I have been an athlete all of my life but the sport that I really excelled at was lacrosse. I played for five years at Lindenwood University. My fifth year was a bonus year due to the transitioning process from NAIA to NCAA. Looking back on those years, balancing lacrosse and school was like having a full time job and consumed most of my time. I spent a lot of time training to ensure I was in the best shape possible come January. Since I was a midfielder and my job mainly consisted of running all over the field, I did just that…I ran. I would do my assigned lifts from our strength packet but my main focus was on running.
If I could go back and tell myself one thing, it would be to focus more on strength and power movements and less on those long distance runs. Lacrosse is a complicated sport which requires a lot of power and also endurance depending on the postion. I’ve been training with Matt Wirth for a couple of months now and I know for a fact that I am in better shape now than I ever was in college. I am pulling and pushing a lot more weight than I thought was possible.
In October, I went back to Lindenwood and played in the annual Alumni game and I was able to keep up with the current players and even outrun some of them. I was out of breath, of course. Any athlete knows there is such a thing as being in “game shape”.
I loved my team and coaches like family but I think coaches get caught up in running the team for conditioning and punishment. I’m guilty of doing it to my summer team I coach. More focus should be on power and strength movements and that is not limited to the weight room. Uphill sprints, sled pulls/pushes, long jumps, etc are all great movements.