By Genevieve Grossmann
Of Lacrosse Evolution
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/11/08
Warming up is essential to successful performance on the field. One of my favorite warm up exercises that we did at Rutgers University is the “sticks down” ladder, which is a variation of normal agility ladder exercises that can be done without having to buy specialized equipment.
This is an easy way to have your girls’ team develop great foot speed with change of direction exercises, gain agility and overall body coordination.
How to do it:
Lay out everyone’s stick face down in a parallel row (resembling a ladder), spaced 18 inches apart. Run through each exercise two times, being sure to leave enough room between each player. Coaches must stress the importance of having athletes staying on their toes, not letting their heels touch the ground, and moving their arms at 90 degree angles in sync with their legs.
– The first, and most basic exercise, is called “one foot runs.” The athlete simply runs through the ladder, placing one foot in each square.
– The second exercise is the same as the first, but with 2 feet in each box.
– The third exercise is 4 quick feet in each box.
– The next is defensive slides. Have each individual face the end of the ladder, get low in their defensive stance, and shuffle left to right around each stick with small quick steps. The key to this part is to get the inside foot all the way around the stick rather than stepping over it.
– Next, do the defensive slides backwards.
– The next exercise is a sprint and back-pedal workout. It is great for defensemen to work on pressuring, then recovering back to the eight, as well as attackers to work on challenging in the eight. Have each individual stand with one shoulder facing down the line. They must sprint to the top end of the stick, break down their steps, and backpedal to the end of the next stick. After everyone runs through this one once, have them start again in the opposite direction.
– Finally, have the team finish with some striders, placing of one foot in every other (or third) box to stretch out the legs.
Each week, rotating between boys and girls, Lacrosse Evolution will present a “Lax Tip of the Week”