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Off-Season Training

Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 by Meredith Fries-Isaac

Off Season Training
Some athletes will look at the complete workout program which appears on the following pages and laugh ("I'm going to do that?! Yeah, right."); while others will get excited, make plans to do it, and then do nothing. Both reactions are understandable. What appears on the following pages is definitely not for everybody. Why, because it's difficult and demanding.
So then why is it here? SHS Boys Lacrosse needs the type of player who will commit himself to this type of program because it will make individuals better players. We need players to commit themselves to this type of routine because we will be able to compete at the level of lacrosse we want to play at. We need individuals to do this during the off season because we don't want to back off in 2007 when the Section VI Title is on the line. Do this because you want to be successful.
Helpful hints:
0 Train hard and train smart, and most importantly train on a regular basis.
0 Get a training partner. It would be best if it's another lacrosse player, but that's not essential. Get somebody who is motivated and who will "push" you.
0 Keep a log/journal. You will be able to see your progress and have a "before and after picture" as well. If you play another sport, you should not be doing this training program in addition to the training you already do for that sport. The only exception to this is with stick work. This can be done at anytime of the year.WALL BALL-WALL BALL-WALL BALL
* Commitment: the greater the commitment to improve, the greater the return.
* Consistency: train on a regular basis.
* Concentration: focus on each task to the best of your ability.
* Competition: set goals, compete with yourself and with others.

Do Not Hope For Success. TRAIN FOR IT!
Somewhere somebody is training, and when he meets you in head-to-head competition, he'll beat you; that is, if he's been training harder than you have.

Off Season Training
You will receive A LOT of information on the following pages; it can be overwhelming. My suggestion:
0 Start early (don't leave this for late February)
0 Start now (make training/physical workouts part of your daily routine)
0 Sit down with a calendar and plan things out
General Plan:
-Lifting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
-Running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
-Stick skills done 4 or 5 times a week.
-Take Sundays off.
Your workout plan should keep these in mind:
-If it hurts, stop. Ignoring "pain" could sideline you forever. General rule of thumb for pain: first 48 hours, Rest, Ice, Compress (keep it wrapped), and Elevate. Next, see medical personnel.
-Eat smart. Yes, you'll eat more in a worthwhile workout program. It's absolutely necessary, so don't try to deny that.
-Build up strength and endurance. Start easy the first week. Weak muscles are prime cause for trouble. Work on overall fitness, flexibility, and endurance.
Depending on your "fitness level", you may want to start running at a slower pace and lower distance. For instance, if you have not done anything in a while, 1.5 miles would be a better starting point.
Training smart is the key to seeing the results that you want to see, to enjoying yourself, and to maintaining a running program.
Two major problems:
Problem #1--Too many athletes, who are not runners, over exert themselves in the first run, have difficulty walking the next 2 days, and then give up the training.
Problem #2--Athletes begin too late, and consequently, do not get the proper work they need to prepare their bodies for lacrosse.
Therefore, understand the basic principles.
Duration--In order to strengthen your heart and lungs, you must exercise for at least 25 to 35 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week (every other day).
10% Rule--Do not increase mileage more than 10% per week. Exercise places stress on the body. The body grows stronger if it is stressed in small increments, but breaks down if stressed too much.
"Prepare"--Prepare means to build a "base" from which to work. For example, you need to be able to run 30 minutes at a decent pace before introducing sprinting into your routine.
Training Specificity--Training needs to be specific to the sport. In lacrosse you need endurance (long runs), agility (quick starts, stops, and restarts), and straight out speed (sprint work). Therefore it is best to incorporate all types of running into your program, once again, after you have built a "base."
Hard/Easy Concept--A hard run day should be followed by an easy run day. "Damaged" muscles need time to repair themselves. If given time to heal, muscles come back stronger than before. This is how athletes grow stronger and faster. A "hard run" is defined as one that includes more distance or speed than usual. An "easy run" can mean a day off or running at a distance and/or pace that feels comfortable.
Warm-ups, Cool-downs, and Stretches--Be sure to work up a light sweat before you begin to stretch. After running, cool down by walking or jogging. This will bring your heart rate back to normal. After cooling down, do some gentle stretching.
Workout #1:
0 3 mile run (under 25 minutes). Another option, once you get comfortable with the distance, is to introduce "tempo" runs. Once you have run for 10 minutes, begin to vary/quicken the pace.

Workout #2:
0 2.5 mile run with 10 sprints (known as a fartlek--speed play)
A series of speed bursts are thrown into the middle of your normal run. Once you are warmed up (1 mile or so into the run) sprint for 1 minute or two (until fatigue sets in). You then slow down and return to a comfortable pace until you get back your wind. Then you speed up again.
Speed play can also involve competitive sprints if you have a training partner; for example, the distance between 3 telephone poles.

