The Hustle: An Expert’s Guide to JV Lacrosse
by BEN OLSON
Published: June 4, 2020
Created by Ben Olson, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Needpix
Klyde K. Kyleson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, achieving a multitude of records in his short career as a writer. His new book, The Hustle, is a prolific guide on an emerging field in sports. Watched by dozens of players’ families who don’t want to be there, high school junior varsity lacrosse is becoming the new sport for mass entertainment.
Kyleson capitalized on his expertise as a high school senior lacrosse player and with it, he sold millions of copies on his book’s launch. The Fishwrapper got the rare opportunity to sit down with Mr. Kyleson to hear some of his thoughts on the book, its inspiration, and more.
Acknowledging Kyleson’s technical prowess, we wanted to learn for whom the book was intended. According to Kyleson, the guide was written for students who wished to achieve “maximum efficiency” but lacked the “student athlete” mindset:
“A lot of people just don’t understand the grind. Waking up at 6 in the morning for weight training, skipping every class but algebra because I sit behind Cindy and she’s bangin’, to then showing up 30 minutes late to practice after school, all the while feeling [“100” emoji]. The lifestyle isn’t for everyone; only those who can hustle can make the dream a reality.”
Kyleson was gracious enough to let The Fishwrapper in on his unique approach to the writing process. “Most of the time I just had my dad write it, but when my [literature] teacher wanted proof that I wrote it myself, I would do whip-its in the kitchen until the hallucinations became out of control,” he explains. “I often thought I was drawing, only to wake up in the morning and see seven pages typed in MLA format.”
We wanted to know who Kyleson’s inspirations are in his life, to which he said was the West Side Gang of Pleasant View. The gang, notorious for throwing parties at houses whose families they don’t know, list Kyleson as one of their toughest members, following Taylee Jackson, Nayvie Stewdon, and Lakynn McNeil. When prompted to elaborate about his squad, however, he declined to comment, responding with, “What’s the first rule of fight club?” We decided not to answer; of course, every author gets to keep some of their success a secret.
The Fishwrapper asked Kyleson if he could share some of his tips on surviving JV lacrosse as some final words of advice for fellow students. The following is a snippet of his response, which is almost a verbatim quote from page 168 of The Hustle:
“Well, I would say to my mates to skate fast and eat ass—that’s a hard and fast rule in lax. Another no brainer is that checking is allowed if you feign an injury because of it. Yeah, people actually get hurt sometimes, but recruiters aren’t looking at your bruises; they’re looking at the scoreboard.”
Kyleson, who graduated Pleasant View High School with a 1.7GPA, is now studying business at Crendale College. He is the president of his pledge class at Alpha Sigma Sigma (“ASS up, bros!”) where he continues his legacy of wondrous prose whilst crushing ‘brewskis’ with the boys.