Women’s Lacrosse star Kerrin Heuser knows a thing or two about training. The two time All-American had tremendous career at Hicksville High School, where she currently holds the record with 225 goals. After five years with the team, the midfielder chose to attend the powerhouse Stony Brook University, but in the fall, she is starting a new chapter in her life as she decided to transfer to Adelphi University. Heuser is a proven catalyst on any team, providing leadership to her teammates on and off the field. We recently talked to her about some of her favorite training tips for up and coming lacrosse players. Click below tor read the full article!
Being an athlete, work ethic is something that will separate you from the rest of the pack. There is a difference when you get out to practice and either you are that athlete who says they practice everyday, and maybe are outside for 30 minutes total, thinking that’s enough. Or you are that athlete, where you are outside not just for an hour, but most of the day, taking little breaks and getting the most reps in as possible. As I was taught by parents and siblings, there is someone out there who is working harder than you and at that time better than you. Therefore, the question arises, “how hard am I going to work to be the best lacrosse player I can be?” Well, that comes with sacrifices. You got to make lacrosse one of your major priorities. Plan out your days based on your lacrosse schedule. However this doesn’t mean just hitting against the wall a couple of times, it means taking those extra 50 reps after your arms and legs are beat, running that extra mile, and getting out of your comfort zone. However, this all starts with your work ethic, how will you make the most of your lacrosse career. Never give up, don’t settle, and get better each and every day, evaluate yourself after every practice, and finally make goals for yourself. Remember the sky’s the limit, but it is up to you and your drive to get better!
Personally, I am in my head a lot when it comes to lacrosse. For me, my journey to get better each and every day comes with the type of mentality I have from when I go to bed to when I wake up in the morning. Speaking for myself and others, the Kobe Bryant mentality is something everybody should strive to have. Lacrosse isn’t just a physical sport, it is more of a mental sport rather than not. Therefore, the Mamba mentality is the way to go. Specifically I wake up each morning with a drive to be better than the day before. My training consists of running distance in the morning, going to the gym to lift, and then conditioning there. However that’s not it. I then go to the field and do my first part of shooting. Then I go home, have lunch to fuel up for my second workout of the day. That consists of going either to the wall for an hour, or going to the field for my part 2 of shooting, as well as doing tempo runs for at least 3 times a week. I think young athletes really have to start learning and accepting not to settle. If you think you’re playing your best lacrosse you ever have, well good, but now get even better. The greatest athletes in the world today are the ones who are the hardest workers. Finally, their silence, or the training that no one knows about, is what is making them the loudest on the field, through their performance. What you do when you’re younger, will make you shine when you’re older. Have that Mamba Mentality, always have that drive to get better, and remember why you started in the first place!
Let’s face it, lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet. Therefore, no matter what position you play, midfield, attack, defense, or goalie, speed is one of the most important factors in developing young studs! What I like to do with a lot of the younger girls I train, is to work with cones and the agility ladder. Those drills include acceleration and declaration, fast feet throughout the agility ladder, and change of direction. However, speed training shouldn’t be your conditioning of the day. As I learned with my speed trainer, every rep whether that be sprints, or dodging through the cones, has to be 100% effort. So this means to go throughout the drills as fast as you can, take a quick break and do as many sets and reps as told. Once you develop speed, your game will be taken to the next level. Speed can be hard to teach, but it’s not an excuse to not do speed training, especially for lacrosse. There is no excuse for not getting faster. The best advice I can give to younger athletes is to do speed training with someone faster than you so it is a challenge. Remember, things that are easy are non effective, when it gets hard, that means you’re making a change. Push yourself to great limits each and every rep! Get Fast!
One of the most important factors, and the first things taught to lacrosse players from the start is how to catch and throw. From experience, when I started lacrosse I didn’t really take into account how important stick skills would be as I am playing lacrosse in college now. Stick skills are the foundation of lacrosse. One you get your stick work to perfection, meaning catching most if not all balls, ground balls, etc, then you can move onto the next steps in developing your lacrosse skills. I always tell the girls that I train to do wall ball every single day when they are home and not training with me. If they miss a ball they have to start over again. Once they get the stick work down, then I don’t need to focus so much on that and waste as much time in their training session. This allows me to move to the more challenging techniques, dodges, and footwork. The thing that made wall ball so enjoyable each and every day when I go is listening to music. Therefore, make a playlist and just sweat it out at the wall. Wall ball should be fun and really will allow you to separate from the pack!
WATCH FILM AND GAMES
One thing I learned in high school when I was looking at taking my game to the next level, was watching game film and evaluating them. I used to watch my games and write down 3 things that I thought that I did good and 3 things that I thought I could have done better or improve on. However, for younger players, I suggest watching your favorite team and just studying your position as well as the other positions. Grasp the pros and cons and maybe try doing those moves when you practice. Taking mental notes as well is even more important. Like I said before, lacrosse is a mental game. When you combine those mental reps, game film, and your practice all in one, you are destined for greatness.