in the morning to the moment he goes to bed, it’s all lacrosse, all the time.

If the 210-pound enforcer isn’t playing or practicing with the Calgary Roughnecks, he is likely coaching and mentoring youth through his own lacrosse program, ELEV8 Lacrosse.

Unlike many of his National Lacrosse League counterparts, Geoff is one of the few that has managed to make lacrosse his sole focus.

Geoff Snider wins another faceoff against Jeremy Thompson of the Edmonton Rush. As of Feb. 17, Snider was first in the NLL with 158 faceoff wins.

Photo by Matt Laurin

“I don’t get a lot of free time, but it’s fun and I’m fortunate enough to get to work in the sport that I love,” Snider said, who estimates he can work up to 60 hours per week.

But Snider hasn’t always been able to make a full-time commitment to lacrosse.

Before starting ELEV8 Lacrosse in 2007, Snider was playing in Philadelphia and held a job in real estate.

“Playing on the weekends while working a full time job was incredibly tough,” he said.

After negotiating a new contract with the Philadelphia Wings, his pay was enough that he was able to leave real estate to pursue lacrosse full-time.

Geoff Snider scoops up the ball and races towards the Edmonton Rush net. When he is not playing for the Calgary Roughnecks, Snider can spend as much as 60 hours per week running ELEV8 Lacrosse.

Photo by Ian Esplen

But, shortly after signing, Snider said that he grew bored of his empty weekdays and wanted to put his expertise and time to good use.

With the help of his brother, ELEV8 Lacrosse was born. Snider said that his goal is to not only make kids better lacrosse players, but also make them better citizens.

“I got a little tired of the ‘lax bro’ mentality, where players would chew tobacco and cut their hair into mullets,” Snider said.

He said that he made it his mission to bring a level of respect back to the game.

“For a long time lacrosse was a sport that didn’t stress the importance of being a good person and contributing to your community, and that’s what we’re trying to give back to these kids.”

At 31, Snider said he recognizes that his NLL career won’t last forever, but ELEV8 is here to stay.

“I’ll address retirement when my body decides to quit on me,” he said. “But you’re going to have to drag me kicking and screaming from the game.”

For more information on the ELEV8 Lacrosse programs, visit www.elev8lacrosse.com

mshilleto@cjournal.ca