Now that summer is almost over, its time to start getting into lacrosse shape. This includes not just working on stick skills, but on your conditioning as well! As stated previously, it is important for all players to take some accountability in getting yourselves ready for lacrosse season and making yourselves better, stronger players.
Below are conditioning and stickwork drills you CAN and SHOULD do that will help you get started. They work even better when you do them with a lax friend or teammate. Remember that its a competition with yourself, not just with your workout buddy; you want to improve your own time, your own skills, etc!
As always, you should be drinking lots of water each day; don't wait until a workout or until practice starts. Its too late then, you'll already be dehydrated!
Lacrosse is a fast game, with many sprints throughout a game. While its important to work on sprinting, its also important to have a basic level of endurance. The higher your endurance, the longer you can last. So you want to have a "Base" level of conditioning to build off of. Below is a drill you can do for establishing your base level, and allow you to compete against yourself to see improvement. Below that are two different spring workouts you can do. Don't do both of them on same day, alternate them. (changing your workouts from one day to another is good, keeps your body from getting complacent!).
Build Your Base:
Cooper Test: Set 12 cones around the outside of a field. 4 cones should be at the corners of the field, 2 should be where the 50 yard line meets the sideline, 4 should be where the restraining lines meet the sidelines (2 on either side of the field), and 2 should be halfway between the cones on the endline.
Starting at a corner cone, run around the field for 15 minutes. Count the number of cones you run past. Take a jogging lap, and then do it again.
If you do this once a week, increasing the number of cones you're able to "get" by the end of 15 minutes is a really good marker of the progress that you're making with your fitness.
Sharpen Your Speed
- Sprint Workout 1:
- 2x300 1:1 Rest
- 2x150 yrd shuttle 1:2 rest
- 2 minute rest
- Repeat 2 more times (3x total)
- Sprint Workout 2:
- 10x25yrds (jogging back to start, as much recovery as needed)
- 10x50yrds (jogging back to start, as much recovery as needed)
- 10x100yrds (jogging back to start, 10-15s rest before taking off again)
- *On each of the runs, consciously accelerate for the first 15 yards and then try to maintain your pace through the rest.
Turkey Throw Routine
- 20x each hand: 1-handed quick sticks-work on wrist strength
- 10x each hand: High throws, catch 1-handed and pull in to body (hand at bottom of stick for reach)
- 20x each hand: Catch, pump out with 1 hand, pull back and release quickly
- 20x each hand: Catch, pump out, roll and switch hands, throw back to wall/partner
- 20x each hand: Catch weak, spin stick back to throw strong
- 10x each hand: Shoulder/head fake leaving stick in place, pass back quickly
- 20x each hand: Behind the back
- 20x each hand: Around the world
- 20x each hand: Opposite flip pass
- 20x each hand: Bounce passes
Extra Stick Challenge Routine
- 30x each hand: short stick quick sticks - choke up both hands on stick and try to get as close to the wall as you can to work on quick reactions
- 30x each hand: quick stick strong then quick stick weak-side, (same top hand) alternating
- 30x each hand: catch & throw regular (hard passes at a good pace)
- 30x each hand: snap passes
- 30x: catch, roll & switch hands, release
- 10x each hand: separate on the move, pull across body, release from weak-side
- 10x each hand: separate on the move, pull across body, hitch x2, opposite flip pass
- 30x: catch regular, drop top hand off stick - one hand extension to the side - let stick slide so bottom hand is now at top of stick, put other hand on bottom and throw regular
- 30x each hand: fake high, bounce pass, one-handed catch
- 15x each hand: Behind the backs
- 15x each hand: Around the worlds
Another thing among many that players can do for stickwork is to work together on "The Program" to challenge themselves and gain confidence. Increase the challenge by improving your time and minimizing/eliminating drops. Goalies should work on this too (with field stick or goalie stick).
Stick tricks can make you more comfortable and confident with your stick. You wouldn't do these in actual game situations, but they DO help you develop your lax stick handling skills, by working on hand-eye coordination.
- Stick Tricks 1 - This video is almost ten minutes, but it is a GREAT one. Its all about fakes and stick tricks.
- Stick Tricks 2 - This video is from UNC women's NCAA team when they were in the national championship two years ago. First half is about dealing with "the big game" and how they handled it mentally, the last half is demos of stick tricks you can do.
- Stick Tricks 3 - how-to video with four different stick tricks you can work on./
- ... and you can always search for more on YouTube
"Little Hands" work helps when under pressure in the 8 or in transition. The key is that you choke up on the stick (so hands are closer to top of the stick than normal.
Throw off the defense with fakes