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Lacrosse Players Need To Be Strong!

Between you and I, I’m so tired of talking about this.

I’m tired because far too few people take this game-changing advice and act on it.

I’m not sure why because every athlete I know wants to be a better athlete.

What I’m sharing with you is about as close to a “magic bullet” as you can get.

Lacrosse players need to be strong.

While I’m not arguing the importance of intelligent, structured practice and working on lacrosse skills and knowledge, there is one thing that can help any athlete become a better athlete.

And that one thing is physical strength.

WHY STRENGTH?

I’m very honored to have interviewed the legendary, late Dr. Fred Hatfield.

If you don’t know who Dr. Hatfield is, well he was a pioneer in human performance.

An innovator, scientist, author, athlete and coach.

At the age of 45 he set a world record by squatting over 1,000 pounds (1,014 to be exact). His accomplishments are many, too long to go into here.

During one of my interviews with him, Dr. Hatfield explained to me that the basis for all sports is strength.

And when all things are equal, the stronger athlete is the better athlete.

The basis for all of sports is strength. -Dr. Fred Hatfield, PhD

So, why strength?

Because strength will give the athlete everything he or she is looking for:

  • more speed
  • agility
  • power
  • athleticism
  • skill
  • conditioning
  • durability

Strength solves problems and makes the athlete better in almost every way.

BUT THERE’S CONFUSION

If you understand the importance of strength (and many do not), then there is still confusion especially among athletes and coaches.

I know some coaches who are absolutely terrified about their players lifting weights.

With regards to lacrosse athletes, my experience is that they think they don’t need to be stronger, they don’t truly understand strength, or they think there’s such a thing as being “too strong” for their sport (I’ll talk more about this, don’t worry).

To keep things simple, when I tell you that lacrosse athletes need to be stronger, it doesn’t mean they need to be as strong as Dr. Hatfield and squat 1,000 pounds.

Lacrosse athletes don’t need to develop into powerlifters or Olympic weightlifters.

No, they just need to have a solid baseline of foundational strength for their sport.

Lacrosse athletes need a foundation of strength for their sport, they don’t need to develop maximal strength. This is the misunderstanding that needs to be clear. 

Foundational strength is different for each athlete and that’s where a qualified strength coach comes into play to assess movement quality, demands of the sport, gaps in strength, mobility, flexibility, and so much more. A great coach will perform a needs analysis for the individual athlete.

In other words, foundational strength is the strength threshold that the athlete needs to perform at their best and also keep them durable and reduce risk of injury (in the sport of lacrosse). Foundational strength will not diminish performance, it will enhance it.

If you don’t have foundational strength – you’re NOT performing the way you could be and you could be at risk for certain injuries – ex. ACL injury (because you have weakness in certain muscle groups that may precipitate injury).

It is very uncommon to be “too strong” for your sport. Only bad, uneducated, or misguided training would develop an athlete that is literally “too strong” for the sport they play, but it can happen.

HOW STRONG IS STRONG ENOUGH?

This is the million-dollar question when it comes to the athlete, isn’t it?

How strong do they need to be?

Can an athlete be too strong?

I want to repeat what I already said so that this is very clear – lacrosse athletes do not need to be powerlifters and lift heavy tonnage.

While some may choose to lift heavier than others (and I believe this is great for certain athletes), most don’t need to load heavy barbells and develop brute or maximal strength for lacrosse. That obviously could be very hindering to the athlete.

How strong an athlete gets will “depend” on many things.

Also keep in mind there are many different types of strength (*general strength, explosive strength, starting strength, strength-speed, and speed-strength just to name a few.)

Training must be individualized to meet the demands of the specific sport and there are many things that need to be developed for lacrosse athletes besides strength.

In the most simple terms, the athlete needs to be strong to:

  • improve performance
  • minimize risk for injury
  • not detract from the sport they play

I hope this makes sense because it is a simple concept.

Unfortunately, this is where intelligent programming and technical instruction must come into play for the athlete – and this only comes from a properly trained and educated strength or performance coach.

Getting stronger requires knowing what to do and how to train.

But this doesn’t have to be complicated.

Just like lacrosse, everything should be built on the fundamentals, the basics.

Everything is built on the fundamentals.

The “what” and the “how” are bigger topics that we’ll have to dive into later.

Strength training can be accomplished with many great tools, methods, and approaches. Personally, I like kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight training to accomplish strength goals.

The bottom line is this.

Lacrosse players need to be strong!


The topic of strength training for athletes (and especially lacrosse athletes) is very frustrating to me.

The simple reason is that strength training provides so much for the athlete, yet few actually seem to understand and engage in a properly-designed strength training approach.

Thank you for reading this.

If you have questions, please reach out or post your question below.

I’m happy to help and I’m passionate about this topic.

Coach Scott

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