Improving Lateral Mobility With Matt Zash

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Lacrosse is a game of quick cuts, maneuvers and explosive changes of direction. Knowing this, Justin Kull of Revolution Athletics incorporates exercises that focus on lateral mobility and change-of-direction speed when he trains Long Island Lizards midfielder Matt Zash. With coaching by Kull, Zash performs the Five-Cone Star and Reactive Change-of-Direction drills to develop his cutting and planting technique, which helps him get open and fake out would-be defenders during games.

Instead of taking a water break, after each set Zash performs an active rest—low intensity exercises that aid the recovery process. The target muscles for Zash's active rest include the core, glutes and stabilizers.

To perform the following drills, you need five cones, a med ball and a partner. And don't forget to perform a dynamic warm-up before you get to work.

Five-Cone Star Drill [see diagram for setup]
• Set up four cones in a square, approximately five yards apart, with a fifth cone in the middle
• Start at Cone 1 and sprint to Cone 2; plant at cone, lower body and touch top of Cone 2
• Pivot, turn and sprint back to Cone 1
• Plant at cone, lower body and touch top of Cone 1
• Pivot, turn and sprint to Cone 3; plant at cone, lower body and touch top of Cone 3
• Pivot, turn and sprint to Cone 2; plant at cone, lower body and touch top of Cone 2
• Repeat pattern clockwise, followed by counterclockwise

Sets/Reps: 3x12-14 touches each direction (3 sets clockwise, 3 sets counterclockwise)
Coaching Points: Maintain low center of gravity // Keep chest up and back straight // Keep weight on inside leg when planting

Active Rest
Side Plank
(First Set)
• Lie on side with elbow tucked under body
• Rise into plank position so only elbow and outside of foot are touching ground

Sets/Reps: Hold for 45 seconds, then repeat on opposite side

Side Plank With Rotation (Second Set)
• Assume Side Plank position
• Bring hand of opposite arm behind head
• Rotate torso, bringing elbow close to ground
• Rotate torso back to Side Plank position

Sets/Reps: 45 seconds on each side

Side Plank With Leg Lift (Third Set)
• Assume Side Plank Position
• Bring top leg up toward ceiling

Sets/Reps: 3x15 each side

Coaching Points for All Plank Variations: Keep body straight // Draw shoulders back // Keep core tight // Thrust upper hip toward ceiling

Reactive Change of Direction
• Assume athletic stance facing coach
• Perform Reactive Shuffle, planting and changing direction at coach's command for 30 seconds
• Perform Side Run, planting and changing direction at coach's command for 30 seconds
• Perform Sprint, planting and changing direction at coach's command for 30 seconds
• Finish by performing Complete Reaction Drill; start with Reactive Shuffle, plant and change direction into Side Run at coach's command; plant and change direction into Sprint at coach's command

Sets/Reps: 3-4x30 seconds each drill
Coaching Points: Keep hips low, chest up and back straight // Maintain solid base // Keep feet shoulder-width apart // Keep weight over inside leg when planting // For Reactive Shuffle, keep weight on balls of feet and feet pointed forward // For Side Run, keep hips square and feet facing forward // Rotate hips into plant for Sprint

Active Rest
Med Ball Chest Pass

• Stand 5-6 feet away from wall
• Explosively fire med ball into wall from chest, fully extending arms and hands
• Receive ball near chest and fire back to wall

Sets/Reps: 3-4x30 seconds
Coaching Points: Don't favor one side when passing // Avoid throwing thumbs out or down // Be prepared to catch ball


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CHEST | LACROSSE | COACH | MED BALL | SPRINT | DRILL | CONES | SHUFFLE