Spring preseason is one of the most exciting times for the lacrosse athlete. The upcoming season is an open slate, there for the taking for the lacrosse player to write his or her future narrative; a fresh beginning where past disappointments and failures are now irrelevant other than to serve as motivation to make one’s mark this year.
Preparation is everything. In addition to countless shots on the back yard goal, endless time on the wall and the rebounder, and practicing dodges and cuts; one must also prepare one’s body for the grind of the upcoming season. Endurance, speed, and power are all essential to a successful lacrosse game, as well as possessing the ability to stay healthy and free of injury. We cannot accomplish our goals while sitting on the sideline injured.
This is where training and nutrition come in. As I discussed with my childhood lacrosse bud and now Trainer To The Stars Jordan on a recent episode of our Lacrosse and Sport Podcast, training is so much more than running and lifting weights. We discussed the arcane ways that we trained as high school lacrosse athletes in the 1990’s and how all to often in this day and age, these arcane methods are still employed by coaches and Dads imparting their past training experiences on their kids.
Steve highlighted, for example, High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short. HIIT consists of intervals of high intensity movement immediately followed by intervals of low to moderate intensity movement. According to Steve, this offers the benefit of providing both a strength/power benefit to training in combination with a cardiovascular benefit to training. Steve also noted that this also offers a more dynamic structure to training that better simulates and prepares the body for the physical taxing of the actual game: think of a player huffing it down down on a fast break then transitioning to ripping a shot…a combination of speed, endurance, and power. IN this spirit, Steve created a LAXFIT 6 week training program that incorporates HIIT and other training techniques invaluable for lacrosse season preparation.
From a nutritional standpoint, Steve declined to offer specific or overly detailed dietary regimens, but instead offered these basic guidelines:
- If you look at the label of any food and there is an ingredient that you cannot pronounce, don’t eat it.
- If the food did not exist 1000 years ago or was not around when your grandparents were kids, don’t eat it.
- Don’t drink soda.
- Don’t eat fast food.
Recovery is also key in preparing for the season. As we push our bodies to the limit to maximize our potential in gaining speed, strength, and resilience against injury, our bodies need ample sleep and rest to recover and provide us net gains. Nutrition plays a huge role in recovery, but in addition to ample sleep, it is also important that the training regimen is varied in a manner to prevent over training. Thus, if is not cost prohibitive, a personal trainer or group training with a certified trainer is ideal to.
Now is the time to start your 2018 spring lacrosse journey. Remember, how you do one thing is how your do everything!
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.