By: Nelson Cummiskey
Spring is coming, and it is now, in the cold days of winter, that great lacrosse teams are born. These are the crucial days that prepare a team for the beginning of a season. There are many strategies for this process including team weightlifting, conditioning sessions, stick skill sessions, playing catch, and even winter indoor lacrosse leagues. Preparation for the season is crucial because the first game is by no means a warm-up. The first time out on that field when it counts will set the tone for the rest of the schedule
Many teams, North Springs included, enter winter box lacrosse leagues to help prepare for the season. Box lacrosse is indoor lacrosse and is a little different from field lacrosse in the spring. There are no long poles in box lacrosse given that the field is not big enough for someone to swing around 6 feet of metal. All players, besides the goalie, must use the normal lacrosse sticks that are about three feet long. Players play both sides of the field and there is no offside rule. This means that each player has the privilege to run what feels like a marathon (though it is most likely a 5k at most), even those of us who have been eating lots of Chick Fil A this off-season. As much as some players may hate the constant running, it is good conditioning to help them get into shape for spring.
Lots of teams also do various types of strength and conditioning practices without an organized game. One thing that is a bit difficult to work around is that we are not allowed to have our coaches around. According to the GHSA, that is an illegal practice and we must do it on our own. Not having coaches available can still be advantageous because it forces some players to step up as leaders and will help the team decide a captain later on during the beginning of the season.
Every team is different. Some may not perform the same way with the same kind of practice. It is up to the coaches of each team to evaluate what kind of talent and heart they are working with to try and get the most out of their team. But, they also have to rely on the captains to really feel out what’s going on with the team, do some coaching of their own, and hold their teammates accountable. Lacrosse is a team sport. You can’t win a game with just one good player. Both on and off the field, you must be a team.