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How to become a better lacrosse player in 1 month

It’s one month from the start of most High School lacrosse seasons.  This is the moment you realize you need to do your cram session to ensure you are ready to go on day one.  If you haven’t started before now you are definitely feeling the weight of the moment sink in.  You cannot change the past, but you can change who are you are going to be these next 4 weeks.  If you’ve been going through the motions up until now, now’s the time to change that.  I see too many players that show up in the off-season, but never improve.  Being there is great but getting better is the point.  Check out these 4 focus areas to prepare you for season.

"If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
Henry Ford

Stick Skills

Wall Ball, Wall Ball, and Wall Ball.  Go to your favorite search engine and search: “wall ball lacrosse”.   You will get 100’s of routines available to choose from.  I don’t care if you pick one or do them all.  If your stick skills aren’t there yet, or if they are, this is the number one thing that will make you a better player in 4 weeks.  But here are 7 key pieces to remember when doing wall ball.

  1. Do this every day possible
  2. 15 min at a minimum preferred to be over 30 min
  3. Work both right and left hands equally
  4. Do not pass to the wall, pass to a spot.  Aim at a spot and hit it repeatedly.
  5. Lobs at the wall are not passes.  Good hard pass should not look like a rainbow.
  6. Catch and throw from a variety of spots, angles, out of dodges, etc.
  7. You should be sweating when you are done.
Places to check if you don’t have access to a wall and please make sure you are allowed to use.
  • School
  • Tennis Court – some have rebound areas
  • Soccer fields – some have concrete bounce backs
  • Racquetball court
  • Rebounder
  • Friend
    •  This could be another player or a parent with a baseball/softball glove

Strength and Conditioning

Strength: Having access to a personal trainer is great but not something we all have access to.  Like in any sport strength plays an important role.  But all you really need for lacrosse is that functional strength that can come from body weight exercises.  Again a search can net you a ton of routines that include exercises like below.

  • Burpees
  • Push ups
  • Tricep Dips
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Pull ups

Conditioning: While strength can gain you power on the field you still need to be able to play for long stretches of time without that winded feeling.  Games are generally consisted of a number of quick sprints and short recovery times.  We don’t simply keep running for miles at the same pace.  There is value in distance running in building your stamina, but this is where some players fail in preparation.  Spend equal time if not more on sprints and recovery.  Workouts like Fartlek training can help you prepare for sprints, recovery, and conditioning all in one.  With your conditioning I highly recommend:

  • Sprints (flat land, hills, stadium steps)
    • 50% of time
  • Distance running (no more than 2 miles)
    • 25% of time
  • Combine Sprints and Distance running (something like Fartlek workouts)
    • 25% of time

*I’m not a medical professional so these are recommendations and not meant to be taken as professional advice.

Agility and Footwork

Now that you have the strength and conditioning under control.  We also need to ensure we are light on our feet.  The game is the fastest game on two feet for a reason, and that doesn’t just mean straight line speed.  Your footwork goes a long way when playing defense, stepping to a save, or executing a dodge.  Being able to change direction and keep your balance are critical to success.  Some ideas for footwork training.

You don’t have to be the strongest or fastest on the field.  But with a strong focus on footwork in a few short weeks you will see major improvement.  That improvement will translate on the lacrosse field and may be able to help cover up weaknesses in strength and conditioning.  You can combine these with wall ball or use as warm up before conditioning to maximize any workout.

Academics

That’s right.  With only 1 month left until the season, grades need to be a major focus.  Now is a good time to start figuring out your routine.  You will not have as much free time in the spring as you do now to complete your projects and everyday homework.  Figure out when you will be completing these activities, minimize distractions, and 100% focus that time to getting your work done.

Make sure you know what your grades are heading into the season and ensure you are passing.  Grades are paramount.  We constantly hear that college coaches first ask about a players grades.  You most likely aren’t going to become a professional lacrosse player so you need something to do when your playing days are over.  And as the talking heads say every Sunday, “the best ability is availability”.  If you are out because of grades you are letting your team down.

With only 4 weeks left you need to use your time wisely.  Make a plan, stick to it, and give it all you got.  You can see great results in 4 weeks, but it requires dedication and hard work.  Good luck.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn Off Ball Lax a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I’ve used or are similar to what I’ve used that aided my lacrosse coaching experience.
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