Play yourself into shape?
We’ve all heard of players who attempt to “play themselves into shape,” meaning they show up to Day One of practice or tryouts without having done any prior lacrosse conditioning to get ready for the upcoming season. “Playing yourself into shape” is one of the worst things you can do. Showing up to the season in shape allows an athlete to jump right into drills and reps and develop their skills full speed ahead! By showing up to the season out of shape, an athlete spends those first practices slogging through drills, winded and tired, and not getting any better, while the in shape athletes are making gains and getting ahead. Additionally, by not showing up in good physical condition, the athlete puts their body at risk for injury since they will be required to compete at full speed, while the body is not ready to do so.
When it comes to lacrosse conditioning, the best thing an athlete can do is to stay in shape year round. This isn’t to say you need to stay in absolute peak physical condition during the off-season, but you need to maintain a relatively high level of fitness. This allows you to get back into “game shape” quickly once it is time to ramp up training prior to the season beginning. It’s a lot easier and faster to reach the peak level of fitness when the starting point is not absolute zero. Being a committed athlete means you shouldn’t have to start from scratch every season. There should be a smooth transition from off-season to in-season. One easy way to stay in shape year round is by playing multiple sports. Multi sport athletes have to maintain their physical fitness year round in order to be ready for each new sporting season.
So, do yourself a favor and stay in shape!