Workout #3:
Intervals (refers to a structured type of speed work on a track)
-1 mile warm up
-1/2 mile (2 laps) at a fast pace
Rest (jog) 50 seconds
-1/4 mile (1 lap) at a fast pace
Rest (jog) 45 seconds
-1/8 mile (you can figure it out) at a fast pace
-1 mile cool down at a jog pace

Workout #4:
Hills (100 to 300 yards long would be best; steep but not so steep as to cause you to lose good running form)
-1 mile warm up
-1st set of 10 hill sprints (fast sprint with good form up; jog slowly down the hill for recovery)
-After the set, rest 1 minute
-2nd set of 10 hill sprints
-After the set, rest 1 minute
-3rd set of 10 hill sprints
-1 mile cool down

Speed isn't everything. Tremendous footwork will help.
Workout #1: (20 seconds each, resting 20 seconds between sets)
0 Jump in place as quickly as you can.
0 Toe touches, jumping and landing in a squat.
0 Skiing moguls--jumping side to side.
0 Jump forward and backwards
As you improve, add 10 seconds and an extra set or two.

Weight Lifting:
Your number one objective is to increase strength and power and for it to be total-body and balanced. Therefore, your goal is to gain strength, power, and flexibility/range of motion. We're not talking about the workouts you can read about in Muscle and Fitness and other body building magazines. The aim here is not to add bulky muscles, although you will add some "tone and definition."
My suggestions:
0 Go slowly, don't sacrifice form for quantity. Form is more important than the amount of weight you lift. If you're lifting too much weight and doing it improperly, the only thing you'll get is injured. Always make sure you're in charge of the weight.
0 Never hold your breath while lifting. Breathe!
0 Stop if you feel any pain.
0 Work in a gym with the careful supervision of an experienced and certified trainer.

Getting Started:
0 Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of riding a stationary bike, running, etc.
0 Do each exercise as close to perfect as possible. Do not jerk the weights or distort the body.
0 Keep your head in line with your spine.
0 Cool down with 5 minutes of easy jogging and stretching.

Weight training should be no more than an hour per workout with little or no rest in between lifts.
18-20 reps-hips, shoulders, back, abs, and oblique
10-12 reps thighs, neck and chest
13-15 reps calves, biceps and triceps
*weight progression should follow that whenever you can achieve the maximum number of prescribed reps then you must increase the weight until you reach muscle fatigue. If you have any questions please ask me!
Below is a basic work out, you may do more.
0 Bench Press
0 Dumbell Bent Over Row
0 Incline Bench Press
0 Lateral Pull Down
0 Bicep Arm Curls
0 Tricep Extensions
0 Wrist Curls or Rolls
0 Squats
0 Leg Curls
0 Leg Extensions
0 Lunges
0 Abdominal Crunches
If you can get into a gym with medicine ball and/or tubing workouts, that would be great. Remember, range of motion is crucial to our game, and therefore to your lifting routine.

*Wrist rolls are great for stick handling and face offs- Use a 45 lb bar and roll it back and forth with palms facing up and then with palms facing down.

Stick Skills and Play
Stick work can be done any time of the year.
Wall Ball
(Throw against a Wall)
-Do these 3 times a week.
-Stand 5-10 yards from the wall.
[Note: The closer, the better because it creates a quicker stick.]
-Have velocity and snap the ball off of your stick
-These drills will NOT improve your skills if you do them incorrectly. If you do these incorrectly, at best they will waste your time, at worst they will hurt you and your game.
-No, these drills are not for everybody. These drills are only for players who want superior stick skills and are willing to work to gain them.
-Gloves are a MUST. You need to get used to the feel right away.
-There are several versions of wall ball, have fun with it. Switch it up if you want, JUST DO IT!

1.Two-handed throw and catch: 50 times continuously, without dropping using the right and left hand
2.One-hand throw and catch: 25 times continuously without dropping using the right and left hand
3.Switching hands: 25 times, throw and catch right, then switch and do your left. Alternate until you do complete 25 without dropping.
*Shooting: set up targets. Be creative.
Each time you do these drills, each time the stick is in your hands, GAIN confidence. Set yourself a goal before each practice session and accomplish it. Picture how this drill will translate into your game. Do not do any drill which has no application for a game situation. No, this does not mean eliminate trick shots and passes.
There it is! I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments. If you want to sit down and go over specifics, let's do that; but the bottom line--GET GOING!
Do Not Hope For Success. TRAIN FOR IT!
Coach Isaac

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