We are one week out from the start to our off-season training programs for Lacrosse athletes which means I am knee deep in with designing the programs we will use over the next 5-6 months.
I personally love this time of year. Working with Lacrosse athletes is extremely rewarding because not many of them have a ton of experience in the weight room. This means that over the coming months we will be able to elevate not only their on-field play but their confidence as well.
Unlike football or baseball where the culture revolves around physical development, the majority of lacrosse athletes do not utilize strength and speed training to the same degree. One thing that I have noticed is that with strength training being so rare for Lacrosse athletes the ones who train consistently are able to have an extreme physical advantage over those who don’t. It’s simple, when used correctly weight room makes you faster, stronger, and more explosive.
Now, as I design the first training phase for my Lacrosse guys the first thing we look at is what’s called a ‘needs analysis’. This is essentially outlining what our long-term goals are and working backwards to accomplish them.
For Lacrosse here are my long term goals for each athlete…
- Build speed and improve agility
- Decrease the likelihood on injury
- Increase total body strength
- Build rotational power
- Increase explosiveness
During this first phase of training, which lasts 6 weeks, we will look at how we lay the foundation to accomplish the five objectives outlined above. In addition, each athlete will have individual goals which will be taken into account as we mold our training program to fit the individual needs of each athlete.
Here is an brief overview of how we approach laying the foundation for the five objectives listed above.
- Build Speed and Improve Agility: spend 15-20 minutes in each session installing proper movement patterns. This means we will dissect both linear and lateral speed into individual steps and make sure we are moving as efficiently as possible. From there we will layer in more advanced speed development training.
- Decrease The Likelihood of Injury: each athlete has a different injury history. We will work to evaluate the individual needs of each athlete as well as develop a catalog of sport-specific common injuries. Each athlete will have a ‘corrective exercise strategy’ that they will do before the training session and we will address the common injury areas in Lacrosse (ankle, kneed, hip, and shoulder). In addition, we will address neck training to help limit the likelihood of concussions.
- Increase Total Body Strength: we train athletes, not bodybuilders. This means that our approach has to be total body in nature. Each session will include both upper and lower body strength that is specific to Lacrosse. We start with bodyweight strength and progress once an athlete has reached a particular level of competency.
- Build Rotational Power: rotational power which is what builds shot speed is a combination of mobility in the thoracic spine, stability in the core, and pillar strength. We use medicine ball throws as our primary implement to build rotational strength on a daily basis.
- Increase Explosiveness: athletes need to be fast and powerful which means the way we train needs to replicate that. For our advanced athletes we use Olympic lifts like the power clean, however, with younger athletes we use plyometric drills like box jumps and hurdle hops as well as medicine ball overhead throws and sled sprints.
With all five of these objectives we aim to build a complete athlete who has the ability to physically dominate on the Lacrosse field. How we train should complement how they need to perform on the field. As I mentioned a few times above, we are training athletes not bodybuilders and in many cases we are training athletes who are new to the weight room. The way we start this off-season will greatly dictate our success through this 5-6 month program.
As I build out the rest of the off-season program I will be sending out more information on our training process, goals, and Lacrosse specific training program.