Training is all about getting the edge on your opponents. Athletes no matter their sport of choice, train to be faster, stronger, and more agile so that they are able to perform at the top of their game. Common forms of training including lifting at the gym, running endless miles, repetitions on the field, etc.
When it comes to lacrosse there is little difference in training ideologies...except for one option that is unique - mini sticks!
Mini sticks are a great tool for improving your game! They are, as the name says, mini lacrosse sticks and they have dramatically improved in quality and variety in the past year or so. Not so long ago they really just looked like toys, but now you can get them in different qualities and even in different lengths. Typically you use them with a practice ball and you shoot on a net that is 3'x3' in size. Mini sticks offer versatility that can improve your game, which can really make a difference on the field.
Here's a great example from my personal experience of playing college ball. My coach told me after one season that needed to further develop my left hand. After progressing so far in my lax career it was hard for me to go back to the basics. To get comfortable with my left, among other things, I worked in the off season with my mini stick. Messing around with the mini sticks allowed me to elevate my game and gave me the confidence to work on my left hand. Now I am throwing clean and crisp passes with my left hand up and down the field.
How does it work? Well, mini sticks are light and easier to use in smaller spaces. So you can work on muscle memory with them. Your body remembers the motion of throwing so that when you put a real stick in your hand the transition is seamless. Even when shooting on the 3'x3' net, which clearly is smaller than a regulation net, this translates into more practice shooting low and focusing on bounce shots instead of just shooting high on the goalie. The training aspects of mini sticks are countless and can help take a players take their game to the next level.
When you think about it - all mini sticks do is keep your stick in your hand - and give players another opportunity to connect with the equipment. Reps can be challenging to get in the off season, but with a couple mini sticks and a practice ball, you can find a one-on-one just about anywhere.
Got questions about mini sticks? Ask me through my ASK NICK page and I'll get back to you with a personalized answer.