Lacrosse Offseason Training: Get Prepared for Your Lacrosse Season: Part 2

3 Across #2


Lacrosse Offseason Training: Get Prepared for Your Lacrosse Season: Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about assessing your game and finding areas that need improvement. I also spoke about the importance of playing different sports to add diverse movements into your off-season training. Part 2 is going to go in depth about how and when to begin conditioning for lacrosse.

1. Remember the questions that were outlined in the previous blog:

2. Should I play lacrosse all year round? Part 1

Lacrosse is a fast paced sport. The ball is constantly being pushed in transition. Teams who master the transition game can create several man advantage situations that have a high success rate, producing scoring opportunities. Also, teams who can stop the opponent’s transition by getting back into the defensive zone quicker will limit transitional chances of the opponent. In order for teams to push transition and stop transition, they must have fast and well-conditioned athletes. During the game, these players must continuously sprint up and down the field, and recover quickly to play both offense and defense. The attack and defense are no exception to this principle; they too must have the ability to sprint and recover (generally with shorter sprint distances and longer rest periods) when the ball is on their half of the field. Team’s that have athletes who come into the season conditioned can have success with this style of play. Let’s talk about this next big question.

3. How should I be conditioning in the offseason?

Off-season, as we mentioned earlier in part 1, is a time to work on the weakest part of your game while maintaining all other skills. Getting your body faster and stronger may be done year round, as long as proper periodization and recovery methods are used. Understand that there is a difference between getting faster versus building endurance. We must be smart and efficient with our planning in order to get the most out of off-season training.

How do I get faster?

Understanding intensity and volume will help create the proper work to rest ratio to make you faster. When looking at the intensity, the faster you run, the higher the intensity. Perform sprints at 95% intensity; you’ll put a large tax on our central nervous system that will require proper recovery between 2-5 minutes. If you perform sprints without enough rest, you will only be improving your ability to repeat at a lower speed. When looking at volume, consider the number and distance of reps you do. In order to make yourself faster you must be working at a high intensity with low volume. If volume is too high, intensity will be compromised. Start with 30 meters sprints and be consistent with the time it takes to complete each sprint. If there is a difference in the time, give your body a longer rest period between sprints. You must practice the skill you are trying to get better at, which is running faster. As you progress, add greater volume.

How do I build endurance and stamina

When we build endurance we need to mirror the movements you would do in a game: Accelerating, decelerating, shuffling, changing direction, and sprinting. These are the general ideas of what movements occur on the field. The key to building endurance is the ability to fight fatigue and recover quickly during rest period. In lacrosse, sprints last around 4-30 seconds with rest periods between 10-60 seconds depending on each position. A great way to build endurance is with an interval method where you have a work period followed by a rest period. Interval methods increase glycolytic, as well as oxidative enzymatic activities (breakdown of glucose to pyruvate for release of usable energy), improve acid-base buffering capability (the body’s ability to maintain a constant pH level while new electrolytes are being introduced through the metabolism), and improve lactic capacity (increase the ability to buffer more lactate); in short they’re awesome for you. An example would be a shuttle run. Start with a 1:4 work to rest ratio (ex. Run 15 seconds, rest 60 seconds), working your way up to a 1:1 work to rest ratio. As you progress, increase the volume by adding additional reps. After running, practice proper recovery methods such as hydration, rest, and nutrition.
WARNING: long slow runs do not get you in lacrosse shape, although having a good aerobic base is beneficial, it is not a good way to get your body ready for lacrosse. Long distance runs are highly associated with chronic overuse injuries as well as reduction in muscle mass.

4. When should I begin conditioning for lacrosse?

This answer depends on the level of play and your commitment to the sport. You should not wait until the week before tryouts to get prepared. If you play at a high level, it would be beneficial to train hard during the winter season. Generally speaking, a 12-week program working on speed, power, strength, agility, and endurance prior to the season will definitely impress your coaches come tryouts. The best advice is to create a plan for an off-season program that highlights your weaknesses, while maintaining all other threads of the game. Set specific training goals to help keep your development on track. Overall, the time to start conditioning is highly individualized, and the player must be able to assess their skills and evaluate how long it will take to get into shape.

The BIG Picture

As athletes, we want make our bodies as efficient as possible during all movements that our body is required to do. The off-season is a great time to develop adaptations that make this happen. With a proper strength program you can improve functional movement, add muscle mass, increase power, and prevent possible energy leaks, which all have great influence on speed, endurance, and injury prevention. A great way to keep a stick in your hand is by playing on an indoor lacrosse league, which challenges your stick skills and requires short sprints. Do all you can in the off-season to take care of your body and improve your game so you can play at the next level.
Good luck training this off-season!

Prepare to succeed

-Michael Donoghue

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.