From the Archives: Grillin' Mark Millon
January 16, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
Mark Millon was good in college. Real good.
But after college, Millon took his game to another level.
He was named the MVP of the World Games in 1994. He was the top attackman at the 1998 World Games. He's earned all-pro honors in the National Lacrosse League four times. And he was the United States Club Lacrosse Association Player of the Year three times.
"Winning the two World Championships was great," Millon said. "In 1994 it was a dream come true. And in '98 it was almost more special because the game was so incredible. We won in double overtime. And it was in Baltimore so we won on our own turf."
Most recently, Millon totaled a game-high nine points on six goals and three assists in the first-ever professional outdoor game, the Major League Lacrosse Summer Showcase on July 8. Millon's Nationals earned a come-from-behind win over the Americans, 23-21.
"The first one was awesome," Millon said. "Columbus did a great job hosting it and the game turned out to be great. My team was down but we came back and won it."
Millon earned first-team All-American honors twice at Massachusetts where he finished his collegiate careers in 1993 second on the Minutemen's career goal scoring list (155) and fourth on the all-time points list (213).
Currently, Millon works as a sales representative for Warrior Lacrosse. He also helps with product development, including the Odyssey, his weapon of choice.
Millon grew up on Long Island and played high school lacrosse at Harborfields, earning All-American Honors.
Recently, he signed on to field questions from a few loyal Inside Lacrosse readers. Here's what they wanted to know....
Bob Johnson wants to know...
Do you like a whip in your stick? Any tips for shooting with a whip? Also, what do you do in terms of practicing to develop a hard shot?
I don't play with any whip in my stick at all. I feel having a quick release is very important both for passing and shooting and having a whip doesn't allow for that.
Having a great deal of whip also does not do much for the speed of your shot and you will have a tough time being accurate with a lot of whip. As far as developing a hard shot you need to start with the fundamentals and make sure you are using proper technique.
It doesn't matter how big or small you are if you use the proper technique you will shoot harder. Once you learn the technique go out and shoot a few hundred balls.
Brad Dickson wants to know...
You played great at the first showcase game! I have a few questions...First, do you make scoring opportunities for yourself or are they assists from teammates? Second, why do you use an Odyssey? (I use one myself). Finally, as a soon-to-be Freshman on my high school team, do you think it is right for me to look at colleges now?
Thanks, I'm glad you caught the Columbus showcase game. To be a well rounded offensive player, you have to have the ability to make scoring opportunities for yourself. Most people think of making a scoring opportunity by taking the ball and going to the goal.
This is one way of course, but a part of my game that I work very hard on is playing away from the ball (off ball). A couple ways to get open off the ball is to back door cut and use picks in the crease. There are also other scoring opportunities that are created primarily by your teammates making great plays.
I use the Odyssey because it's got a great shape, it's light and stiff.
For the last part of your question, I would recommend spending most of your time working on your game and playing as much lacrosse and other sports as you can. I don't think it's a bad idea to pick a few schools to follow and watch them play, but you don't need to narrow things down until your sophomore/junior year.
Ricky Williams wants to know...
What made you decide to go to UMass? Was it a lacrosse decision or did you make it for other reasons? Is a player's success relative to the school they play for or played for in college? It seems that the majority of MLL players come from Syracuse, Virginia, and Princeton. Will the college you graduate from affect your draft status in the MLL?
I was getting recruited by a bunch of schools including Carolina, Syracuse and Maryland and went on several recruiting trips. When I went on my trip to Univ. of Massachusetts I liked the campus a lot and thought the academic program was great. When I started looking hard at the lacrosse program, I was really excited about how much the student body supported lacrosse. The team's home field is literally in the center of campus and it wasn't uncommon to get six to eight thousand fans for all home games. It was just a great college atmosphere.
What put me over the top and convinced me to sign my letter of intent was the coach, the late, legendary Dick Garber. The respect the players had for him, his honesty with me during the recruiting process, and his level of caring for his players as family made me feel very comfortable with my selection. With respect to the second part of your question I think a player's success is more relative to how hard he works than the team he pays for. Sure, some of the top four or five teams might get more exposure for some of their players but if you make yourself a great player people will recognize that.
Finally, you're right. There were some schools with more players than others playing in Major League Lacrosse summer showcase games. UMass just happened to be one of them. We had five UM graduates play this summer. Myself, Sal Locascio, Tim Soudan, Mario Lopez and Dennis Kelly.
Ken Campbell wants to know...
I refused to play until 6th grade when I was a baseball player. The reason I didn't want to play was because someone told me I wasn't good at it. Then from the first lax game I ever played I loved it. I loved the fast, physical part of it. What made you fall in love with the game of lacrosse?
Carbon copy of your situation. I was a baseball player and when my Dad brough sticks home for me and my brother we started going to camp and playing in leagues. I enjoyed the game so much because it was so much fun to play!
I think I only played one more season of baseball after that.
Marty Shoemacher wants to know...
Mark, I know you are not an expert on this but I would appreciate your opinion. If the MLL fails will pro-lacrosse ever have another chance to get off the ground? It seems doomed if this well financed, well organized attempt fails.
I don't think anyone involved with the MLL, from the players to the management have even considered the possibility of failure. The product on the field, as demonstrated by the summer showcase games is going to be absolutely awesome. The management is well organized, professional, and well-funded. Failure is not a term in their vocabulary.
E.J. wants to know...
How valuable do you think it is to attend a summer lacrosse camp and what should you expect to learn? What makes your lacrosse camps different from the others? Are you at the camps all the time?
Attending summer camps, if you chose the right one, is the best thing you can do to improve your game. You learn skills you otherwise may not have learned in your program. It also keeps your stick in your hands throughout the summer. You get to play and learn from kids in other areas and use that experience as a measuring stick for your game. If you're an older player, camp is a tool that can give you exposure to college coaches.
You should expect to learn a tremendous amount about your position and some of the inside knowledge on how to be great at it. I also feel camps have an obligation to teach kids other positions than the one they play. Learning skills outside your position will make you a better all-around player.
There are a lot of good camps out there. Mine are different because I understand how important staff is. It's what the kids will remember most. I work all year to hire some of the best players in the world, not because of their playing ability, but because they can teach and relay what has made them successful.
More than anything, I'm on the field for every session and run every aspect of the camp. I do my best to make sure every camper learns to be a better lacrosse player and has a lot of fun.
Jason Knight wants to know...
Over the years you have had great accomplishments. Which do you think was your greatest and why?
It's hard to pick one, but being able to represent my country and play for Team USA and win the World Championship in 1994 and 1998 are probably my greatest moments.
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