Page:Lacrosse- The National Game of Canada (New Edition).djvu/58

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41
THE PRESENT GAME.

his head, or to the very point where he least expected. He sees a dodger passing checks in succession, and it seems easy enough; checking not so very hard; goal-keeping simplicity itself. His entire existence for the first few hours is one of inglorious mishaps and disappointments; but soon the ball is carried with ease, and thrown with accuracy; the sprawling nervous tips and swipes in final desperation give place to grace and facility, and the novice enjoys something of the astonishment of a young Newfoundland dog thrown into the water for the first time, who, trying to walk, discovers he can swim.

If it is a worthy thing to be a player at all, it is well worth while being good one. When the novice has learned to pick up and master the ball, to throw, catch, check, dodge and field properly, he will find he needs something more to get on "the first twelve." To play well he must be able to keep it up; to stand the exertion in the game he must live temperately, and abstain from all " hot and rebellious liquors." To be a good player, too, he must learn to control temper under the most trying provocations, cultivate courage, self-reliance, perse-