In lacrosse, the most conditioned athletes are usually the ones who are most successful. If you get tired easily, your performance will decrease and your coach might sub you out for a more well rested player. Lacrosse is not an easy sport to train for – there’s a large variety of movements including starting, stopping, sprinting, walking, etc. Here are the best lacrosse conditioning drills you can do in order to get into the best “lacrosse shape” possible.
100M Sprint Every Minute – Find a local track or football field with lines and bring your phone or a watch with you. Now do a 100 meter (or yard) sprint and start your stopwatch. You should finish probably within 20-30 seconds. Now rest for the remainder of that minute and repeat with another 100M sprint. Keep doing this until you get to 16 minutes. Congratulations, you just sprinted an entire mile!
This is one of my favorite lacrosse conditioning drills because it mimics the cadence of a lacrosse game. You usually sprint all out for a few seconds, then rest, and do it again. Plus, I like the idea that I sprinted an entire mile when completing this workout.
Pretend Lacrosse – This is one of my go-to drills that I recommend all lacrosse players try. Go out to a lacrosse field and bring a bucket of balls with you. Based on your position, simulate what kinds of movements you would make in a game. For example, if I’m an attackman, I probably sprint around trying to get open for about 30 seconds. Then once I get a ball, I do a dodge and maybe pass the ball. Then I get the ball again and do another dodge and shoot. If I don’t score, I get back on the ride and try to get the ball back. Then I rest for a few minutes and repeat.
The same thing can be applied to a midfielder. I would bring the ball down, pass it, then sprint to get open, dodge and shoot and shot on the run. Then I would sprint back down the other side of the field and pretend to play some defense.
You might look crazy as if you’re playing lacrosse with yourself, but this will be as close as it gets to what you would actually do in a game. Do this once a week and watch yourself be in the best shape of your life.
Jump Rope – Jump Rope should become a staple of your lacrosse conditioning program if it is not already. You work on so many different things at once when you jump rope – conditioning, footwork and agility, speed, etc. You don’t need a super fancy jump rope, just use the one at your local gym or borrow one from a friend. Start by doing intervals – something like 1 minute on and 1 minute of rest. Repeat this 10-20 times. My only knock on jump rope is that it’s boring, so I try to play music or something I can skip along to.
Stairs – Many of my old lacrosse practices ended with me sprinting up the stadium stairs as fast as possible. Although I hated when my coach made me do it, I was thankful during games when I was much more conditioned than my opposing team. If you have a set of stairs you can run up, I would go out and try to see how many times you can run them up and down. Then you can try jumping up the stairs with one foot for an extra challenge.
Hill Runs – Another easy way to add resistance to your running is with hill runs. It’s simple – find a hill and run up it as fast as possible. Walk down the hill and repeat as many times as you can. Have a target goal in mind – perhaps 5 hill runs to start. Then the next session, go for 6, then 7 and so on. For a super hard workout, wear your lacrosse pads while running up the hill and you will be drenched in sweat, but also in amazing shape.
Long Runs – Don’t underestimate the power of a long run. While most conditioning should consist of high intensity exercise such as sprinting, there’s also a time and place for slow and steady runs. I would try to incorporate these once a week into your routine, and have a time goal. For example, try to run for 30 minutes without stopping, but go at a pace that you can maintain the whole time. You could work your way up to 60-90 minutes easily!