Bryce Wasserman Leads Boston Cannons to 2020 Championship
Oftentimes, we seek advice from those who have achieved a certain amount of success in their careers or even in life. We want to know their secrets for how success was achieved in the hopes that we, too, can find the magic ingredients. For the former Southlake Carroll Lacrosse Association Varsity player (Class of 2014), Bryce Wasserman’s advice is simple and straightforward. “Never waste a day,” says Wasserman because you never know when things are going to change.
As a professional athlete, Wasserman knows a thing or two about change and making the most of your opportunities. This past July, Wasserman helped his Major League Lacrosse (MLL) team, the Boston Cannons win the 2020 League Championship defeating the Denver Outlaws 13-10 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. Wasserman was also named the league’s Most Valuable Player for 2020. But his road to the championship and the MVP selection was not always smooth or straight.
Wasserman’s lacrosse story began in Southlake. Like a lot of young boys growing up, he played a lot of organized sports. The usual suspects were all there – football, basketball, baseball. But one fateful summer afternoon while standing in left field at the Southlake Sports Complex, a bored fifth grade boy glanced over to the fields next door and saw a lacrosse practice. There was passing and shooting and what seemed to be a quicker paced set of rules. The next day Wasserman told his dad that he wanted to try his hand at lacrosse. While no one in his family had played lacrosse or was particularly familiar with the sport, the elder Wasserman was agreeable and signed up his young son with Southlake Carroll Lacrosse Association.
Like most kids learning a new game, Wasserman spent his early years in the sport learning skills and worked to get better. As a middle schooler and into his early high school years, Wasserman says he wasn’t a top-notch athlete and was an average size. He was a mid-fielder and played Junior Varsity his freshman year. He saw some action but didn’t get a lot of playing time. Then one game during his sophomore season, one of his teammates playing attack made a poor decision on the field causing a turnover. Frustrated, the coach turned to his bench and looked down the row and said, “Bryce, you’re in.” Surprised by the call since he had never played attack, Wasserman entered the game. Much to his surprise, he scored three goals in the second half of that game and has never played midfield again. “Changing positions and having that success gave me the spark to really commit to go watch videos of college or professional attackman at the time and learning the nuances of the game and commit to making myself a better player.”
Another pivotal moment in Wasserman’s career was at the end of that same sophomore season. Over the summer, Wasserman was invited to attend a recruiting tournament in Baltimore. The best players in the country in his age group would be there and Wasserman would get to test his skills against the East Coast powerhouse high schoolers. The trip was a bust. Wasserman played five games. Zero goals. Zero assists. “I got crushed. I was way behind in my development as a lacrosse player. These kids have had a stick in their hands since they were three. I got my teeth kicked in,” says Wasserman. Disappointed and demoralized in Baltimore, Wasserman returned to Southlake and found inspiration and determination.” I made the decision that I wanted to play lacrosse in college. Those were the kids that were going to play lacrosse in college. I saw the gap that was between us and I knew from that day on that no one who was at that camp was going to outwork me. I wanted to close that gap and then pass them.”
During his career, Wasserman has maintained a healthy perspective on how fleeting things can be. Having reached the professional ranks of his chosen sport and now a league MVP, Wasserman says he has more control over his career timeline. “I can say when I’m done,” he says. But it hasn’t always been like that. As a high school senior, he broke his thumb and needed surgery to repair it. During his college freshman season, he tore his ACL. And just last month, during the MLL Championship game, he broke his hand.
With the 2020 MLL season now complete and training camp not schedule to start up again until April 2021, Wasserman is back in Florida about to start his second year at the University of Miami School of Law in the school’s sports and entertainment program. Although law school keeps him busy, he still finds time every day to play to wall-ball. “At this point it’s therapeutic.”
A veteran of just three years in professional lacrosse, Wasserman continues to have a bright future in the professional ranks as the reigning league MVP playing for the defending league champions. Nonetheless, his advice remains the same. “Never take a day sitting on the couch playing video games all day. That’s something that I learned being injured and being away from the game or seeing my teammates have their careers ended. You never want to look back and think I should have woken up earlier to go shoot. Or I should have stayed after and watched film with coach. It impacted me and drove my work ethic.”