Given COVID-19 concerns closing schools and postponing seasons, US Lacrosse offers 10 tips to help you and your athlete feel prepared for their lacrosse season (in addition to the recommendations of the CDC):

#1 • Before you begin at home training, keep in mind that your child should not train as an adult. Why? Brett Klika with SPIDERfit Kids has shared 4 Reasons You Can’t Train Kids Like “Small Adults” that can help guide you in creating the best plan for your child during this time.

#2 • What should you use to get started? We have the 60 Ways to Play ready to use. It comes with plans, combinations, and information to help you get started. Also, feel free to take a look at Age-Related Training Goals for Young Athletes (Part 1: The Long Build) and other SPIDERfit Kids resources to assist you in your planning.

#3 • Use games to work on the “me” skills of lacrosse—cradling, scooping, dodging, passing, catching, shooting, and defense. What games should you use? US Lacrosse’s Mobile Coach App  has many games that can be used to help with these skills. Not only are there game diagrams with descriptions, but there are some videos as well. For example, “pop toss” and “zig zag cradling” are good ones. Just search the Mobile Coach app by typing in the skill in the search bar at the top of the page within Mobile Coach.

#4 • Review some of the videos from US Lacrosse’s YouTube Channel to see some skill work in action from Team USA players.

#5 • Create movement problems that represent game-like situations. For example, getting around a defender (dodge). You can be a defender (we suggest using a pool noodle or something soft in case you don’t have a stick) and have your player find creative ways to get around you. Note that the focus here should first be on the body movements themselves (changing speeds and directions) and then a focus on the stick movements that go with them would come after.

#6 • Take time to work on stickwork. Your child can use a brick wall, a rebounder, a tree, or someone to pass and catch with. Be sure to have your athlete use both hands with every skill, work on scooping ground balls, throw great passes, and throw bad passes to be as game-like as possible. Be sure that your child’s feet are moving because they will likely not be stationary in game.  Offer challenges and small rewards for the effort (not just the outcome) your athlete shows during your time with them.

#7 • Remember, it’s not about “10,000 hours” of practice. Consider what is age-appropriate in terms of what you are helping your athlete work to accomplish. The younger the child, the more time they should spend cross-training. Early specialization and overuse can create injuries that prevent your child from competing. Find a balanced schedule that includes lacrosse as well as other activities. For further consideration, please review the CDC’s Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups.

#8 • Take time for rest and recovery—your child doesn’t need to work out every day to stay in shape. Or, if you do want to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, be sure to work different muscle groups on alternating days, taking at least one full day off each week.

#9 • Play lacrosse and do other physical activities with your child. Play soccer, cornhole, volleyball, tag, and other fun physical activities that keep your child moving. Bonus, it’s a good workout for you, too! Make family fitness fun.

#10 • Have fun! If the workout isn’t fun, your child likely won’t want to do it.

Stay tuned for more focused posts about more specific footwork routines, stickwork routines, and ways to use the games from Mobile Coach.

Lauren Davenport is a manager for athlete development at US Lacrosse.

Many of the resources included in this article are made possible by the generous support of our more than 450,000 members and our philanthropic donors. Thank you for helping us share this information with the lacrosse community.​​

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