With many programs starting up preseason practices in the coming weeks, it’s important that players are working on a preseason conditioning program to get back in shape and to prepare for the rigors of a long season.
Agility is crucial for a lacrosse player, especially when it comes to cutting, dodging, changing direction, and changing pace of play. Follow along with Syracuse University Strength & Conditioning Olympic Sports Director Veronica Dyer as she leads you through a number of agility workouts that are particularly effective for lacrosse players. Whether it’s five minutes or a half-hour every day, look to implement agility training into your preseason regimen this year.
At the beginning of the year, Dyer likes to make sure that players have a solid, general base of fitness. At Syracuse, athletes will do some kind of agility training every day, whether its five or 25 minutes. First, always trying to challenge your players and really work on cutting, change of direction, and change of pace. Players must be agile to get away from defenders and outrun opponents. This is a huge part of their game.
This can be used as a warm-up or as part of an agility training session. All you need is one cone. Players will start by moving around the cone in a clockwise direction. Make quick choppy steps and look to get around the cone as quickly as you can. Switch directions.
Next, start behind the cone. Hop forward and back over the cone with both legs together. Go quickly when you hop forward and back. Then switch to side-to-side. After this, switch to using just one leg. Start with the right leg going forward and back over the cone. Then switch to side-to-side, working on lateral motion. Finish by going with the left foot for both.
*Note: Lateral drills can help strengthen ankles.
Finally, it’s time for straddles. Place your feet on each side of the cone and a little bit more than shoulder-width apart. You will jump, turn, and spin, ultimately facing the other direction. Go about five times like this before switching directions. The object here is to land solid on your feet and establish a good ready position.
The “T” Drill is a combo of sprinting, shuffling, and backpedaling. You can use any combination of these in general. Work on sharp shutting here and getting that mobility of changing directions in quick fashion. Set up four cones in a “T” pattern, all about five yards apart. Each player will start with a sprint to the middle cone, then shuffle to the left cone and touch the cone, sprint to the far right cone and touch, shuffle to the middle cone, and then backpedal to the beginning. Start again immediately once you get back to the start.
Key: Be sharp and distinct with all movements.
Set the cones up in a “M” pattern. You can do any combo you’d like, but try this one to start. Begin at the lower left cone. Start by sprinting straight up, shuffle to the middle, pivot and shuffle to the top right, then backpedal to the lower right. Walk back over to the start and repeat. Once done the second time, start again but reversing the motions.
Key: Give 100% effort on each rep. Remember, you want to train the way you want to perform.
Set up the cones in a simple box formation. Here, let’s sprint, shuffle, backpedal, and shuffle to the start. Then reverse the direction.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Agility Training and Conditioning for Women’s Lacrosse” with Veronica Dyer. To find more videos featuring lacrosse training and conditioning drills, click here.
The preseason is currently in full swing for most college lacrosse teams across the country. Meanwhile, even some high school squads are getting back out on the field for the first time and putting together their game plans for a new campaign.
So as lacrosse players get back in shape and prepare for the rigors of a long season, it’s important to implement conditioning workouts that specifically focus on core strength, which consists of your abs, obliques, hips and lower back.
If you want to stay injury free and improve your overall performance this season, it’s vital that you work out these areas of the body on a consistent basis.
*Keys to Core Strength Workouts*
-Maintain good posture and alignment throughout exercises
-Focus on the muscles being used
-Don’t hold your breath
1. Extended Plank – Shoulder Touch
Get in a standard plank pose. Hold one arm down on the ground and then lift the opposite arm off the ground and touch your opposite shoulder. Keep your hands directly below your shoulders and keep your feet out wide. Place your left hand on your right shoulder for three seconds before switching. Remember, don’t let any body parts move but that one arm and keep those hips down. Finish after completing three or four on each side.
2. Extended Plank Out-Out In-In
Get in a standard plank pose. Then, one at a time, move your hands “out-out” (wider) and then come “in-in.” Your thumbs should touch when “in-in” and on “out-out”, your hands should be well wider than your shoulders. Every time you go in-in, that’s one rep. Be sure to count out five and keep those hips stationary.
3. Plank Position – Elbows to Shoulders
Start out in a standard plank position. Then go down to an elbow plank pose. Alternate back and forth between the two. Finish after going up and down five times.
4. Plank Position – Reach Forward
Get in a standard plank pose. Then, reach out one hand as if you’re about to shake someone’s hand. Then switch to the other hand. Do three on each side.
5. Elbow Plank Open Up to Side Plank
Start out in a standard elbow plank position. Then, open up and get your hips and shoulders perpendicular to the ground. Look up when you turn up each time. Remember to do three on each side.
6. Side Elbow Plank with Hip Touch
Start out in a standard elbow plank position. Then, touch one knee to the opposite elbow and switch. To do this, simply bring one knee in and have it meet your opposite elbow underneath your body. Remember, maintain proper posture and always be in control of each move. Don’t rush.
7. Side Bridge with Hip Raise
Get in a side plank position and then raise your body up from “hip to ground” to “hip to sky.” Count out five and then flip over to the other side.
8. Rocking Chair
Sit on your back. Take your hands and clasp them behind your head and keep your knees bent with feet flat on the floor to start. Next, raise your legs and connect your elbows to your knees and keep them connected, even as your coach applies resistance.
Start out on your back. Your coach will then sandwich your knees together. Next, do a sit-up and as you are coming up, take one hand and slap the opposite target provided by the coach (which will probably be one of his outstretched hands). Your progression should go like this. Go 1 slap and back down. Go 1-2 and then down (stay up for opposite slaps). Then go 1-2-3 and down. Follow this progression all the way to six.
The previous core exercises can be seen in the Championship Productions video “130 Pro Power Strength, Power & Explosiveness Drills” featuring Alan Stein. To check out our extensive strength and conditioning library, click here.