Featured Article: 5 Rules for Lacrosse Training
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in America, but not many people have developed the right way for these athletes to train themselves to compete. With a blend of Hockey, Football and Soccer condensed into a single game, might Lacrosse players have the most unique needs of any athletes in the world? I have broken down a few key areas of Lacrosse, and how to train yourself to be the best.
1) Fatigue makes cowards of us all: The energy system needs of Lacrosse athletes are unique; at times you need to have the explosiveness of a football player and others the stamina of soccer. This can be a difficult challenge to overcome and properly train. The best thing that any lacrosse player can do is to devote equal training to both. Your ability to maintain maximal speed and agility late in the game can be the difference between winning and losing - but you also need to have the legs to make it up and down for the full 48-60 minutes.
a. For Speed Endurance: Run various lengths for all out efforts. In group situations it may be best to run max effort sprints for time. Not every athlete is the same speed - or needs to be - one players 4 second sprint is another players 5. By varying times and distances you can closely mimic the randomness and all out exertion of the sport.
b. For Extended Endurance: A favorite option of mine is whistle runs. Jogging the perimeter of the field with intermittent bouts of increased effort. This will simulate the extended play and need for sprints in a fatigued state.
2) Agility: In order to make sure you are able to change direction and alter course sufficiently you must develop the motor patterns to perform these efforts. While no drills can fully simulate in game efforts, it is in introducing various drills that you can ingrain sufficient motor patterns that can be used to solve in game situations. No agility drills should be done at slow speed! Allow time to recover fully between exercises. If you need to "pace" yourself to finish, the work is too hard. The objective is better performance - in such you need better practice.
3) Rotational Power: Any athlete who plays the game understands the need to develop rotational power. The better able you are to generate force, the faster your shot and the increased potential that you beat the goalie. The best way to increase rotational power is by using various medicine ball tosses to teach force development. Over head, side, and reverse tosses are all essential efforts to maximize these abilities.
4) Plyometrics: Otherwise known as jump training, Plyometrics will allow you to learn to generate force in your lower extremities. While rotational power will give you the whip, your legs provide the explosive base where power develops. Depth Jumps, Long Jumps, Vertical jumps, are just a few of the exercises used to develop athletics explosiveness. If you aren't training to be explosive, you aren't training to win!
5) Tissue Quality and Recovery: If you aren't making sure that your muscles are in good working condition, your ability to recover from works (and games) will be compromised and keep you from being your best. Take the time to stretch and improve your muscles. Buy a foam roller and use it across your legs, back, and hips. This will increase mobility in your body as well as increase recovery. With both of these areas maximized you can take your game to another level
No sport can have the "Complete Guide to Training" written in a single article, but if you are hitting on these few broad areas, than you are well on your way to achieving great success in your sport.
Bill Rom is the owner and operator of Superior Athletics. He specializes in Performance Training for athletes, as well as advanced training for general populations. You can read more performance articles from Bill, and learn about Superior Athletics, by visiting http://superiorathleticsnewyork.com
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