Welcome to the monthly Q&A with Results Inc. – during this regular feature we’ll answer your questions about athletic training, performance and talent development specifically for Lacrosse. If you have a question for us then use the form at the bottom of this article to submit it – we’ll try our best to answer it in the upcoming Q&A’s.
I’ve just finished my last season of under 19’s, and now I’m hoping to make the full transition to playing senior first team lacrosse next season. I think I need to be bigger and stronger, as at the moment I get pushed around a lot. How can I achieve this without it impacting on my fitness?
This is a common question we get from a lot of lacrosse players. You’re right there certainly is a transition from under 19 to senior lacrosse in terms of athletic ability. It’s great that you mentioned strength as well as size as this should be your focus. With smart training you’ll get stronger, and as long as you’re supporting your training with good nutrition, you’ll increase your muscle size (our book Championship Lacrosse Success covers nutrition for lacrosse in detail – download it for free here: http://weareresults.com/championship-lacrosse-success-how-you-can-become-a-better-lacrosse-player/).
But back to training – a focus on getting stronger will also help with your fitness. As long as you don’t neglect your fitness work you’ll be able to improve both athletic attributes. Initially with athletes making the transition from under 19 to senior level we focus on fundamental movement patterns and use exercises such as the goblet squat, press up, chin up and farmers walk to teach efficient movement. You should learn how to do these and aim to get stronger in them. Start with this for the first month of your training and then add in fitness work such as hill sprints. Keep it simple, be consistent and you’ll see great results.
I’m wondering how I can improve my fitness over the summer ready for when I go back to school?
Fitness isn’t all about running lots – the first thing to consider is how efficiently you move. Learning to move properly and getting stronger in key exercises will lay a great foundation of athleticism (see answer above). We also recommend people start performing mobility and flexibility exercises on a regular basis (again we cover this in our book Championship Lacrosse Success, which you can download for free here: http://weareresults.com/championship-lacrosse-success-how-you-can-become-a-better-lacrosse-player/).
After this you should start include specific fitness training protocols. If you are short on time and are looking for one thing to do, focus on hill sprints. These are a great all round fitness routine. Ideally the hill should be about 40-60m long, with an even 1:4 gradient, but any hill will do. Depending on the weather you should wear either cleats or track spikes, but any running shoe should work just fine. The hill should preferably be a short walk or drive away from where you live or go to school – that way you have no excuses about getting there regularly. Aim to get a group together to do them.
Warm up by performing some simple bodyweight drills and mobility exercises. Then run the hill at 50% and 75% before starting your repetitions for the day. Start out with one session a week. Aim to run between 4-6 hills with walk back recovery. Don’t worry; you will get better. After a few weeks, you can up the intensity by sprinting faster, adding a repetition, or decreasing the recovery period.
We like to rotate between two different hill sprint sessions. One session of 3-5 hill sprints with longer rest periods to focus on quality, with the aim of running the hill as fast as possible. The second session you can perform involves more repetitions with shorter rest to work on conditioning.
I’ve been playing lacrosse for 15 years now, and I’ve had a number of injuries over that time. I’d like to keep playing lacrosse at the highest level I can for a while yet, and I know keeping fit and healthy is key to that. Is there anything I can do to help reduce my risk of injury and help keep niggles at bay?
Great question – and one that more people should consider, even players who haven’t been playing as long as you. With all the veteran players we work with, a focus is on flexibility, mobility and soft tissue quality. Essentially you just need to take care of yourself. Whole body soft tissue work with foam rollers is a great place to start. After that some general stretching, flexibility and mobility will help address any issues you have. Aim to perform these activities daily – they only take 10-15 minutes and have a huge impact. Once you’ve performed these for a few weeks you’ll notice a huge difference in how you feel and move.
We provide a routine for both foam rolling and mobility work in our book Championship Lacrosse Success, get it here for free: http://weareresults.com/championship-lacrosse-success-how-you-can-become-a-better-lacrosse-player/).
It’s also important for you to maintain a smart strength and conditioning programme. As we age we lose strength and muscle which then increases our risk of injury. Finally, ensure you’re eating a healthy diet – poor nutrition is a massive factor in injury and under performance.
Do you have a question?
If you have a question about anything related to performance or talent development for lacrosse, then email us by filling out the form below. We will chose a selection to be answered in next month’s article. You can also ask questions via the Results Inc. Lacrosse Q&A sessions which happen on Facebook. The first one is scheduled for…. Click Like on the ELA and RI Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ResultsInc) to stay up to date and receive notification for when these are happening.
Join us LIVE on Facebook for advice on anything to do with performance or talent development for lacrosse, tommorrow night @ 8.30PM BST
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