After a long grueling lacrosse season everyone looks forward to a relaxing summer vacation. Between vacations, hanging out with friends, and summer employment it is hard to find time to stay in shape and work on your lacrosse game.
But for many players, the season never comes to an end. They continue to play in competitive summer leagues and tournaments across the country.
For others, it may be difficult to stay highly motivated on lacrosse year around without any downtime. While time off from the game is needed to relax and recharge your body and mind, summertime is when good players become great players.
Every player, from beginner to professional, has elements of their game that need improvement. For example, some players need to get stronger, put on weight, work on stick skills, or improve speed and quickness. There are specific drills for each area of your game if you want to improve.
To really improve your game over the summer, it is best to make sure you allocate plenty of time on areas of weakness or skills in your game that need to be polished. It is easy to work on the best parts of your game because they are your greatest asset and the most fun to do.
However, you should really be focusing in on the skills you need to elevate your game too. If you are not sure what to work on, go ask one of your coaches and they would be happy to tell you what needs improvement.
To get the most out of your summer here are Four proven ways to prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Following these steps will make it clear to your coaches who put in the work over summer when no one was watching.
Shooting and Stick Skills
You can not become a great player if you do not have great stick skills; plain and simple. It is no coincidence that the best players you see also have the best stick skills. And guess what, they all started off by ‘hitting the wall.’ Nothing is better to improve hand-eye coordination and learning to catch the ball cleanly at different angles and speeds.
Coaches at all levels preach to their players that playing wall ball is hands down the best way to improve your stick skills. But we know that this can get a little repetitive and doesn’t encompass every aspect of good stick skills, so we included a few other things that will help you improve as well.
5×50 Wall Ball Drill
A great wall ball drill is fifty of each everyday: righty, lefty, behind the back, around the world. Your goal in this drill is to complete all passes and catches without dropping the ball. Once you have achieved this goal, challenge yourself to increase the amount of passes and catches. Also you can throw yourself difficult passes to practice catching ‘handcuffs’ to simulate bad passes in games. Remember that this skill is perishable, so it is important to make it a routine.
Playing at Full Speed
It is one thing to catch and throw when you are stationary but it is a completely different skill when you are in a game situation. Throwing and catching while running at full speed is one of the hardest things to do in our sport. It gets significantly harder to accomplish this when there is a defender closely guarding you. So make sure when you practice these skills you are going full speed. The only way to get better at throwing and catching at full speed is to practice at full speed, it is as easy as that. If you are not getting the accuracy you want, slow it down first, and slowly start increasing your speed until you are doing it at full speed.
Another important summer skill to work on is dodging from different spots on the field. Coaches love when a player is versatile enough to dodge against their defender from anywhere on the field. Improving this skill makes the player much more of a threat to the other team. A great drill for dodging is:
- Ten ally dodges
- Ten sweeps over the top
- Ten wing dodges top side and underneath the defender
- And complete this drill with ten dodges from X.
**Do not forget to do this drill with BOTH hands.**
Everyone wants to be a deadly shooter and have an outside cannon. Nothing feels better than when the opposing team screams “shooter” when you get the ball! To make yourself a shooting threat follow this shooting drill:
- ten step down shots from 12-15 yards,
- ten from 10-12 yards on the hash marks on each side of the field.
**And again, remember to do this with BOTH hands.**
Here is another awesome shooting drill by our lacrosse shooting expert friends at DEFY Lacrosse:
We also break down this drill in a blog post, ”
Improve Lacrosse IQ
One way to drastically improve your lacrosse IQ is to watch the game at the collegiate and professional levels. It is easy to find game film on the internet and get of a better understanding of the intricacies of the game. Here is a great site to watch outstanding Lacrosse Highlights.
Also you should watch plenty of film on yourself so you can see how to improve your game. You can stay sharp mentally and keep your competitive edge by playing against good competition.
There are numerous competitive tournaments and recruiting events across the country. Check with your coach to help decide which events are best for you.
Strength and Conditioning
After a long season, most players have lost some weight and strength. Commit to a regular workout routine for the summer. If you need assistance talk to an athletic trainer or your strength coach.
Improving your flexibility through stretching or yoga will also keep you in great shape for the season. Also, make sure your diet remains healthy and similar to how you eat during the season. Finally, do not forget to take care of your body and nurse any nagging injuries from last season. Your goal should be to enter fall ball with in the best shape possible.
With the workout routine you should find time to improve your cardio conditioning. Set timed goals for running a mile and sprints. Staying in shape year round is an important component of your overall game. One great way to stay on track with your workouts is to get an accountability partner. This means getting with a teammate, friend or family member that is equally as motivated to stay in shape and create a workout schedule that you can do together and hold each other accountable for. Biggest thing is; don’t get out of shape!
Pre-Season Cross Training
We hear coaches all the time talk about being a multi sport athlete. They believe playing other sports improves your athletic ability. For example, playing basketball is great for your cardio, footwork, moving without the ball, and hand eye coordination.
All of these are crucial parts of lacrosse and can be improved by playing other sports. A few other sports that also help improve your skills are beach volleyball and tennis because both incorporate the mental aspect of lacrosse, improve reaction time, and are great for cardio.
Here is a short list of things we like to do during the summer to cross train:
Let’s face it, everybody looks forward to a relaxing summer. But the smart players know this is “season” for improvement. Whether you are trying to make your high school varsity team, earn a starting position, catch the eye of college recruiters, or maybe even coming back from an injury following this program will put you in a position to be the best player you can be.
If you have a summer regiment that you would like to share, please let us know what works for you!