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Megan Whittle: An Exclusive With Utah Lacrosse Report
Megan sat down to discuss her pathway to Utah with our own Kenzie Christiansen
First, some business from Bryan
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Coaches Poll Form
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Megan Whittle: An Exclusive With Utah Lacrosse Report
by Kenzie Christiansen
I had the pleasure of speaking with Megan Whittle about her extraordinary lacrosse experiences throughout her life. The things you’ll learn from Whittle are second to none, from the start of her career all the way to her landing here in Utah. Please enjoy getting to know Megan Whittle and all the great things she brings to us here in Utah.
Where it all begun
Lacrosse found Whittle at the young age of 5. She started playing organized lacrosse in Howard County, Maryland. Howard County, Maryland is known for being the hub for Men’s and Women’s lacrosse, paving young Whittle a great pathway to start on. As she grew in age, so did her abilities to play lacrosse, landing her at a nationally-ranked program named M&D LAX . Whittle played for McDonogh High School, which is historically known for their top ranked-nationally girls lacrosse team.
“In my four years as a starter on the McDonogh Varsity team, we went 88-0. I was named #1 recruit in the class of 2014 as a freshman and maintained that ranking throughout my high school career. I committed to Maryland prior to my sophomore season at McDonogh... when I was 15, had braces, and hadn't taken Drivers Ed yet!”
Adolescent Goals and Learnings
When talking about the goals Whittle had at a young age, it is remarkable to see how she achieved them to say the least. “My goals were simply to be the best; the best lacrosse player, teammate, student and athlete I could be. Being in a high-stakes, winning environment since age 14, I learned quickly how to handle pressure and perform under a microscope. I achieved my goals through my work ethic and discipline, as well as the privilege of being at a school like McDonogh. My parents worked so hard to get me to McDonogh... my ‘dream school’ at the time, where I had access to the best coaches in the country, talented teammates, and national exposure to college coaches.”
Some of the great things Whittle learned at a young age were “being at a school with a reputation in the lacrosse world like McDonogh and being a top player on a great team, I learned quickly that pressure is a privilege. My coaches instilled the mantra of "one game at a time" and it has stuck with me since. I encourage my players to stay focused, stay present, and enjoy every opportunity they get to compete.”
As we discussed the pathway to Whittle developing her personal methodology to improving as a young student-athlete, she shared that she “focused on what I could control - my fitness, my strength, and my stick skills. I played wallball for a ridiculous amount of hours as a child and spent nearly every day after school in the weight room or working out, whether that was playing other sports (like field hockey and track) or training specifically for lacrosse.” When asked about what camps or clinics Whittle attended to get noticed in school, she stated that “my recruiting process was WAY different because the NCAA rules were different in the 2010's. I didn't attend any camps or prospects days. Coaches had been watching me since I was in middle school and I was the first player in my class to verbal. As a coach and recruiting coordinator in the NCAA for 4 years, I have great insight into the recruiting camp and clinic scene and what you need to attend nowadays to accomplish your goals of playing at the next level in college. I offer those recruiting consulting services through my club, Utah Lynx LC, as well as Whittle Lacrosse.”
Insight to Whittles College days at Maryland
Whittle had amazing opportunities in her youth and high school lacrosse days, which put her in the spotlight for recruitment. When beginning the conversation with Whittle on how she got into such a highly acclaimed college she told me “I prioritized my academics, first. Once I verbally committed to Maryland, I continued to work hard on the field and in the classroom. I viewed my commitment as the starting point, not the end point in my lacrosse journey. I applied and was accepted to Maryland because of hard work in the classroom, taking a hard course load and maintaining a high GPA. I earned a full athletic scholarship through my ability on the lacrosse field.” While searching for colleges, Whittle had her eye on Maryland from the start; “Maryland Lacrosse has a tradition of excellence in the world of collegiate athletics, and I wanted to leave my mark on the most successful program in the history of women's lacrosse. I grew up watching Maryland games and wanting to be a Terp. The Maryland staff had been watching me since Middle School; on my visit to College Park, they made me feel like I was their top priority and assured me that Maryland was the only place that I would accomplish my on-field goals. They were right!”
One takeaway Whittle had at Maryland comes by way of her article via Inside Lacrosse, titled “Whittle: I am no longer “striving for Perfection” talking about her personal insight into what perfection meant to her during her college and adolescent years of playing. Whittle mentions she idolized Jen Adams (Alumni at Maryland Lacrosse and current Heach Coach at Loyola University); “I grew up watching her play at Maryland and aspired to be as dominant as she was on the field. My senior year, I broke her scoring record and was named Maryland's All-Time Leading Scorer. It was my happiest day as a Terp!”
