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    NLL & MLL All-Star John Gagliardi on Training

    The lacrosse season is coming to an end soon for everyone who does not play in the MLL. This is the time where you can sharpen up your skills and get an advantage on your opponents.

    The sport of lacrosse has reached the point of specialization.

    No longer can a player pick up a stick the first day of February or March and put it down the last day of May or June.

    The “seasonal players,” the guys who play and train for lacrosse just in the spring are being left in the dust. Athletes like AJ Haugen, Adam Donegar, Gary Gait, Roy Cosley, Kyle Barrie, Jesse Hubbard and many others train all four seasons.

    The constants in the athletes that I have mentioned are that they play, train and are around the sport of lacrosse all year long.

    Watching the sport grow and develop has been a very exciting thing for me as a player and as a fan. With everything changing so fast I constantly remind myself that my work ethic must, not only keep up with the times but also always stay one step ahead.

    In order for me to be successful at the highest level and maintain my all-star status I must undertake rigorous training sessions.

    For me it all starts several weeks after the MLL season in September. I give myself 2-3 weeks off from training and let my body heal from the wounds that it absorbs all summer long. After that I start it up! For high school players this means you get back in the flow of things in late June early July.

    My first priority is to keep my weight at a decent playing level all year long. When your body fluctuates in weight you are more susceptible to injury.

    This is the program that I and many other MLL players like to follow:

    1) 3-4 days a week, lifting (circuit training), making sure I am working both my upper body, lower body and back.

    2) On the alternate days I am doing mostly cardiovascular exercises like running cross-country, playing basketball or plyometrics to not only enhance my speed but also my endurance.

    3) As the season approaches I will begin to develop my stick skills making sure that I have all the updated technology in the lacrosse world. With all the changes in the game you do not want to be left behind with old technology.

    4) Wall-Ball and One-on-Ones are some of the exercises I like to do to keep my stick and skills sharp. I also shoot on the goal to perfect my shot for those times that I am coming down looking to score a goal.

    5) I read frequently. Books by Lou Holtz, Dave Debusschure, Vince Lombardi and many others provide me with amazing tips and techniques to give myself the mental edge against my competition and opponents.

    I stick to this program and always constantly find ways to challenge myself day in and day out. Very rarely do I find myself not thinking about the game and ways to improve my position in the game. I pride myself on my hunger and desire to succeed. I use fear of failure as a heavy motivator to attain my goals on and off the field. And that is what I mean when I say “Champions train 365 days a year…”