I am back from my much needed summer vacation with more lacrosse insights, coaching strategies, and new videos!
This week is christened Agility Week. Each post will focus on specific speed/agility drills, designed to improve your footwork and overall athleticism. If you are serious about improving your game for the more competitive Spring Season, I highly encourage interested players to try these drills out. Start out slow until you get the basic motions down, then pick up the speed. The one exception is today’s video, the Dynamic Warm Up. You should not try to rush the warm up moves. They are specifically designed to get your legs used to extending and flexing in preparation for practice, and get your lungs used to breathing hard.
Players as young as fifth grade are welcome to partake in these drills, but they are designed for players in seventh grade or older. I am not a believer in structured agility training for players under seventh grade. If you are a younger player go out and run, play tag, or come up with your own drills. However, if you are dying to work on these drills I am not going to stop you. Just don’t feel like you must do these drills to compete. This is supposed to be fun at the end of the day.
The video below is a dynamic, or ballistic, warm up. Otherwise known as stretching through movement. The moves in the video should be done in order. The cones are set 12-15 yards apart. Players do one move to the cone, turn around, then do the same move back to the cone. A few seconds of rest should be included after each movement set.
Here are each of the drills in the video:
- Quick Hops (keep your feet together, stay on your toes)
- Knee Grabs (pull each knee into your chest slowly)
- High Knees (knees must get above hips as quickly as possible, pump arms throughout exercise)
- High Knee Skips (fight for vertical height)
- Ankle Grabs (pull ankle towards your back slowly)
- Butt Kicks (kick towards your butt as quickly as possible, pump arms throughout exercise)
- Frankenstines (keep knee straight, kick leg up as high as possible)
- Russian Walks (bring knee up then out)
- Side Shuffle (get as low as possible, tap toes together)
- Donkey Shuffle (get as low as possible, feet stay in same position)
- Carioca (over, under, over under)
- High Knee Carioca (rear leg powers up and over front leg)
- Tapioka (same as carioca but only with feet, hips stay square)
- Leaping Bounds (power off rear leg as far forward as possible, reset, then power off leg again)
- Backpedal (stay low, pump arms, keep feet moving quickly)
- Sprint (pump arms, touch line/cone, return)
This is a seven to ten minute warm up and is perfect for starting off a practice because it incorporates a lot of different movements that gets players comfortable moving in uncomfortable ways. Remember, don’t forget to pump your arms on the exercises that call for it. Watch the video and see how I keep my arms moving through almost every exercise. More on why pumping arms is important on Wednesday.
You may notice there are no static stretches in this warm-up. The reason is simple, kids want to move. Standing still to bend over and touch their toes is boring, but jumping up as high as they can is engaging. In twelve years of playing lacrosse I pulled a muscle one time because I stretched and did ballistic warm ups. To combine the best of both worlds, do a dynamic warmup before practice, then do static stretches for the last five minutes as a cool-down.