Pro Lax Training Tips – Myths

I am very pleased to announce that we will be getting some great “Lacrosse Specific” training tips from a fabulous new resource. Sean Holmes runs Pro Lax Training and if you have a look at his site (just by clicking on the image or link), you can quickly see, he has trained some of the best (Dan Dawson, Matt Roik, Sandy Chapman), and has some very useful information to offer. How long have we waited for this sort of thing for our game? In Sean’s first instalment here for us at LITG, he unravels a myth on aerobic training…… on.

Conditioning for lacrosse should be extremely specific to the sport. Many people like to prepare for a season by completing long distance running to get them in shape to play. However, this may almost be more detrimental to their play than beneficial. There is a saying in the strength and conditioning industry that all running long and slow does is make your muscles long and slow. Never in a game are you required to maintain a steady pace for any length of time, let alone for a distance of 2 miles. Constantly you are required to accelerate, decelerate, change directions, and all within a 30 second span on average. Long distance running is a purely aerobic activity, whereas lacrosse is an anaerobic sport. Thinking that being able to run 5 miles will make you play better lacrosse is like practicing swinging a baseball bat thinking it will improve your shot. They are two completely different skills, just like aerobic vs. anaerobic training.

There is a myth that you need to develop an aerobic base first to help with your recovery during anaerobic training. Science tells us that there is no anaerobic improvements gained by aerobic training, yet we improve our aerobic capacity through anaerobic training. This means we do not need to create the so-called aerobic base as our aerobic capacity will improve during interval training.

Interval training is bursts of high intensity work alternated with periods of rest. You should begin with shorter durations of work and gradually build up to longer time periods, while simultaneously decreasing the work-to-rest ratio. A beginner should start with a work-to-rest ratio of 1:3 (10 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest) and gradual build up to a 1:1 right before the season starts, with the work period being up to a minute in length combining different movement skills (shuffles, backpedals, stops and starts) to specifically mimic movements that you will perform during a game.

Sean Holmes, CSCS
BA (Honours) Kinesiology and Health Sciences


A Lacrosse Drill from James Jurcic.

Inside Out (ages 8-12)

Movement and passing are combined in this drill

=> What you need…
Create an area that is about 20 yards by 20 yards, with 5 players (with balls) inside the square area, and 5 players (without balls) outside the square area.

=> How this drill works…
Players must move around the square area maintaining good control of the ball.

When the coach blows the whistle, the players inside the square must prepare to pass the ball to a player outside the square.

Once the players outside the square secure the pass, they must move inside the square, and the players inside must follow their pass outside the square.

If two players pass to the same person, whichever person’s pass doesn’t get caught, that person is out of the drill.

It is important the coach watch for: good passing technique, good vision on the part of players and that they are moving around.

=> Result…
Passers recognize players to pass to while moving around, and reinforcing passing skills.

Good coaching,

Thanks James,


For more passing and catching drills, check out James book:

“Cradle the ball” Lacrosse Drill

A Lacrosse Drill from James Jurcic.


Cradling is an essential skill for young (or new) players to learn right away.

=> What you need…

Players should have their sticks and of course, full equipment to do this drill. Players can spend some time practicing this at home, because it does require some dexterity to do well.

=> How this drill works…

Each player should have their stick and carrying a ball from one side of the field (or box) to the other. Cradling is necessary to control the ball while the player is running down the floor and dodging other players on the field.

=> Coaches should notice the following:

Grip – The top hand should be in a position that allows it to control the bounce inside the pocket.

The bottom hand will direct the stick when the player is running and if they are trying to make a pass or take a shot.

When standing still, the top hand should be underneath the stick, and the bottom hand should be on top.

The wrist and arm action – These should work in conjunction with one another.

The idea is to create the least amount of bounce in the pocket of the player’s stick.

The forearm on the top hand should work like a hinge, and not moving all over the place. The wrist should not curl or flex too much.

Stick position – The stick position for the beginner should be horizontal when they are stationary.

It is a standard pose for any player, except for when they may be experiencing pressure.

When a defender must shield their stick from a defender, the stick moves to a vertical position, almost parallel with the player’s body.

That’s it for today!

Thanks James.

