Like any sport, lacrosse can serve as a metaphorical training ground for life, on the field of which one’s heart is shaped and hardened into that of a warrior.
That’s precisely what happens to Conor Sullivan in the new film A Warrior’s Heart, a California Pictures production, starring Kellen Lutz and Ashley Green of Twilight fame.
Lutz plays the part of Conor, a precocious lacrosse-playing high schooler with a hot temper whose life is turned upside down when his family moves from California to Virginia and his father is killed while on active duty in Iraq.
These dramatic changes lead Conor to act out his frustrations, both on and off the field, and it’s not long before his transgressions get him kicked off the team at Brierfield Academy and into a cell for destroying school property.
A week spent in the wilderness doing physical labor with his father’s combat companion, Sgt. Major Duke Wayne, helps to refashion Conor’s perspective on his life, with lacrosse serving as the vessel through which those lessons are learned.
SPOILER ALERT: In the end, the guy gets the girl, the team wins the championship, and everyone goes home happy, but what’s more important than the sports movie archetype retold is the deeper meaning that any sports fan—nay, any human being—can connect with.
It’s about struggling with yourself before you can struggle with teammates and opponents alike.
It’s about channeling fury and intensity into productivity, turning emotion into positive motion.
It’s about using the arena of competition as a classroom for important lessons about maturity, cooperation and perseverance.
But don’t take my word for it.
See it for yourself.
Watch it with your family.
You might laugh, you might cry.
Most of all, you might (or rather will) find that the way to a warrior’s heart is through his or her competitive spirit, which, in turn, is the product of the obstacles that he or she faces and overcomes.