Just like in lacrosse, the most important factor in strength training is execution. The world’s worst training program performed with great technique and great effort will provide superior results than the world’s best program performed with poor technique or poor effort. Learn the basics of how to perform the exercises from a qualified coach or personal trainer, then pick a tried-and-tested program and go to work. Believe in the process and don’t be impatient–like anything worth working for, strength takes time to develop.
- Embrace and enjoy the process. Be comfortable putting the work in early in the process to reap the rewards later.
- Make sure your training is appropriate for your sport and your level. A proper training program will address your personal needs and the demands of your sport to make you better at your sport and more durable with injury prevention.
- Sports training, whether on the field or in the weight-room, is all about mastery. Master the basics before moving on to more complex training methods.
- Young athletes can benefit greatly from strength training, including improved motor control, superior coordination, better movement mechanics, decrease of injury risk, and building habits of mental focus and physical discipline.
- Commonly cited problems with youth strength training usually result from poor instruction, coaching, or misuse of equipment rather than the actual training itself. There are many misconceptions surrounding youth training with regard to health and effectiveness.
- Focus on maximizing enjoyment and mastery of the basic common athletic patterns—squat, press, pull, hinge, and carry.
The 2017 version goes in depth a little more on the how’s and why’s behind strength training for lacrosse with program recommendations.
This is a general guide to what to do for a productive off-season. As our sport grows, it is no longer enough to ditch your stick or play once a week for 8 months of the year and expect to be competitive come February. We highly recommend playing another sport for at least one off-season season, but if you want to be a single-sport athlete, you’d better make time for dedicated lacrosse training in the off-season. I have laid this out so that you can customize to your schedule–if you’re working a job, doing a summer lacrosse program, or playing another sport, maybe you take the low side of the recommendations. Nothing to do all summer but train? I’d be lifting 3-4 times a week, doing agility or footwork every morning, getting an hour a day in with stickwork, and keeping up my conditioning with some running or biking.
Every sport relies on a foundation of basic skills that must be mastered for continuing improvement. As the level of play improves from youth to JV to varsity to college to professional, individual ability becomes less about how strong your strengths are and more about how strong your weaknesses are. A player with one very strong strength may be able to rely on that at lower levels of the game, but will struggle to keep up with teammates and opponents if he does not also improve his weaknesses. Relying on one pet dodge, pet shot, or takeaway check will only be successful for so long. Players who want long-term success will dedicate themselves to improvement in the following six fundamental skills.
- The off-season is an important time to heal any injuries and restore bilateral symmetry from muscle imbalances caused by competitive sport.
- Having a structured off-season away from a primary sport helps maintain long-term enthusiasm in that sport.
- The off-season is a critical time to set yourself up for the next season by correcting bad habits, improving movement patterns, developing muscle size and strength as well as aerobic conditioning and speed in ways you cannot while competing in your primary sport.
Lifting weights is not as easy or simple as turning a group of athletes loose in the gym, or handing them a program and saying “go ahead.” If you’re a sport coach or an athlete, ask yourself: what would happen if we tried that system with sport practice? As a strength coach as well as a sport coach, I see a great disconnect between the two, almost as though many sport coaches believe that simply being around a weight-room will confer benefits of greater strength and power for their athletes. Here are my main reasons that athletes should work with strength coaches for at least part of the competitive year, if not year-round.
Activate your muscles, gain mobility in target areas, and enhance performance with this <5 minute lower body warm-up. This will work for any athletes as most people in our desk-bound society have tight hip flexors and groin muscles that need to be stretched and slack glutes that need to be activated. This warm-up also helps groove the squat and hip hinge movements used in almost all sports and lower body workouts.
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One of the best things lacrosse goalies can do to increase their save percentage is to get your body in shape by following a lacrosse goalie workout specifically designed to handle the demands of this unique position. The idea of just putting the fat kid in goal does not apply to lacrosse. All-American lacrosse goalies are the best athletes on the team.