DLAXN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lacrosse career? Why does lacrosse mean so much to you?
Pešek: My name is Dominik Pešek and I am 28 years old. I am father of two boys. Lacrosse is a huge part of my life since both of my parents played lacrosse and both played for CZ national team.
DLAXN: You played one season for the Shamrocks in Canada. What kind of experience was that for you?
Pešek: Playing for Shamrocks was an amazing experience. I have to thank Chet Koneczny, my good friend who at that time played for Shamrocks and who told the Shamrocks about me in the first place. It showed me how real box lacrosse is played and I got the watch some of the best players on the planet.
The best part was when the Sr. Shamrocks were preparing for the Mann cup and invited couple guys from the Jr. Team to join the practice. Imagine a kid who used to wake up at night to watch NLL or Sr.A lacrosse and there he is taking a pass from Jeff Shattler and letting one rip on Matt Vinc. Unreal experience..
DLAXN: In what way did Junior Box Lacrosse in Canada changed and shaped you?
Pešek: It changed the way I look at boxlacrosse. I have always loved boxlacrosse but spending a year in one boxlacrosse hotbed really taught me what real boxlacrosse is all about. To be honest, we dont play real boxlacrosse in Europe. We are very slow and very soft compared to Canadian lacrosse.
DLAXN: We read that you were interested in playing in the NLL. Why did this dream fail?
Pešek: I was interested in NLL and I put my name in the draft but I didnt get drafted. The reason that I didnt get drafted could be whatever but most likely it was that I wasnt simply good enough. Me being a righty forward, the pool of players like me is so deep that it is very hard to get drafted. All players drafted from my team that year were lefties. My good friend who is a righty and through his junior career he always finished top 10 in scoring, he also didnt get drafted..
„I have always loved that tournament and when I was a kid I couldn‘t wait for it to start and to be at the arena and watch the best teams play. My parents actually used it as a punishment, when I didnt behave they would not let me go“
DLAXN: The AHM is perhaps the best lacrosse tournament in Europe. How much does it mean to you to play there and what makes it so good?
Pešek: AHM means so much to me. First of all, my dad used to play for LCC and he knew Ales Hrebesky. I have always loved that tournament and when I was a kid I couldn‘t wait for it to start and to be at the arena and watch the best teams play. My parents actually used it as a punishment, when I didnt behave they would not let me go. And since we lived three blocks from the arena, I could even here the whistles and cheering and that was the ultimate punishment for me. The reason the tournament is so good is because the level of competiton is very high but at the same time it is a super friendly tournament.
DLAXN: Would it be more important for you to win the AHM or become European Box Champion?
Pešek: That is tough question, but I have to go with winning the European Championship. I had the pleasure of winning AHM and I experienced a tough loss against Israel in the finals of European Championship so I would like to win that more now.
DLAXN: You are known and feared for your stick skills, how did you become so good? What is your go-to exercise?
Pešek: That is nice to hear but the reason is simple. When I was a kid a had stick in my hands all the time, I used to do tricks outside and I was at the LCC arena a lot since I lived just three blocks away. And a big reason is that I watch the best players in the world and when I see they do something I try to learn it and I repeat it until I perfect it.
DLAXN: You did not play for the Czech national field team in 2016 or 2018. What was the reason?
Pešek: I kind of lost interest in playing field at that time. I like watching it, I watching PLL, MLL and NCAA. I would like to get back to playing but to be honest the czech league sucks so it is hard to find motivation and get back to playing field. But I would love to play at the next Euros and Worlds..
DLAXN: You have experienced and won many things in lacrosse. What is the moment you remember most?
Pešek: The moment I remember most would be the AHM title. We beat two very good Canadian team on the way to the final and than we put on a show in the final to win it all. Or it could be the journey to the Hill Academy. Meeting Brodie Merril for the first time in person in Manchester 2010 at the World Championship. We always looked at Canadians as lacrosse gods and it was just unreal for me to go to the Canadian team, find Brodie and introduce myself. I just could wrap my head around the fact that I just talked with one of the best players in the world and he was actually excited to talk to me and hang out.
DLAXN: You played at the Hill Academy in Canada. How did you end up there and what was the experience like?