BTW: James has over 15 battle-tested ball control drills:

Being a Lacrosse Coach is not always easy… Tips for coaches…

Another edition from Coach James Jurcic.

Being a lacrosse coach is not always easy…especially
when you run into “difficult lacrosse parents” or DLP’s as I
like to call them.

You know the parents I’m referring to: overbearing, overly competitive, and overly engaged in your decisions as a coach.

I’ve actually had a fair amount of experience with this… dealing with complaints about playing time, who gets to play what position, sportsmanship issues etc.

No matter how knowledgeable, fair, or kind you are to your team, you can probably expect an irate parent or two to crop up during the season. Here are a few tips I find helpful when dealing with these situations.

1. Don’t discuss the issue at the game

The first thing the coach should avoid is discussing the problem with the parent on the field, especially if he/she is visibly upset.

2. Schedule a separate time/venue to have the discussion

Rather than discuss the problem then and there, the coach should agree to meet or telephone the parent at a mutually convenient time to discuss the complaint. By doing this, you avoid giving the parent an audience, allow the him/her to ‘cool off’, and give yourself time to prepare an appropriate response to the complaint.

3. Be an active listener

When you eventually talk to the parent, one of the most important things you can do is be an active listener. Doing things like taking notes, maintaining eye contact and nodding to acknowledge you have heard what the parent is saying are crucial.

4. Don’t interrupt

Even if parents raise their voices or their stories have are not fact-based, the coach should avoid interrupting. By interrupting a parent, you risk inflaming the situation.

5. Don’t get defensive

The coach should avoid defending or justifying their action. Such behavior at this point will only make the situation worse.

6. Show empathy

Respond to their concerns with statements like “I’m sorry that you feel your child has been treated unfairly”. This will help the parent to understand his/her problem is being taken seriously. They are likely to be calmer and more willing to find a solution.

7. Clarify the problem

This can be achieved by asking probing questions. This helps both parties to focus on the problem (not personalities), stick to the facts, and avoid being caught up in extraneous issues.

8. Offer a range of solutions

A lot of times, parents just want their feelings to be heard and understood. If they want more, try to offer a range of solutions. This demonstrates a willingness to work together to solve the problem. It’s important to avoid making promises that you can’t keep. Explain to them what you can and cannot do.

9. Get closure

Ideally, you will given the parent a number of options and agreed on a mutual course of action. At this point it’s appropriate to end the meeting. It should conclude with three things:
* Leave the parent with a closing action statement (e.g.. ‘I’ll get on to that now’).
* Thank the parent for their interest (no matter how unpleasant the meeting).
* If follow-up is required, tell them when you will contact them (‘I’ll ring you tomorrow’).
This will leave the parent feeling as though their complaint has been heard, and the parent-coach relationship will be strengthened.

10. Leave the door open

There will be cases, however after this whole process where you will not be able to give the parent the response they are looking for. It is important in these circumstances that the coach leave the door open for the parent, e.g.. ‘If there is ever anything else, please come to me’. By doing this the parent will at least feel that his/her complaint has been taken seriously, and the coach-parent relationship, however strained, will remain intact. Not doing this could allow the problem to fester… and the parent could damage your reputation through word-of-mouth.

If you found this interesting, there’s all sorts of great coaching tips and ideas on my website… check it out.

Good luck,

Sports Nutrition – 5 Favourite Foods for Lacrosse Players

Another edition from James on Lacrosse Drills & Practice Plans:

Quick note: James gives some great ideas on healthy eating. I wanted to mention that I think we should all be aware of any food allergies that may exist on our teams. One example I can think of is Peanut Butter, although it’s a great source for protein it can be deadly to some so I generally won’t let my son nor I eat it before doing any team activities. I suggest that parents and/or players be aware of any/all food allergies that are on the team and avoid them. I consider how I’d feel if my child, my husband or I had food allergies and how life threatening they can be.

_____ Edition 2____

I get lots of questions about sports nutrition.

Today, I thought we’d look at my 5
favorite foods for Lacrosse Players:

1. Whole grains-
Whole grain food such as cereal,
bagels, pasta, and bread give good,
long-lasting energy to the whole body.
As the most important food group, athletes
should eat many whole grain carbohydrates before an event.

