The game of lacrosse is won and lost at the midfield spot, and for this reason they need to be the most finely tuned athletes on the field. Middies are the workhorses of the team, and must use their superior athletic shape to be highly skilled on both offense and defense.
For a middie to be the best they must possess great athleticism and a solid grasp of fundamentals. Training hard when off the field, both through physical conditioning and endless repetition of fundamental skills, will give a middie the finesse he or she needs to support their team and take their playing to the next level.
One great thing about the game of lacrosse is that players can practice many skills on their own time. Anyone who is serious about the game must engage in regular, year-round lacrosse training. The training can even be very basic; one can simply train on a track or field and devote time daily to wall-ball to get results.
Here are some lacrosse exercises geared towards the midfielders out there. No matter your age or skill level, if you can start incorporating these into your daily routines you will definitely take your game to the next level.
Speed and Endurance
This should go without saying, but it is also impossible to emphasize too much - a middie is only as good as their legs and lungs. A middie needs to be strong on the field because he is the only player who has to maintain speed and endurance while running the entire length of the field. Having a regular training program, either designed by a coach or the individual, is crucial in keeping a player fast and full of energy.
A middie needs to train both for moderate distance running as well as sprints. A good rule of thumb is to run approximately 3 miles for distance and 100, 60 and 40-yard sprints for speed. No matter what your skill level as a player is - if you aren’t able to get to the right place at the right time, none of it matters.
When training by yourself always practice throwing from all angles with proper form and speed. Devote as much time (if not more) to your off-hand as to your dominant hand. The best midfielders can use both hands fluidly and not miss a beat – with both passing and shooting.
Shooting on the Run
Most of the shooting a middie does will be on the run. Middies should practice generating speed, power and precision when executing a running shot. This requires snapping the wrists and twisting the upper torso to perform the throw. Perfecting your on-the-run shot allows the top middies to catch a pass in stride without allowing their defender to catch up to them and get a check on their hands.
The most important dodge a midfielder can train for is the split dodge. Middies should focus on traveling north and south on the field to advance the ball while avoiding face and roll dodges, which lead to east-west travel. This dodge also suits the midfielder the best because you can dodge from up top and get your defender’s feet tangled if you perfect the change of direction well enough.
These midfielder exercises can really benefit the overall play and stamina of a midfielder when executed properly and repeated often. Training isn’t easy, nor is it fun, but it is necessary to become the best qualified for a starting midfielder position.
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