Mar 17, 2022 • 4 min read
Whether you’re a lacrosse player trying to take your game to the next level, a parent supporting your child’s journey to the top, or a club trying to maintain your most elite lacrosse players, here’s how you can make it.
TeamSnap has heard from some of the most elite female lacrosse players in the professional landscape to better understand just how to make it to the next level.
What exactly do we mean by next level? For every athlete or club, that next step may look differently. For someone like Alie Jimerson, a member of the Canadian Women’s National Team, she got to the national level by consistent commitment to lacrosse from a young age. Jimerson went on to receive the Tewaaraton Native American Scholarship, awarded annually to one high school girls lacrosse player. She played collegiate lacrosse at the University at Albany and then Syracuse University. This past year she got selected to represent Team Canada at the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship from June 29-July 9.
So, how did she get there?
“Wall ball was something I made sure to do every day. A wall is something you can easily find and all you need is you, your stick, and a ball!” Jimerson told TeamSnap. “The ladder is also something you should invest in, having quick feet and being able to use that for footwork and conditioning is huge for training. I feel as if nowadays there are a lot of complicated drills for girls to follow, my advice – just keep it simple! You can make a lot of straight forward drills yourself with a ladder and 6 cones that will get the job done.”
Playing wall ball is an exercise accessible to most players and something coaches and clubs can encourage their players to do on their own. Diversifying training like adding in footwork with a ladder is also something that can help athletes take their skillset to the next phase.
“Once I realized I wanted to play lacrosse, I made sure to play with my stick as much as possible,” Jimerson said. “Play wherever and whenever I could possible. I think the key to preparing to be a college athlete is to get as many reps as you can.”
Jimerson was able to play division 1 lacrosse because she committed her time growing up to understanding life with a lacrosse stick in hand. Maneuvering the stick, running with it, passing, shooting, pivoting, all became second nature because she made it a habit.
“You can hit the wall and do drills all day, but what I found contributed to my success was constantly having my stick in my hands and playing in the backyard with my sister.”
With more and more pressure to make it to the next level one of the biggest areas often forgotten is how important taking care of your body, mentally and physically are. Sometimes the most skilled athletes don’t make it because of injuries that could have avoided if they took better care of their bodies. Taking care of your body looks differently for everyone, but the easiest way to think about it is rest, recovery and proper fueling.
“There are a lot of other things I wish I could have done differently while preparing for the next level. I wish I was fueling my body better and made sure to take lifting more seriously than I did. I feel like your nutrition and exercise routine are key to preparing for all that comes with advancing to that next level.”
Girls only get stronger once you get to college. And then after that, women only get tougher at the professional and national level. In order to make it in that environment you have to be prepared and committed to discipline off the field too. While weights don’t always feel like they will directly impact your performance, Jimerson said she wished she took it more seriously. Now that she’s playing with the best lacrosse players in the world, she knows what level of her is expected.
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