When the conversation turned towards the recognition Whittle had received during the course of her career, she showed her true colors, thanking her teammates, coaches and academic advisors while listing a litany of accomplishments. “I am a 2x NCAA National Champion, 4x NCAA All-American, 7x Big Ten Champion (Regular Season and Conference), 2x Big Ten Attacker of the Year, Tewaaraton Finalist and Maryland's All-Time Leading Goal Scorer. I was able to accomplish all of my goals and more thanks to my teammates, my coaching staff, my academic advisors, the University of Maryland, and my personal work ethic.”
Professional Lacrosse in England
Not many can say they played professional lacrosse, let alone in England. Whittle tells us all about her time on The England Lacrosse team. “ I play professional lacrosse with England - I compete on the English National Team. I've been a member of the Senior England Squad since 2016 and have enjoyed every moment. I helped lead the team to 2 World Bronze Medals in 2017 and 2022. I scored the triple overtime Golden Goal in the Bronze Medal match of 2017, an instant classic and very stressful game, and I was the leading goal scorer of the Blue Division (top 5 countries in the world) of the 2022 World Championships. My England squad also won Gold in the European Championships in 2019, where I was named to the All-European Team. Most recently, I was named captain of the Sixes Squad that toured Canada last October and played in the World Lacrosse Sixes tournament. I also play for Great Britain, which would be the future Olympic Team - fingers crossed lacrosse gets the bid for LA 2028! In the US, I played for the WPLL before the league folded and continue to train full time to stay in lacrosse shape. England lacrosse has taken me around the world and brought the best people into my life. As the game of women's lacrosse evolves, I feel so fortunate to represent a country that is my second home and continue my professional career. My aim is to revolutionize the sport on an international level and I intend to continue to grow women’s lacrosse across the pond.”
Whittles Coaching Past and Present.
Whittle started her coaching career as an Assistant at Dartmouth College in 2018- 2019 after graduation from Maryland. (Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth is NCAA Division 1 and is part of the Ivy League.) Along with Assistant coaching at Stanford University in 2019-2022. When put in perspective from playing into her coaching, “Playing lacrosse at the highest international and professional levels has given me awesome insight into the game. I believe I am a much better player because I coach. I see the game from a different perspective after coaching and playing at the D1 level for 8 years. I have become more selfless on the field, and I have been able to use my game-experience to improve my coaching ability. I feel as though I connect with players on a different level and they trust my coaching points because of my playing resume. I also feel as though I am relatable as a coach because I can physically show players what I want them to do offensively and defensively and I hop into drills. It's a win-win for everyone.”
Today Whittle is coaching lacrosse here in Utah. She loves to ski, along with admiring the beautiful mountains, enjoys the company of the Utahns, and overall loves the lifestyle here in Utah. Whittle aspires “to share my knowledge, experience, and LOVE for the sport of lacrosse with young women and their families. To be a positive role model for the badass young laxers in Utah. To teach young women the values of bravery, respect, work ethic, and confidence through the sport of lacrosse. To coach the next generation of powerful women that will change the world!” “I have the pleasure of being a full-time lacrosse coach here in Utah and loving it! I am the Director of Lacrosse for the Utah Lynx Lacrosse Club. My Lynx staff and I work hard to provide the best club girl's lacrosse experience in Utah, focusing on individual player development, improving lacrosse skills and IQ, ultimately building confidence, mental toughness, selflessness, and respect for others. I am also the Director of Lacrosse and Head Coach for the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah where I am growing girl's lacrosse school-wide, from K-12th grade. You can read about my Waterford plans in our Team Feature in the last ULR! I also have my own lacrosse coaching business, Whittle Lacrosse, where I provide private lessons, camps, clinics, and recruiting consulting for athletes of all ages. HERE is a schedule of everywhere I'll be this summer... youth, middle, and high school camps open to any and all athletes ALL summer long! My goal is to be a positive influence in the lacrosse community and continue to provide access to the sport for young women in Utah. I am so grateful to coach women's lacrosse full time; how lucky am I to do what I love with the people I love every day?!”
With a deep resume and an extensive bank of experiences to go with it, Utah is clearly lucky to have Megan Whittle as part of the community and her passion and dedication to growing the game is second only to her knowledge, experience and abilities in teaching it. Utah Lacrosse Report thanks Megan Whittle for allowing us to take some time to get to know her and share her story with the community!
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