As a lacrosse player, how often should I train for speed?
We train for speed year-round. If anything, I would say that we lessen our load during the season, because players get quite a bit of work during practices and games.
A typical week consists of what we refer to as "three-day splits." For example, if we strengthen our legs on Sunday, we'll train lower body again on Thursday so our players get two leg training sessions that particular week. The following week we'll go back to legs for one more day to complete our three-day split.
To improve speed, our players perform Power Cleans, Squats, Front Squats and different Lunge variations. Without question, the most important lift in our repertoire is the Back Squat, which we take very seriously because it's one of our "testing lifts." In addition, here at Brown we're big believers in plyometric drills, which basically consist of box jumps. Plyo drills create ankle and hip mobility and strengthen the abdominal region, which are all key components of enhancing speed.
Always remember that the faster you run, the more your body wants to naturally crumble, because gravity pulls your kinetic energy down. Lacrosse demands change-of-direction speed and dodging, so it's essential to strengthen your legs and create mobile joints to become faster.
Roger Marandino is the head strength and conditioning coach at Brown University.
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