How to Build a National Lacrosse Athlete

Wow.  My summer 2008 lacrosse odyssey has come to an end and what a great summer it was!  From the first day of the U19 training camp, through our tournament, the 2008 U19 world games, and finally the men’s team success in Newport at the Ocean State Classic it has been one full summer of lacrosse.  We’ve made lots of new contacts to help build lacrosse up here in Bermuda and the entire lacrosse world seems excited to get involved with Bermuda Lacrosse.


So how are we doing with our goal of building a national program? Well we’ve received a lot of international publicity through Inside Lacrosse Magazine and including Sean Burns’ article “Stocking the Island” and Steve Kojima’s coverage of the U19 Worlds at  Locally the Royal Gazette and have welcomed stories of our success in Vancouver.


We’ve been contacted by a number of local students wanting to learn to play and have plans to introduce the game to the islands’ youth this fall.  Some students have played before and will be ripe for the next U19 games in 2012. This will hopefully develop into a sustainable program. 


Now for my two year project; repairing myself to get back into top athletic form.  Despite my own belief to the contrary, my doctor says I’m no longer in the top athletic shape I once was. In high school. Eleven years ago.  All my life I wanted to be a professional athlete but for some reason it never really panned out that way.  The Bermuda Lacrosse Association has given me an opportunity to get as close as I will ever be to living the life of a top athlete.  While I don’t get paid for this, I do get to travel, train, and play on an international level.


The 2010 ILF Men’s World Championships will most likely be my last chance to play at a high level of competition.  I’ll be 31 years old at the time and despite all my efforts it will probably be the last chance for my body to be in great shape.  That presents me with my current dilemma; I’m not even close to being in great shape.


A recent trip to the doctor reveals that while I’m not in grave danger yet, I’m heading toward a life of misery with high cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes.  Also in the mix are two old sports injuries whose pain is directly affected by my weight – patella tendonitis and an old ankle surgery. Add to that a family history of high BP, cholesterol, and diabetes and the future does not look fun. 


I also live in a tropical paradise which revolves around a beach culture.  Most beach cultures involve pretty people who run around with their shirts off. Not me.


Everyone has tried and failed at the latest weight loss fads, including me, and the diet always starts tomorrow.  For some reason I can’t seem to stick to a solid program for more than three weeks at a time despite any progress I’ll make.  Using the 2010 games as a goal I plan to transform my lifestyle into that of a serious athlete.  I’ve always looked forward to the type of fun that comes with being in great shape.  It can only enhance my scuba diving experiences, and I’ve wanted to get into snowboarding for a long time now.  I’ll be more comfortable doing both if I’m in better shape. Plus I’m sure it would help with the ladies if my boobs were smaller than theirs; I do not want to have to decide between the Manziere and the Bro in the future.


So I’ll work on this project over the next two years.  I’ll update this space with my progress as well as updates on the 2010 team selection process and training information.  As a direct result of this project I hope to make the 2010 Bermuda National Lacrosse Team as a starting defenseman.  The side affects will also help me improve in other areas that I enjoy such as cooking, spending time on the beach, diving, and hopefully even getting back on the mountains to snowboard.  If I do well I may even make a trip to Whistler this winter…


The Plan


The plan is to lose fat, gain muscle, improve quickness and foot speed, and develop better lacrosse skills.  The first phase will concentrate on changing my diet and workouts to help with fat loss and muscle growth.  Once I’ve come down in weight to where I can train harder on the field without being as sore I’ll start concentrating more on my footwork and lacrosse skills. 


I plan to follow the diet and workout principles of the Men’s Health Abs Diet.  After reading the book it seems like a plan I can stick to which also helps improve on my side goals of becoming a better cook.  The recipes look easy and delicious, and the workouts fit my schedule. 


I’ve also purchased a Pilates for men DVD which I will incorporate into my workouts.  I followed the DVD for three weeks over the winter and definitely saw improvement.  Unfortunately I didn’t stick with it. 


For now I’ll stick with the regular club lacrosse training, but as I progress I’m going to get into more lacrosse specific training outside of our social playing.  I’ll concentrate on defensive footwork, stick skills, and ground balls.


No plan is complete without stretching and recovery.  I plan to make regular visits to our team trainer for help with nagging injuries, starting with my ankles.  I’ll also track my health from my starting position along the way.  I’ve recently had blood work done and will look to improve my numbers along the way. 


Hopefully you will follow along as I attempt to build myself into a national lacrosse athlete.  I want the lacrosse program in Bermuda to grow, and I want to build off our success at the 2008 U19 world games.  The whole idea of this blog is to demonstrate how we are building a national program from scratch, and you can’t have a program without athletes. 


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