After not seeing one another for more than 30 years following their heated competition on Long Island’s lacrosse fields, Jim Metzger and Tom Rotanz now have formed a team to help high school and college lacrosse players improve their game with The Power Shaft.
Metzger is CEO of The Whitmore Group, a leading insurance services and estate planning company in the New York metropolitan area headquartered in Garden City. Rotanz is a high school teacher and lacrosse coach since 1986. Working together, they are obtaining considerable interest locally, nationally and in Canada and Europe for the new lacrosse training tool that increases hand speed and improves coordination.
Developed by Rotanz, The Power Shaft allows lacrosse players to train and perfect their game any time of the day and any time of the year in the yard, in the park, or on the practice field. For offensive players, it helps increase shot speed, improve the speed of changing hands while dodging and automatically locate vertical stick position while cradling. It helps with face-offs by increasing hand speed on the whistle. For defensemen, it helps with hand location and arm strength while improving speed and precision for checks. It also helps goalies by improving reflexes and movement by allowing for a lighter feel for the game stick.
The Power Shaft is available in three position-related lengths that conform to any lacrosse head. The attack/midfielder shaft for men and women is 30 inches. The weight varies from 2.2 pounds solid to four pounds with a shaft insert. For men only, it is available in a goalie shaft (40 inches and weight of 2.8 pounds solid and 5.1 pounds shaft insert) and the defensive shaft (60 inches and weight of 4.4 pounds solid and 7.8 pounds for shaft insert).
Rotanz was an All-American player (1975-1977) at Ward Melville High School in Setauket. The Patriot Pride were 1976 Long Island Champions and 1977 New York State runners-up. Rotanz also played at Suffolk County Community College (1978-1979) and Adelphi University (1980-1981). He was an All-American defenseman during his entire college career.
Metzger is a former lacrosse All-American at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Dix Hillsand Hofstra University. He set assist records (82 in one season) and won awards during his high school playing days, including the 1977 Ray Enners Award for outstanding Suffolk County lacrosse player when he scored 102 points. During high school, Metzger also starred in football and played varsity basketball as a sophomore in the Suffolk County playoffs. He then played lacrosse for two years at Hofstra University, where he led Hofstra in assists during his freshman and sophomore seasons (1979 and 1980). His single season points per game average (4.9) ranks fourth all-time and his single season assist average (2.8) ranks eighth.
Metzger said The Power Shaft is a unique and long-overdue breakthrough in lacrosse training that will help improve the game for many of today’s players. He has invested in marketing and distribution of The Power Shaft, which is available at Port Jefferson Sporting Goods in Port Jefferson Station and Olympic Den in Franklin Square and Lake Ronkonkoma. It also is sold in Canada (Long Stick Middies in British Columbia) and online at Lax.com. The Swiss National Team is among the users of The Power Shaft.
The Sports-Business Match-up
“Everything I learned about business I first learned on the sports field,” said Metzger. “When I played against Tom, it always was fierce competition. But we always had respect and admiration for each other on and off the field. That combination of fierce competition along with the respect and admiration for a player on the other team lasts a lifetime and carries over to other aspects of life long after we leave the field. Even after not seeing each other for 30 years, we can come together again and still compete. But this time, we are on the same team, and it is exciting that we can work together to help today’s lacrosse players improve their games.”
The former lacrosse foes found each other again a few years ago when Rotanz was scouting a team led by Metzger’s nephew, who now stars for Cornell University. After renewing their friendship, they decided to become business partners to market the new training stick.
“Jim was always coming at you as a player, and I can see he took his lacrosse lessons into the business world,” said Rotanz. “Once we became reacquainted and caught up on what has occurred over the last three decades, he took an immediate liking to the training tool that I had developed. He came right at me as if we were on the field again.”
Visit the product website to learn more about The Power Shaft.