2. Peanut butter-
Peanut butter is a good source of protein
and essential fats, and it is easy
to carry and eat on the go.  Other protein sources
will work as well, such as lean meat or dairy;
the important thing is to get adequate
protein before and after a work out.
Protein helps the body in maintaining
aerobic metabolism instead of anaerobic metabolism,
which prevents the body from taking protein from
lean tissue.  Adequate protein speeds recovery
and helps in actual performance situations.

3. Fresh fruits and Vegetables-
Fresh produce is a great way to get vitamins
and minerals that help the body function as normal.
They are usually fat-free and contain lots of
energy for the body to use during exercise.
Some fruits, such as bananas, contain potassium,
a mineral that regulates water levels in the body
and stabilizes muscle contraction.  Low potassium
levels can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue, so
eating potassium-rich foods is a good idea.

However, it is important to regulate potassium
intake, because too much too quickly can lead to a heart attack.
Athletes should take in 435 milligrams of potassium
for every hour they exercise.

While potassium does not aid in actual performance,
it speeds recovery and should be considered as one
of the most important supplements to an exercise program.

4. Calcium-Rich Foods-
Foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk
contain necessary calcium, which creates strong
bones and protects athletes from injury.
These dairy products are also a good source of
protein, but they should be eaten well before an
event, as they take some time to process.

If the body does not tolerate dairy well,
supplements should be included to ensure that athletes
receive the recommended daily intake of 1000 milligrams.
As an example, a cup of skim milk provides
about 300 milligrams of calcium.

5. Fiber-Rich Foods-
Fiber is the nutritional component that keeps
athletes full and regulates the digestive tract.
Many of the foods already mentioned include fiber,
but it is important for coaches to know which foods
help athletes regulate fiber levels.  Examples of
fiber-rich foods include whole grains, apples,
berries, almonds, and legumes.  A simple way to
determine the necessary amount of fiber is to add
5 to the athlete’s age.  For example, a 10-year-old
athlete needs about 15 grams of fiber daily.
After the age of 15, athletes need 20-25 grams of fiber a day.

In the coming days I’ll be sure to also fill you in
on the 5 foods that I insist my Lacrosse Players stay
away from.


Would you like to have 25 pre-designed practice
plans at your fingertips?  My ebook, “Lacrosse
Drills & Practice Plans” is jam packed with over 50 unique, fun
and effective lacrosse drills.  The drills are fully organized
into clipboard-ready practice plans…prepare for practice
in just 5 short minutes.  Perfect for the busy coach:




Feel free to leave any questions or comments for James. I’m sure he’d be happy to respond.

Introducing a new category – Lacrosse Resources!

Lacrosse Resources is our newest Category. Here we are going to focus on helping Coaches, Players and Parents to prepare for all facets of the game. We will have a number of drill ideas, and also proper conditioning techniques as well as eating habits before, during and after competition.

To get us started, James Jurcic has spent the last decade figuring out how to be more successful in coaching youth lacrosse and helping other coaches do the same. He has a number of great tips and some guidance that he’s agreed to share with us.

He has written a book called “Lacrosse Drills & Practice Plans” this past year, based on his own personal lacrosse coaching
system that he developed over the years…

We hope that you find the coming posts resourceful.

—— Please enjoy Jame’s first edition. ———

I hate to stretch.

We all know flexibility is critical, not just for lacrosse-
but daily LIFE.

However, for some reason, I find flexibility is the most
neglected fitness area. For some reason 5 year olds, 15 year olds
and 50 year olds don’t like to take the time to stretch out the
muscles after a good workout.

So, I’m really working to incorporate flexibility into
my practices.

I figure I’ll try and give them a good habit early on
(maybe they will thank me when they’re my age)…

I’ve been having a “stretching lesson” at the end of
each practice.

So, before we home, we take 10 minutes or so
and stretch. Each player is assigned one muscle to think
of a stretch for.

We go around in a circle until each player has led the group
in “their stretch”.

By getting the team involved in coming up with the stretches
they are more interested in participating.

The confidence in leading a group is a bonus.

And for me- I just stretch along with them
and let the players coach each other.

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