Men’s Lacrosse Co-Captain Olmert Reflects on Leadership and Provides Keys for 2022 Season | Sports
As men’s lacrosse co-captain in 2022, senior Charlie Olmert has high hopes for his return to the pitch for the first time in nearly two years. Olmert will serve alongside senior Kyle Mullin, but the captain’s position isn’t the only honor Olmert received recently as a midfielder and a native of Annapolis, Md., Also became a scholarship finalist. Rhodes. Nonetheless, reaching the rank of captain holds a special place in Olmert’s heart and has given the senior a new perspective on his tenure on the team.
“[The captaincy] certainly means a lot. This is probably the greatest honor of my life, just for your peers to recognize you for the things you have brought to the team, whether on the pitch or off, over the past four years it means a lot . And it also means a lot because it’s a big responsibility, ”said Olmert. “I have to show myself in my best light every day, no matter what happens, because it’s my job, and that’s why my teammates elected me. So that means a lot, and it’s not something I take lightly. It is a responsibility that I am happy and proud to have.
Olmert has been playing lacrosse since the age of four. He said he felt like sport was in his DNA. Sport has a meaning for him beyond the simple victory or defeat and serves as a bond that he shares with his family.
“Sport means a lot to me because it’s kind of part of my family and my community, I’ve been playing it since I was probably four years old. My dad and uncles all played in college, and my dream has always been to play lacrosse at a high level.
Looking forward to the 2022 campaign, Olmert believes the squad is solidifying because there is a sense of camaraderie between the players. He compared the support system to having a family in school. Additionally, Olmert underlined a very close-knit additional quality of the team given a mutual understanding of the team’s goals.
“I think everyone who… was recruited here came here with the aim of creating a program and taking the team to new heights,” said Olmert. “We all have to understand how we’re going to get there. What are everyone willing to put in there? So I think everyone in the team is very motivated. We’re all trying to figure out how to set our goals, which is to be on top of the Ivy League and compete for the national championship.
Olmert shared his experiences as a student-athlete, balancing the pursuit of academic excellence while participating on the lacrosse team. He said it can be difficult at times, but ultimately the gratification that comes from performing well on both sides is worth balancing practice and school.
“There is an inherent tension there. Because I want to devote myself totally to the academic side of things, and sometimes that takes away from me things that I can do on the other side of the river. And then there are times when I stay late and work out, then I scramble and fall behind on homework. So there is tension there sometimes, ”Olmert said. “The balance comes from the fact that they are intrinsically similar. And it’s kind of those competitive environments at the end of the day. Whether I’m playing lacrosse on the field and training against my teammates, or in a game against another team, I want to do my best and put on the best version of myself. And it’s the same with school. It stinks sometimes to do my homework and whatever, but if I have to put my name on an assignment, I want it to be the best work I can produce.
Olmert performs very well both on the field and in the classroom, so when asked how he deals with the stigma that athletes are sportsmen, or not as bright as other students on campus, he said that He understood that there was a stigma in being an athlete even though athletes make up about 20 percent of Harvard’s student body.
“I think something that can sometimes be lost for people is seeing athletes as that kind of great people, people born with talent. And because they were running fast, they had doors open for them. I think from the outside it can be very difficult for people who don’t participate in sport to understand the amount of work, time and absolute dedication that college athletes put into their sport. I can’t speak for every team, but I know in my team how much every team member has put their whole heart into the sport.
Continuing, Olmert placed student-athletes in the larger context of the activities of Harvard students.
“It’s kind of like Harvard letting in the best trombonists, or the person destined to go to Broadway. The team members have done a similar amount of work, so I think they’re bringing something unique to campus. There are a lot of really driven, really smart and curious guys here who have learned a lot and grown a lot academically over their four years. Harvard gives them so much, and I think they offer a unique perspective that other student experiences don’t have.
In the interview, Olmert touched on his status as a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. When asked about his motivation for applying, Olmert admitted that at first he was intrigued by the selective nature of the scholarship. However, he quickly realized that applying just to gain weight wouldn’t get him very far in the application process.
“I went back and forth several times to see if I wanted to apply, and even though I didn’t get it, I’m really happy that I went through the process. When you write the essays, you can’t make your way all the time. I had to think deeply about what I want to do with my life, what I want to do for a career, what really interests me.
Olmert, a Hist and Lit hub, studies the Federal Reserve and economic policy. While writing his dissertation on the subject, he came to admire Jerome Powell and the non-traditional career path that led him to lead the Federal Reserve.
Olmert said he was “interested in the Federal Reserve and economic policy. The totality [Rhodes Scholar] the application process crystallized that for me.
Olmert said he has no plans to attend graduate school now that he will not be studying at Oxford as part of the Rhodes program. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Olmert, who was originally scheduled to graduate from the 2021 class, took a year off and preserved his athletic eligibility.
“I think taking a fifth year… gave me a chance to step back and realize how special it is to go to school here and have eight semesters to be an undergraduate student. and study whatever you want. It got me to think critically about the courses I really want to take.
Stepping away from his candidacy, Olmert looked at how he thinks the team are preparing for the season ahead.
“I think the team is looking great. We have a group of young contributors on both sides of the ball who are going to be stars in their careers and stars right away as freshmen and sophomores. It was really cool to see these guys take off in the fall.
When it comes to students in the upper class, Olmert admires his peers. He commented on the resilience they have shown in bouncing back from an unconventional year with Covid-19 derailing the team’s season and causing many guys to take time off school to preserve their eligibility.
“I think we have really strong leadership in all areas with the junior and senior classes. Every junior and senior here is a guy who’s had a weird experience on the team, taking a year off and having the year canceled.
Asked what subclasses he says will have an immediate impact on the team, Olmert immediately named Sam King, Andrew Perry, Andrew O’Berry and Owen Gaffney.
“Sam King is a total stallion. … He will definitely be an impact player for us. … Andrew O’Berry is a two-way midfielder who is just an athletic beast and plays hard and smart. … Owen Gaffney and Andrew Perry are two guys on the attacking side, people who contribute from the start.
Asked about the clearance, which head coach Gerry Byrne said the team needs to improve after their fall scrimmages, Olmert said the team has put the emphasis on the concept because the clearance is something that they, if they focus, can tangibly hone in on before the spring season begins.
In addition to clearing, Olmert gave his insight into the defense performance.
“Something I can talk about playing in the defensive midfielder this year is our goal to be great in six-on-six defense, and how it really starts with pride in playing tough defense and all that we do. let’s do it, ”Olmert explained. “Our position on the ball and the way we come out… comes from being dialed in every second the offense has the ball. I think the defensive team has improved a lot over the fall, and I think we’ve seen that in our scrums. We played really well in a six-on-six defense.
Even though he’s playing in the defensive midfielder this year, Olmert has experience playing both sides of the ball. He has had the chance to play with and against offense and is excited about the team’s performance as a unit.
“Looks like it’s really gelling,” Olmert commented. “I think a guy who played a particularly important role… is Hayden Cheek. He’s an off-ball striker, and he’s just a cerebral, smart player. … Over the years I was playing attacking with him everything seemed to work better and everyone was suddenly open when he was on the pitch.
Overall, Olmert believes the squad looks promising this season and is eager to see what spring brings.
—Editor Katharine Forst can be reached at [email protected]