by Jason Riddell MS, SCCC, CSCS, USAW
Director of Athlete Performance
Lacrosse is an amazing sport that contains elements of soccer, hockey, basketball and football. It is one of only a few sports where you can legally body check and stick check an opposing player to dislodge the ball. At the highest levels of the game the ball can travel well over 100mph with the hardest shot recorded so far to be 119.9mph. Those are some serious forces and velocities encountered by players!
Although lacrosse originated in the Native American cultures of the Northeastern United States and Southern Canada, its popularity nationwide has been growing steadily over the years. According to the NCAA, “Lacrosse is the fastest-growing college sport in the nation, according to the annual NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report released last Fall. Growth across men’s and women’s lacrosse across all NCAA divisions notably outpaced all other sports from 2000-2014″. New York University was the first to field a college lacrosse team in the late 1800s and it has been on the fast track ever since.
In Northern Virginia, lacrosse is extremely popular in area high schools with powerhouse programs like the University of Virginia, University of Maryland, Towson University, Loyola University and Johns Hopkins University attracting top players both locally and around the country.
Next Level has trained a number of women’s and men’s lacrosse teams, as well as individual players seeking to improve their on field performance through our training systems. Although their base athleticism is trained in much the same way as other sports, there are special considerations as they progress in our system.
The top three lacrosse specific areas we address with our athletes are:
1.) TRANSVERSE PLANE CORE TRAINING
By training strength in the abdominals, lower back and hips we can increase shot velocity
2.) GRIP AND FOREARM TRAINING
By training the hands and forearms to get stronger we can make cradling and holding onto the stick during contact easier.
3.) MULTI-DIRECTION DECELERATION AND ACCELERATION
By strengthening the athlete’s ability to change direction quickly and safely we help reduce the chance of injury as well as increase their agility.
Excelling at the sport of Lacrosse requires putting in a lot of stick work, as well as grasping the mechanics and rules of the game, but it also requires an emphasis on strength and conditioning to make the athlete stronger, faster and more durable.
If you’d like to learn more about our sports performance programs, or our team training, please contact us at 703-884-2435.