Re(lax)ing with Colin Hains: Q&A with MCLA Division I player of the year


Colin Hains ('15) plays in a lacrosse game for the University of South Carolina. Hains was recently named the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association D1 player of the year. Photo courtesy Colin Hains.

By Reuben Stoll

Lacrosse goalie Colin Hains (‘15) has found recent success in college, playing for the club lacrosse team at the University of South Carolina. Recently, U.S. Lacrosse named Hains the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association D1 player of the year. The MCLA is a club lacrosse league that is made up of all teams that would be in NCAA D1, but don’t have a full NCAA lacrosse program yet.

During his Whitman career, Hains recorded 10 goals, 3 assists and had a 68% save rate. Hains was also a two time All County selection and named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American in 2015.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

The Black & White: How did your time at Whitman affect your success at the University  South Carolina?

Colin Hains: The competition at Whitman is higher than in other areas. Coming down to South Carolina where lacrosse isn’t as prevalent, I was ahead of the curve. Especially at Whitman, the coaching staff knew the game’s fundamentals well and instilled a good lacrosse IQ in me which is important no matter what level you play at.

B&W: What have you done to help you succeed in college lacrosse?

Hains: Simply working hard and making it fun. In my time at Whitman, I was always working hard after practice with other guys. I was surrounded by other people who were also motivated to also get better; it really helped. At the club level, we have so much fun on and off the field, it makes you excited to come to practice everyday.

B&W: How do you deal with the pressure that comes with playing big games?

Hains:  I’ve played in hundreds of lacrosse games from elementary school to summer tournament  to high school and now college; I look at every game the same. I don’t really get nervous. Being a goalie is a very mental position, and I’ve developed a routine I do before every single game so every game feels the same to me.

B&W: What’s your routine?

Hains: I’ve had a very superstitious routine for a long time. I warm up the exact same way before every game. I warm up in the goal, then I stretch by myself and sit on the bench. I relax to get myself mentally prepared to play. If I had a good game wearing a certain pair of socks or shirt, I’ll wear the same thing for the next game.

B&W: What advice would give to younger players hoping to improve at lacrosse?

Hains: Find some other friends or teammates looking to get better, and compete with each other. It makes practices and workouts much more fun and I always found that I pushed myself a little harder. Lastly, know what you want to get out of lacrosse. I knew I wanted to go to a big school, and that I wasn’t necessarily interested in playing at a D3 school, so I played club at South Carolina. I still get to play lacrosse competitively with a little less of a commitment and more fun.