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George Fulton'17: The Power of Personal Energy
from Summer Bulletin 2022
THE POWER OF PERSONAL ENERGY
GEORGE FULTON ’17
From an interview with George Fulton ’17 by Tim O’Brien and Bob Little
When George Fulton ’17 looks back on his Park athletics experience, he remembers “a lot of winning, and that was fun!” But what resonates most strongly was the team culture he enjoyed, something he feels really sets Park apart. “It’s the best team environment I’ve been a part of, even to this day. I loved the fun-natured, healthy team environment. That’s the most important thing.” He loved the fact that he and his buddies played together on teams across all three seasons, often with the same coach. He joined the soccer team because his cousin Oscar Burns wanted him to help the team, and Oscar, in turn, played lacrosse because George wanted him to help out there. “We came to understand that the expectation was that everyone chips in, everyone supports the community as a full participant,” he says.
Currently playing Division 1 lacrosse at the University of Virginia, George’s experience at Park, and subsequently at Middlesex, taught him how much impact the energy one brings to a team—or, really, to any collaborative work— has on the collective endeavor. He reflects, “I didn’t know it then, but I’ve come to notice how the energy and actions of older kids and team leaders affect the whole team.” Thinking back to his Park experience, he remembers “high energy people—Mr. Toussaint, Mr. Fries, Mr. O’Brien, and others—who brought a good attitude every single day. Not all coaches, and not all team captains can do that, but that’s the case at Park.” That positive team culture is something he still aspires to. As a first year player at Virginia, he can already see the opportunity ahead for him when, as a senior member of the team, he can bring that positive energy and shape the culture in good ways.
George knows that his love of sports first awakened in Park’s Physical Education program. “Park P.E….it’s obviously the BEST time of day. I remember all the different activities and sports we played.” On any given Tuesday at 9 a.m he’d play field hockey, throw javelin and discus, long jump, run distance, and, he says “It definitely introduced me to a bunch of different movements. I really benefited from the days in the weight room with Mr. Savage and from the running.” In particular, he applauds Steve Savage’s early lessons on foam rolling—a regular therapy he and his teammates rely on now. “I used to think it was the biggest waste of time.” Since his muscles were still so young and pliant then, “I didn’t feel anything. Now I foam roll every day. Also, the stretching, and squat mechanics…all those definitely carried over as life skills.”
Park also taught George the importance of sustaining focus and energy throughout the day, and he has come to see “energy management” as a key to success as a scholar athlete. “At Park we just went full out all day. We started at 8 a.m. in Morning Meeting, and then we ran a mile in P.E. and then we’re at lunch, then two more classes, and then we’re playing lacrosse. You get used to that.” In contrast, peers in college find themselves overwhelmed by the need to sustain their energy throughout the day and not become overwhelmed by the two added hours of practice.
Division 1 athletics are like a full time job, and everything else bends around them. “I had to take my microeconomics exam on the plane to Brown,” George reports about a recent lacrosse competition. An academic coordinator travels with the team to serve, essentially, as a proctor. “We had to take it at the same time as other students so no one could text others the answers, so there we were, six guys, in the airport and on the plane, taking the test.” He believes his early training at Park helped set him up well, however, to manage these challenges.
“PARK P.E…. IT’S OBVIOUSLY THE BEST TIME OF DAY.”
Significantly, this energy management applies not only to those jam-packed days, but to days when there is downtime. George explains that when he’s “in season” for lacrosse, just sustaining the energy to keep on top of everything is a challenge. In the fall, however, when practice hours are limited, he has three days per week with no team activities. “On those days, energy management is important because you need to do more than just the team activities. See your friends. Call your mom. Do your homework,” he says. The extra discipline that started at Park is all the more noticeable on those days because he sustains the focus to get things done.
George’s conversation with two of his former Park coaches was full of laughter and warmth— clearly, the team culture he inhabited at Park has had lasting effects, as has his appreciation for the inherent fun athletics can offer. He still loves playing pick up basketball, a throwback to recess at Park, and played pickleball with his parents in their driveway during COVID lockdown. Even now as Division 1 athlete, he appreciates the benefits of “fun lacrosse.” “Mandatory lacrosse,” he says, “is being in the middle of Delaware on a turf field with teammates you don’t really like,” a pretty apt description of elite youth club sports. “Fun lacrosse is Park lacrosse in the spring. It’s your prize.”
Summer Bulletin 2022