Adam Charalambides is on pace for his career best season in the NLL.
We are one game away from the halfway mark and he’s logged 18 goals and 20 assists — leading the Warriors with 38 points.
Despite his personal success, the 27-year-old is keeping his focus on helping the team and improving his offence.
“I really feel like Curt has done a great job of keeping the offence focused and really pushing what is good lacrosse. I think I’ve really got to find another gear being an off-ball player,” Charalambides said. “As much as the statistics are nice, at the end of the day the team record is the only one that matters.”
The principles and structure that the Warriors’ coaching staff has implemented, combined with Charalambides experience and work he’s put in during the offseason has been the perfect storm for his success.
Warriors Head Coach Curt Malawsky saw upper-echelon pedigree from Charalambides when he played in the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League for the Orangeville Northmen back in 2016.
“When our coaching staff came in before this season, it was important to us that Adam was going to be an elite left-hander in the National Lacrosse League. I watched him play Junior lacrosse in the Minto Cup and he was one of Orangeville’s best players,” Malawsky said. “I honestly thought he underachieved the last couple of years in Vancouver. He always thought he could be better, the coaching staff thought he could be better, and he put the work in away from the game.”
Offence just clicks for him when he keeps his game fundamentally sound and fearless about getting to the middle of the floor. The Georgetown, Ontario native says the principles that Malawsky preaches – like moving their feet and the ball has also given him the tools to get better.
“Being tougher and getting grittier is something I’m really trying to focus on this year and try to improve game over game,” he shared.
Charalambides was the Week 8 NLL player of the week, notching seven points (4-3-7), picking up four loose balls and one caused turnover against the Saskatchewan Rush.
It was a tough come-from-behind performance and Charalambides had a hand in four of the Warriors’ six fourth-quarter goals. The team stayed even keel through the run and continued to work their offence and play tough defense.
“Even though we were down at halftime, we were down in the third, no one wavered on the bench and the talk amongst everyone was really positive and supportive,” Charalambides said, adding, “the ability to come back and do that really starts to establish that belief so we need to keep that belief and positive energy for full 60 minutes.”
Charalambides has had multiple seven-point games this season. In the Warriors’ second game of the season against Georgia, he had three goals and four assists and picked up three loose balls. In Vancouver’s overtime loss against the Colorado Mammoth on December 30th, he potted three goals with four helpers and collected 10 loose balls.
Over the last two summers, he’s been working with a track coach on his speed, control and overall athleticism and his speed is where he’s seen the biggest gains. He trains on the track for box lacrosse and does cleat sprints on the grass for field lacrosse. Living in Vancouver during the Warriors’ season also gives him the chance to get weekly sessions in with the Warriors’ training staff who have been helping keep him game-ready.
“Adam is quick and athletic no question. He’s got the ability to open things up and create his own shot which is big in the National Lacrosse League, you’ve got very athletic and elite defenders that close the gap really quick and he’s able to get himself free and find that shot or find one of his teammates,” Malawsky said.
Even though this is just his third year in the NLL, Adam has some sage advice for supporting his teammates and getting the team up for games. Charalambides tries to instill confidence in his teammates because the mental part of the game is so important.
“It’s all about being a good teammate. Whether someone is having success or not having success as individuals, we’re going to support everyone on this team. I can definitely relate to scoring frustrations, my rookie year was real tough trying to see the net for goals, so just being relatable, being empathic and just being a good teammate and a good brother,” he said.
Charalambides trusts his game and puts things into perspective knowing that he and his teammates have played lacrosse since they were kids, and this is their dream. He’s going to keep his nose to the grindstone, get to the middle of the floor and shoot his shot.