In the off-season it’s critical to stay in peak shape, regardless of what sport you’re playing. Coming into camp overweight (Dustin Byfuglien anyone? – here!) is a sure fire way to be ridiculed and potentially even cut from a lacrosse roster.
There are two problems with off-season training first off nothing can really mimic game intensity, secondly it can be a grind to hit the gym twice a day during your off-season’s peak training. It’s also possible to come to camp burnt out, after all the season is a long grind and your body needs adequate time to rest and recover from the physical exertion you place on it every year.
So how do you avoid burning out, while making sure you’re not coming into camp overweight?
Multi-Sport Training for Lacrosse
Some of the worlds best athletes were multi-sport athletes. Think Michael Jordan who was a marginal baseball player and the greatest basketball player, or better yet Bo Jackson who was a sensational baseball player AND football player. As an aside if you’ve never seen you don’t know Bo it’s a must see. Find Bo at http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=you-dont-know-bo
The absolute best way to stay active, avoid burnout and actually enjoy your off-season training is to play a variety of sports. Here is a list of some sports you can take up and the benefits they have.
- Basketball – Basketball is a terrific sport to improve your hand eye, increase your stamina while working on your leg strength. All that jumping does wonders for hamstring and quadriceps power.
- Hockey – Most lacrosse players started out playing hockey. It’s a pretty natural transition from the rules of the game to overall skill set required. Skating instead of running will target muscles that otherwise mostly ignored while running. And of course your hand eye will improve as well.
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding – Potentially my favorite offseason sport. I usually enter into some amateur paddle board races. However, even if you’re a complete beginner paddle boarder it’s still a great workout. You’ll engage your core and stability muscles which is great when someone is trying to knock you off stride in a game.
- Billards – Join a league in the off-season. Shooting pool is arguably the best way to improve your precision and accuracy. It’s all about concentration, pool does a remarkable job of teaching this skill.
- Ultimate Frisbee – Another great sport. Ultimate will help improve your cardio (or at least maintain it). Chances are if you play lacrosse your hand is pretty good so catching a frisbee probably won’t help you too much. That said there is something to be said for a sport that leaves you gassed AND is enjoyable.
- Yoga – This shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore. Yoga is being practiced by major league baseball players, NFL players and hockey players a like. It’s a great way to keep your core strong and your limbs flexible. Most people don’t know, if you’re muscles are tight you’re losing power and strength. This is a particularly good way to loosen those tight muscles up!