101 Lacrosse recently caught up with Dominican University’s Alex Keuilian before one of the Penguins’ fall ball practices. Keuilian, a senior defender, talked about the importance of always having his lacrosse stick with him while growing up, and how that’s drastically led to him possessing one of the best sticks on the field according to his coaches.
When coaching youth players, both advanced and new to the game, we always tell them to keep their sticks in hand at home with the advice to dodge your mom & dad in the hallways, dodge the trashcan or kitchen chairs, take it outside in the hit the wall after homework, and learn how to adjust your pocket by trial and error. The more a player understands the cause and effect of his stick/pocket the better they will execute!
Keuilian highlights footwork and weight-lifting as pillars of development for high school and college players. Both of these should be done outside of and in addition to team practice. Spend 10 minutes a day on the speed ladder, change of direction cone drills, on hurdles (lateral & forward/backward), and/or jumping rope. Footwork is the basis of lacrosse; you won’t be able to catch and throw consistently with subpar footwork. Further, the quicker your feet are the more separation you will create on dodge, change of direction, and acceleration! Defenders will find they are able to stay with their attackmen longer as their footwork improves. We cannot overemphasize this aspect of individual improvement. Weight-lifting is another major area of focus, and one that each player should consult a professional coach if interested in developing a routine! Form, consistency, repetition/amounts are vital when lifting weights.
Make sure to watch the whole clip as Keuilian details his stick choice, Hammer U pocket, taping philosophy, and introduces some of the new gear the Penguins are rocking this fall!