November through February is a down time for several sports. The sports don’t have a lot going on so it is time to focus on what you need to do to get better at those sports. Lacrosse is one of those sports.
Like a lot of spring sports, you want to make sure that when preseason practice officially starts in the spring, you are in shape and ready to go. You don’t want to have to play yourself into shape.
One of the best ways I have found to get lacrosse players into shape is by doing interval training.
Doing some type of long distance run for a certain time is fine if it is really far out from the season beginning. But, if that season is starting in two months or less, interval training is the way to go.
Lacrosse is a game that is constantly moving. Like soccer or field hockey, you are running up and down the field a lot. At times, you have to sprint full speed. Other times, you will relax and then get it at again. Basically, you have to be ready to sprint at multiple times during a game and have the endurance to continue to do that.
My first suggestion for an interval workout would be a simple sprint to rest workout. You can sprint for 10 to 30 seconds and then rest double that work ratio. If you sprinted 10 seconds then rest 20 seconds.
You could do that on a track or just a plain field running the perimeter. The better in shape you get, you could decrease that work to rest until you get to a 1:1 ratio. If you really wanted to challenge yourself, you could jog during the rest.
The more advanced type of interval training would be to create some type of pattern running. This would consist of the following:
- Create 10 to 15 movement patterns you do during a lacrosse game. For example, a 20 yard sprint, 10 yard backpedal pivoting into a 10 yard sprint, 10 yard sprint into a 5 yard change of direction. You create the patterns.
- You number them 1 to 10.
- Have a central starting point and then run each pattern at full speed jogging back to the starting position after each run.
- On the last pattern, you may walk back to the start then begin the next set.
- To increase the intensity, you can place med balls at various points. During your pattern, after 3 or 4 you could do side medicine ball tosses to a partner or some type of power throw with the med ball to simulate lacrosse stick movements. Then continue on with your pattern running.
- If done properly, 3 or 4 sets could take up to 20 minutes.
If you implement these two interval training drills, your lacrosse athlete will be in great shape come the first day of spring practice. Guaranteed!!