Strength/ weight training absolutely plays an important role. How much of a role it plays, however, as well as exactly what it entails, will depend on the age and level of physical development of the player.
A properly designed strength training program that targets the muscles of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors working together as a unit), as well as various unilateral (one sided ) exercises to help improve balance, stability and coordination, can do wonders to help guard against ACL injuries.
That said, proper attention must also be paid to dynamic warm-ups, instilling good running/ change of direction, mechanics and encouraging your athletes to stretch regularly and use a foam roller. As you can see, that can become a bit time consuming.
In terms of trying to establish a balance between actual lacrosse training and the types of things listed above, it's difficult to quantify and really depends on the age and ability level of the players in question.
Generally speaking, older more advanced players will be devoting more time to lacrosse with travel teams, school teams, camps, clinics and such. That combination can result in a lot of overuse of specific muscles and movement patterns- which makes strength training (as well as the other variables listed above) that much more important.
It's also a good idea to get younger players used to taking care of their bodies at an early age as well though. Granted, they may not be lifting weights and such, but doing body weight strengthening drills and working on developing good running mechanics, balance and coordination will only help them as they get older.
While each player is different, I would say that at the high school level 2-3 total body strength workouts per week would be a good rule of thumb. These could either be combined, or alternated with a couple of sessions specifically dedicated to speed and agility training. And of course, daily stretching and foam rolling.
Younger players can get by with a couple of workouts per week that focus mainly on body weight strengthening and then add in light resistance in the way of medicine balls, dumbbells, resistance bands etc., as they get stronger.
Thanks for the question. Let me know if you have any follow ups. I absolutely love this stuff and would be happy to help out!
How should a coach determine the ramp up rates during a practice? Obviously you should start slower and move to more rigorous workout patterns, but how should you do that in a one hour session? Is there a difference in pressing for 90 minute or two hour sessions?
Determining how to ramp up the rate of intensity during a practice session depends on a number of factors as well.
You have to consider things such as what point in the season you're in i.e. can't go too hard, too early if your athletes are not yet in peak condition. On the other hand, later in the season, when you're approaching your most important games and tournaments, you don't want to overwork them either.
Another big thing to think about is how well fueled and hydrated your kids are. After all, pre-pubescent and adolescent athletes aren't always great about eating and drinking the kinds of things they should to help them power through the day. By the time they get to your afternoon practice after a long day of school, they might be running on fumes.
As a coach, you may have a great practice plan laid out with specific exercises, sets, reps and rest intervals, but if your athletes can't keep pace, they won't be getting anything from it- except tired! So it really comes down to reading your athletes and always being aware of what point in the season you're in.
As far as practice duration, unless you're talking about older, more conditioned athletes, you should be able to get everything done in 60-75 minutes. This should allow for ample time for a thorough dynamic warm-up, drill explanation, coaching tips and proper rest intervals. If you go much longer than this, kids attention spans will start to wane.
Here's a sample pattern I would use with kids in the high school age bracket for a complete conditioning session. Keep in mind that these are just estimated durations for each segment that might have to be altered based on what I was seeing during the session:
1. Foam Rolling 5-7 minutes 2. Dynamic warm-up 15-20 minutes (yes, that long) 3. Agility work, neuromuscular development 8-12 minutes 4. Speed and Change of direction work 12-15 minutes 5. Total Body strength training (with mini bands, resistance bands, body weight etc.) 12-15 minutes 6. Coll down stretch, session wrap up, assigned homework stretches and handouts 5-7 minutes.
Total time approximately 57-76 minutes.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.
The pricing is based on the number of athletes and how many times per week they train.
Say you have 15 athletes. If they train once per week, it's $12.00 per athlete. If they train twice, it comes down to $10.00 per for each session.
A couple of things to keep in mind. This is not just me coming in to give the kids a "workout". What I offer is a complete training system, that incorporates lots of education about stretching, nutrition and other types of things they should be doing at home to help augment the the actual training.
I also offer a free demo session so that coaches, players and parents can all get a sense of how the system works.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail through my website, or at (516) 662-9717.