Virginia Lacrosse's Speed Ladder Plan

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By Josh Staph

To keep his lacrosse players wielding mean sticks during the final, crucial minutes of games, University of Virginia strength and conditioning coach Lorenzo Rivers employs a high-energy workout finisher. Use Rivers' advice on finishing strong to energize your workouts and to play the full game at full speed.

"My whole philosophy is based on the guys coming in here to speed train with me for an hour a day; then, for the other 23 hours, they move slowly. I make sure we train their bodies to move fast for that entire hour. At the end of every workout, I integrate a fast movement so that the players' bodies don't go back to moving slowly until later in the day. It teaches them to finish strong and fast. If you look at a game situation, you see how much energy you have at the beginning and not as much at the end. I train their bodies so they have the same amount of energy at the end of a game.

"Once we finish the rest of our training, I go back to the speed ladder to work on speed, coordination, balance control and foot speed—the straight frequency of how fast you can pick your feet up and put them back down. We do about five different exercises with a focus on quality, not quantity. The whole team goes through at the same time, so we work together as a unit. This helps with camaraderie and cohesiveness, because everyone is watching each other work hard. It also becomes a competition, because guys don't want to mess up in front of their teammates. A lot of focus is required when they are tired."

Perform each of the following drills up and down the ladder at the end of your workouts. Rest when your teammates are going.

Straight Run
One foot in each box

Ickey Shuffle
Two feet in each box, one foot out in diagonal shuffle

Full Ickey Shuffle
Two feet in each box, two feet out in diagonal shuffle

Lateral Shuffle
Two feet in each box, no crossover

One foot in each box


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