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An Off-season Reflection – How Champions Train

With the summer lacrosse season ending, it is time to reflect on the past year. All the hard work, blood sweat and tears, the time and effort put into the game we all love. Did you get better? There’s an old saying that “champions are made when no one is watching,” however with the way competitive club lacrosse is going, training is the focus. So, we arrive at the question, are you training the right way? Is what you are doing when no one is watching the right way to do it? Are you fundamentally sound?

FLG as well as other competitive lacrosse clubs offer a variety of training packages, all of which aim to bring out the best player you can possibly be. But not only being a skilled lacrosse player, but rather specializing in your specific position and game like situations pertinent to your position. Repetition, building skills, developing IQ, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Clearly you cannot invest 10,000 hours in your club. So, therefore you must train on your own. But training the right way is key.

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Reflecting on and evaluating your skill is a great way to become a better player. Talk to your trainers and coaches. Ask them questions and find out, what areas of your game you are already good at and what areas you can be better at. Then don’t forget to follow up with the question “How do I accomplish or make that skill better.” The focus here is that you are developing a plan. Yes, shooting 100 lacrosse balls is great but are you shooting them the right way? Will shooting 100 lacrosse balls make you a better player? The quality of your reps is key. Before you go up to the field to train, develop your plan. Start off with a quick wall ball warm up. If shooting is the focus for the day, start off with some body mechanic drills that focus on proper hand and foot placement. Then go into shooting half speed where you are really dialing into what your body is doing and where the ball is going. Speed up that process to mimic game speed and begin to add dynamic footwork to work on dodging. A speed ladder is also a great tool to supplement footwork. Adding exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to make you a little more tired is a great way to develop the mentality of playing to your best when you are tired.  Pick a spot on the field. Maybe we focus solely on the wing today and move to up top if we are a middie or down low behind the goal if we are an attackman.

The key here is that you are building skill while working hard and having fun. Take a few days and enjoy some time off. But remember while your hanging out, someone your competing against is getting better. If you have a vision or goal to take your game to the next level, you must train hard to reach that goal. Take advantage of the off season and work hard. Let’s change that old saying to “champions train when no one is watching.”

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