In some parts of the country where snow is piled high, Spring seems far away. But as far as lacrosse is concerned, it’s right around the corner. We are actually only 46 days into winter; another 41 to go until the March equinox. Thankfully, that little furball Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day!
By February 1st, all of the D1 teams (now that the Ivies have the green light) had started going full swing in their preparation for their first games. February is filled with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season.
Last weekend’s televised lacrosse highlight was an exhibition game between the US and Notre Dame (click on “replay” and look under Jan 30th to watch the entire game). I really like that college teams get to play the US Team in their preseason. Playing your toughest competition in preseason makes any big seasonal match-up a lot less daunting.
As far as high school players are concerned, you need to use this window of time before the season starts to do your homework on colleges, go out and visit schools, meet with coaches, and watch a practice, or even an early season game. Many schools host a “Junior Day” in February in which they invite a select group of Juniors to campus to learn more about their program. You can contact schools you are interested in and ask them about a Junior Day; some schools try and keep it selective, and some are more inclusive about it. (editor’s note: but you’ll never know until you try. So try!)
Other things you should be doing in February to prepare yourself for the upcoming season as well as the recruiting summer:
- Email coaches at schools you are interested in. Don’t be bashful with a coach if you are interested in their program; don’t wait until a week before a recruiting event this summer to introduce yourself to a coach and tell them you are interested in their school. If you create a free account, you can find ready-to-send email templates on Empower The Athlete’s website.
- Get ahead in your school work. This way you won’t be juggling end of the semester catch-up and lacrosse at the same time.
- Do your Goal Setting. It’s jut past Groundhog Day and not too late for New Years Resolutions. Goal Setting is an integral step towards success in the upcoming season and your lacrosse future. Your goal setting should include your action steps that will help you to work towards your goal. Action steps should include things like strength and conditioning, and wall ball and shooting routines.
- Stay organized. Make sure you are up to date in logging in your recruiting activities. Keep a binder or use my favorite tool, Empower the Athlete’s Recruit Tracking System. The key is staying organized and on top of things.
- Dust the cobwebs off of your lacrosse stick. You don’t want to be the guy who is holding up line drills or not hitting the cage in preseason scrimmages. Having a good wall ball routine is the best way to keep your stick sharp. Here are some of the best ones I found for you:
And Joe Walters’ wall ball routine: