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Lax Tip of the Week: Plyometrics can improve First Step Quickness

Wednesday, 16th April 2008

Categories Boy's/Men's, Features, Girl's/Women's  

By Dave Donovan
Of Lacrosse Evolution, Posted 4/16/08

There is a difference between speed and quickness. Speed is the ability to maintain a constant velocity; whereas quickness is the ability to accelerate to that top speed or velocity.

When a player’s First Step Quickness (FSQ) is described they are talking about his or her aptitude at acceleration.
The key factor in FSQ is power. The best way to develop power is with plyometric exercises. Plyos are great because all you need is your own body weight or maybe a jump rope. Here are some of the basics:
-Hops- Small jumps side to side, or forward and back over a line.
-Single Leg Hops- Same as the hops but a little more challenging.
-Squat Jumps- Squat as far down as possible then jump up as high as you can.
-Split Jumps- Start in a lunge position with one knee on the ground then jump and switch your front and back legs landing back in the lunge position.
-Tuck Jumps- Jump straight up into the air as high as you can then pull your knees to your chest.

For all of these, try to land as soft as you can barely making a sound. The rule of thumb for plyos is that you should rest 48 hours in between sessions.

You can do other types of exercise but it is not recommended to do this form of training on consecutive days because your body needs time to recover.

Jump rope is a great way to warm for this and any physical activity. A few things you might try instead of just regular single unders are side-to-side hops, high knees, a boxer shuffle, or double unders. Remember one hop, don’t bounce in between.

All coaches look for that player with great quickness. It is a great asset at all positions: attack for that great first step, middies for breaking away on a clear, defense for reaction and recovery, goalies for lateral movement pipe to pipe, and for all, getting to ground balls.

Each week, rotating between boys and girls, Lacrosse Evolution will present a “Lax Tip of the Week”


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