Paul Rabil burst onto the scene a little over four years ago, and he has been a colossal contributor to the lacrosse revolution ever since. Combine his 6’3, 225-pound stature, his accomplishments and his cat-like agility, and you have the Michael Jordan of lacrosse.
Rabil’s four-year domination at Johns Hopkins University propelled him to become the number-one overall pick, by the Boston Cannons, in the 2008 MLL Collegiate Draft. He finished his stellar career with the Blue Jays as a three-time All-American; the leader in goals and points for a midfielder; and the career leader in goals, assists and points in NCAA tournament games.
According to Jay Dyer, Johns Hopkins’ strength and conditioning coach and Rabil’s current strength coach, training agility is important, because there’s no better way to prepare an athlete for how the game is played. “Lacrosse is a big change-of- direction sport,” Dyer says. “The sport is constant stop, go, [and] change-of-direction.”
To build Rabil’s agility and endurance simultaneously, Dyer prescribes the Double Box Drill. “A big component of lacrosse is being able to go hard for a certain amount of time on the field, run a certain distance, [recover], and then repeat that,” he says.
Check out the details of the Double Box Drill, which helped Rabil become one of the most elusive midfielders in the MLL.
Double Box Drill [See diagram for set-up]
• Begin in athletic stance at Cone 1
• Sprint to Cone 2
• Decelerate, plant and sprint to Cone 3
• Repeat to Cone 4, then back to Cone 1
• Repeat to Cones 5, 6, 7 and 8, then sprint through Cone 5
• Perform second set in opposite direction
Sets/Rest: 2/90 seconds – 2 minutes
Adaptation: Extend the distance of the outside cones to incorporate a conditioning component
Coaching Points: Don’t jog through the drill; perform it at full speed // Make sure you cut at a 90-degree angle when changing direction // Once you get to the outside box, focus on finishing strong // Keep head up and feet under hips when decelerating