Pešek: I have always wanted to go play in the US and when I started really working on getting there I got together with Andrew Hubschmann who was coming from US to CZ to coach every year for a week or so and when I reached him about possibility of going to US, he told me he is good friend with Brodie Merrill who runs the Hill Academy and he put us together. The experience of Hill Academy was awsome. I met some big name players which I only knew from Youtube, it was amazing. I got coached by one of the best players to ever play. I was amazed by the work ethic of everyone and the family like feeling, since the school was just around 100 students.
DLAXN: What do you think about trash talk?
Pešek: I am torn here. I usually try not to trash talk, not because I am against it but because I know it takes away my focus from the game. But very often I end up trash talking and regret it later. If I do trash talk it is usually not to get in opponents head but usually a reaction for their whinning to referee or stupid dirty fouls or something like that.
DLAXN: You no longer play for the Custodes but for the Old Dogs from Plzen. What’s up with this change?
Pešek: I was losing motivation to even come to practices in Custodes. I love the guys there but since we have been winning the league for more than a decade it is hard to come with new ideas for practices since we kept winning anyways. We started getting low numbers for practices and I lost motivation to leave my family, go to a practice that is kind of boring and than beat everyone in the leage by 10+ goals. So I was friends with multiple Pilsen players and I asked If they would be interested in me joining them as a player and also as a coach. They said yes and so I joined them. I prepare the practices and I hope to bring Pilsen to the finals soon.
„I admire the way field lacrosse is run in Germany. As a matter of fact I was playing in the German field league for BHC Berlin with two other CZ guys because we wanted to play a meaningful league.“
DLAXN: How do you see the current development of lacrosse in the Czech Republic and all over Europe? What can we do to further promote the sport?
Pešek: I feel like the development in CZ is way behind. I think countries like Germany and Finland are caching up and it won’t take long until they surpass us. I think that we have run out of knowledge and we need Canadian/American coaches to help us get better. I think some kind of European program for NCAA graduates to come to Europe for some time and teach lacrosse here would help. We need to send more and more players to Canada for box and US for field. Thats where the best lacrosse is played, thats where the best coaches are and thats how we could get better..
DLAXN: What do you think about the discrepancy between box and field lacrosse? Do you see it as a long-term problem that there is not one identical lacrosse variant for everyone?
Pešek: I dont see it as a problem at all that there are more versions of lacrosse. It is only a problem for our Olympic hopes. I dont like that they are creating a new version of lacrosse to fit the olympics. I think we should choose if we want box or field ot both at the olympics and pursue that. Not change the game to fit the olympics. And If the Iroquois Nationals can not play in the Olympics, I dont even want lacrosse there.
DLAXN: As an outsider, how do you perceive the development of lacrosse in Germany?
Pešek: I admire the way field lacrosse is run in Germany. As a matter of fact I was playing in the German field league for BHC Berlin with two other CZ guys because we wanted to play a meaningful league. Germany is also catching up in box, I think last year the German team even won a box tournament in CZ so to be totaly honest, I fear that you will get ahead of us in box in couple years..
DLAXN: Do you follow the NLL? Do you have a favorite team?
Pešek: I do follow the NLL and I would argue anyone that I am the biggest fan of NLL in Europe. I watch all games, I study the films so I can „steal“ power plays from NLL teams and so on. I know all the rosters, in every single team there is someone I know either from the Hill Academy or from Victoria. I am a huge fan. I dont have a favourtie team really, I have favorite player or favorite move attached to a player.
For example – Garret Billings cross crease pass, Mark Mattews stick skills, Curtis Dickson‘s fade away underhand bombs…
„I would like to play so long that I could play in a game with my sons.“
DLAXN: How do you see your future in lacrosse?I
Pešek: In the future I would definitely want to win more AHM titles and European Championship in box. I would like to play so long that I could play in a game with my sons. At least one game. After I am done playing, I would like to coach the Custodes or the National team
DLAXN:What would you give young lacrosse players to become successful in lacrosse?
Pešek: My advice to young lacrosse players is very simple. Have the stick in your hand as much as possible. Watch the best players in the best leagues as much as possible and try what they do..
Posted by DLAXN