Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Lax Season Is Rapidly Approaching. Will You Be Ready?!

Posted by Barry Marenberg on January 5, 2011

The start of Spring lacrosse season is rapidly approaching.  Now is the time to start getting in shape!  I realize its cold out and snow is on the ground but trust me when I say getting fit now will benefit players immensely when practices start in March.

Year after year I see many players come out on the first day of practice with the intention of starting their “getting in shape” at that time.  Rest assured the coaches will get our players in shape for the season but those players that have worked out over the winter will be at an advantage and will have made things much easier for themselves.  First off, they will not be huffing and puffing through conditioning and drills since they will already have worked to build up their cardiovascular stamina and endurance.  Second, since they will be “in shape,” they can progress quicker to spending more time working on their stick skills and other lacrosse skills.

Lacrosse is a high-speed multi-directional sport that requires a high level of agility and footwork while placing high demands on multiple energy systems of the body.  An off-season emphasis on speed development and agility mechanics will allow athletes to be explosive and give them the ability to change direction in an efficient manner while reducing the risk of non-contact injuries.  Those that participate in winter lacrosse and other winter sports (e.g., basketball, wrestling, soccer, swimming) should have an easier transition into the Spring lacrosse season training.

I do realize the difficulties that the winter weather presents to outdoor training and conditioning but there are a number of ways for a youth lacrosse player to condition in spite of the weather limitations.   Thirty minutes each day of some relatively strenous exercises (push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, lunges, etc.) in the garage or basement of your house is better than nothing at all.  If the roads are clear or the snow has melted in your backyard, do some sprints or head out for a bike ride.  Jumping rope is another great exercise for working on foot speed and cardiovascular endurance.  Additionally, 15-30 minutes of cradling with a ball in stick (strong side and weak side) is also extremely beneficial.   Playing with your stick for 30 minutes a day will go a long way.  The more you focus on technique, the more you’ll get out of it.  If a player has not picked up his stick since the Spring or Summer, becoming comfortable with cradling in advance of the start of practices will be a significant advantage. (Note: all stick work should be done wearing your lax gloves.  The game is played with gloves so practice with gloves as well.)

If the weather permits you to do some stick work on a wall, do it.  Take advantage of every opportunity to do this.  You can do this in your backyard if you have a Lax Wall or head to a school or building where you can throw against a brick wall.  On the top of this blog I have uploaded an example of a Wall Ball workout (See “Individual & Parent- Assisted Drills for Players”).

There is no excuse for a lacrosse player to be a Winter couch potato.  Turn off the TV, put down the video games and do something physical.  Anything to get yourself in shape.  Trust me – it will pay off come the start of lax season!

Lastly, watching your diet by eating healthy and getting enough sleep is also important so be sure to get enough protein, fiber, fruits/vegetables and healthy fats and get enough rest every night.

REMEMBER – THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IS RAPIDLY APPROACHING.  START PREPARING NOW!

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