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Ways to Get Better This Off Season Without Breaking the Bank:

Buying expensive and specialized training equipment does not always make you a better athlete. Being apart of a high-end training facility/ gym is not always needed to see results. The United States Marine Corps have a saying, “I am the gym.” It’s that simple. Whatever sport you play, athletes in general can do so much on their own and see outstanding results with minimal training equipment. It really boils down to are you putting the work in, and is what you are doing making it harder, tougher and slightly more attentive to detail.

Let’s zoom in on the sport of lacrosse. Getting a new stick or equipment is not always the answer to becoming a better lacrosse player. The lacrosse market offers great products that focus on aspects of the game, and don’t get me wrong, some of these products can definitely be utilized, however are they all that necessary? Let’s take you through an optimal training session with as little training equipment as possible. The first thing you are going to need is a back pack or training pack. Your pack is your life preserver. It will have all your essentials needed to become a better lacrosse player. In your pack you’re going to want to include, 20 lacrosse balls, a tennis ball, 5 cones, and a jump rope. Additional items to include are, a shooting rejector, a shooting target, a small hurdle and a speed ladder. If financially you can’t afford some of these items, a shooting target can simply be made by tying a 12 inch string to a soda can, a hurdle can be made out of inexpensive PVC and a speed ladder can substituted with a rope. Now that you have your pack it is time to train.

Put your helmet, gloves and cleats on your stick, put your stick on your shoulder, hop on your bike or your skateboard or your roller blades and ride up to the field. Look at that, you have already started your training and you haven’t even arrived at the field yet. Now find a wall and start your wall ball workout. Talk to your coaches about the right individual wallball/ workout routine for you but for now let’s keep it simple. Make a song playlist on your phone or ipod, 5-7 minutes long and crush 100R, 100L, 50 catches and switches, 25 shovels each hand and 25 BTB’s. If you want to make it a little more tough, add some more specialized passes. Defensive players stand further from the wall and work on overs. Offensive players add some dynamic movement to simulate more game like situations. You can even do the wall ball routine with a tennis ball to develop softer hands or bring a backup stick and fill the shaft with sand to add a little more weight. Once you have completed the wall ball routine, lets get out to the field. Set up your rejector and your target (pick a spot on the cage, tie the can or place the target and work on hitting it over and over again) and put your lacrosse balls dead center 5 yards away from the goal. Work on shooting with lead foot up, back knee down, chest up and chin over your lead shoulder. Torque you body and let it loose, shooting for power dead center of the cage. Start your progression to your feet, crow hopping into the shot and move the balls back until you are top center, bouncing the ball or hitting the target. Move to the right and left wing, adding hitches and rollbacks, resetting your feet, working on time and room shooting. Now lest go back to top center if you are a middie or behind if you are an attackman. Break out the cones and speed ladder or rope. Go through a progression where you are getting the feet going (one foot in and out, ickey shuffle, two feet in etc.) and use the cones to simulate defenders. Work on several doges including but not limited, splits, rolls, S’s, faces and V’s. focus on shooting on the run, angling your body to the goal and staying within the pipes, DON’T FADE. Our goal is to get 100- 150 GREAT shots on cage. Don’t quit until your shots are dialed in. If you are a defenseman it’s a little tougher to train on your own but talk to your coaches. There are several drills one can do using cones, ladders as well as other items that work on your hands, feet, body positioning, agility and throwing checks.

Three quarters down, it’s time for the fourth quarter. Get up to the school yard and find a jungle gym. Our workout is as follows. 200 pushups, 100 pull ups, 100 body squats, 3X 25 of burpees, 30 leg lifts, 3X 25 crunches and 3X 100 on the jump rope. Remember, “YOU ARE THE GYM.” Hard work is not earned, its just something we must do to get better. But remember you don’t have to pull out the wallet to get better. I guarantee you can find most of the stuff outlined here laying around the house. Great job, now its time to finish strong, ride home and enjoy a meal. If you put the work in, you will see results. Be determined and start a regiment. It starts now.

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