Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Staying in Game Shape in Lacrosse

In 1992 I was down in Guadalajara, Mexico getting ready for a MLC vs NYAC club lacrosse championship game at Hofstra University on Long Island. I did speed work, agility drills, and lifted weights while working at Gettysburg College from 1989 until my departure in the June of 1992 for Mexico. This kept me in very good playing shape. When I went to Mexico for the immersion program I had no lacrosse equipment but I knew I had a championship game back in the states in a week. So how did I stay in shape? First I found a gym where I could both ride a life cycle and lift weights not far from where I lived in Colonia Guadalupana. I don’t play anymore, but I still try and stay at hotels with gyms so I can work out. Second I ran most evening for 30 minutes or more and it was interesting to see the looks of the people in the different neighborhoods in Guadalajara that ran through. They were shocked to see me because of my height, brown skin, shaved head, and the simple fact that I was running between 9:00 and 11:00 pm at night. I can’t say I ever saw anybody else running at that hour. Plus when I first started going to Guadalajara in 92, you hardly ever saw black folks. I remember I would run past the a corner of the transit authority office and Gigante Supermarket in Guadalajara where prostitutes would try to get clients with scanty clothing and come ons; some were aggressive in trying to gain my attention as I jogged passed them. When I told my host mother about the prostitutes on the corner in question, she laughed and told me that they were male prostitutes dressed as women; I had no clue and was shocked at the disclosure. Road and stick work are so important in lacrosse but I was not concerned about losing my stick skills because I had spent so much time doing wall ball drills over the years that my muscle memory had me functioning at the subconscious level. In kind of like driving, after a while it becomes automatic. Even though I have not played since 1993 my stick skills are still relatively sharp as I play catch with children. Here is a tip Brian Kelley, the head coach at Calvert Hall High School in Baltimore, shared with me. If you want your children to develop both hands, set a policy that you will only have catch with them if they use their off hand. I tried it with my children and the improvement in their off hand is amazing.

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