Often referred to as “America’s first sport,” lacrosse is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports in North America. The sport combines elements of basketball, soccer, and hockey, and requires coordination and agility.
As players prepare for their season, it’s important to set both position and season goals with their coaches before they train. Because men’s and women’s rules differ significantly and because injuries and demands may differ by position, it’s important for players to participate in an individualized training program that can lessen the risk of injuries and boost conditioning.
Common injuries in men include:
Common injuries in women include:
For athletes who have experienced a sports-related injury, UPMC Center for Sports Medicine’s orthopaedic surgeons and board-certified physical therapists will help to speed recovery and restore function.
Training Tips and Techniques
In lacrosse, injuries and conditioning demands depend on what position you play. For example, an attacker will need to train with more quick and explosive movements, while a midfielder will need to perform more endurance activities for the increased amount of running the position requires. Before you start training, discuss which position you will be playing in order to properly prepare for the season.
Every season must come to an end. In order to stay in shape and avoid injury, it is important to participate in a conditioning program even during the off-season. Some helpful conditioning exercises include:
Full-Field Interval Distance Sprints
- Starting from one end line, sprint to the closest restraining line and back.
- Sprint from the end line to the midfield line and back.
- Sprint to the opposite restraining line and back.
- Sprint to the opposite end line and back.
Fartlek is a Swedish term that means “speed play” or playing with speed. It is a very natural way of running that can be closely associated with children running around during playtime. Some efforts will be to run hard, some are at a moderate pace, and others at an easy pace.
- Starting at one corner of the lacrosse field, sprint across the end line and jog
around the rest of the field.
- Sprint across the end line, down the sideline, and across the other end line; jog
the final sideline.
- Sprint around the full field.
- To increase intensity, time this exercise.
- This exercise should be performed with a group of people or your team.
- Start with all but one person lying on the ground, face down, about three feet apart from each other in a row, like railroad ties.
- The person standing runs and leaps over the top of each person on the ground making sure to clear each person.
- When the runner clears the last person, the runner lies down at the end of the row.
- Meanwhile, as each person is cleared by the runner, that person rises and follows behind the runner, also leaping over each person in the row.
- As each runner clears the last person, that runner lies down at the end of the row.
- This drill continues in this way to the end of the field.
These drills are designed to enhance your individual skills before the season starts. Practicing these drills every day will help to improve your stick handling, ground balls, and passing ability.
- Find a brick or concrete wall that no one minds you using.
- Pick a spot on the wall and aim for that spot every time.
- Repeat each throw 100 times.
- Throws: Right hand throw and catch; left hand throw and catch; right hand throw, left hand catch; left hand throw, right hand catch; quick stick right hand; quick stick left hand.
- These drills should be performed with your team.
- Line up in two equal groups around 25 yards directly across from each other.
- One line starts with the ball; they will pass or roll the ball to the other line on the run depending on the drill.
- Right hand throw to right hand catch.
- Left hand throw to left hand catch.
- Right hand throw to left hand catch.
- Left hand throw to right hand catch.
- Out-let pass: One person throws the ball to the person in front of them in line as they break out to either the right or left. The person receiving the pass then throws the ball to the second person in the opposite line.
Individuals should consult a physician before beginning any kind of training or conditioning program.