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Building Resiliency and Embodying Core Values on the Floor

The core values that arm the Vancouver Warriors are commitment, sacrifice, trust, belief and resiliency. 

The players and coaching staff have shown their commitment to their craft, pouring hours into practice and film and sacrificing time away from their families to play the game they love. The players have had to put their trust in each other and the Warriors’ coaching staff to put the right game plan in place while the coaching staff has to trust their players to execute. 

There’s a belief amongst the group that they are getting better each game and that’s helping solidify their toughness and building resiliency. 

Warriors’ General Manager and Head Coach Malawsky says resiliency comes with results. 

In their comeback win over the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, the Warriors were down 7-2 with 9:19 left in the second quarter after a 4-0 run from Las Vegas.  

“We battled back. We always talk about staying in the fight and at the half we got it back within a couple and it was important we came out of the half and got a big goal,” Malawsky said. “We stuck with it and pulled it out.” 

Warriors’ forward Keegan Bal said postgame that it feels good to face adversity and come out the other side.  

“You always want to come together as a team and start to play in those tough moments and know that you’re going to get stops and you’re going to get goals and I just think we have a lot of belief right now in the room,” Bal said. 

Bal and Malawsky agree that there’s no replacement for getting the reps in together through games and spending more time as a team to develop that camaraderie and culture. Getting to know each other on and off the floor gives them the confidence to rely on each other in tough games and know they can still pull out a win. 

“I think it just takes time to come together and it’s starting to come together,” Bal said, noting that their 13-8 loss to Albany was still a strong performance. “We played a good game in Albany, we end up losing that one on the road, but I felt like there were a lot of moments there where we are pushing to be a lot better and we’re continuing to get better throughout the season and that’s all you want.” 

To add to what they’ve been building, Malawsky preaches the same things he’s highlighted from the beginning of the season: living off the crosscheck, getting to the middle of the floor and playing disciplined lacrosse. 

“I like when we get to the middle, I like when we get to the dirty areas of the floor, and we don’t play with any caution. Guys are getting the ball and going right to the goal. They’re dropping their shoulder, they’re taking hits to make plays, and I think before we were a little bit perimeter,” Malawsky shared. 

The Warriors made progress against three of the top five teams in the NLL – Toronto Rock, Buffalo Bandits and Albany – beating the reigning NLL Cup champion Bandits 13-12 at home in Week 14. Games against the Rock and Firewolves were defensive battles from start to finish and they continued to trust the process against Las Vegas. 

“We just knew if we stuck with it, if we continued to grind them down, we knew it would pay dividends later in the game,” Bal said. 

Finding that grit to their game and team unity embodies their core values. Through the countless hours of practice and film studying the coaching staff’s game plan, trust has been the cornerstone of their success.  

As a team, the Warriors emerge from each game stronger and look to build on the belief they’ve cultivated throughout the season. 


Vancouver Warriors