In this day and age of lacrosse, players of all ages, talent levels, educational backgrounds, and family dynamics across the country are in need of a universal platform to enhance their physique, speed, agility, and lacrosse skill set. This house exists within an umbrella where strength and agility training in addition to nutritional/supplement regiments are coupled with personalized, creative, non-conventional instructional clinics within a supportive, yet intimately controlled, organized structure. With such a package, rising stars have the opportunity to hone both the physical and mental aspects of their game within an intensely competitive atmosphere and mature along an appropriate time line prior to arriving, performing, and hopefully exceeding their expectations at the collegiate level.

To become appropriately oriented on a path to success, developing players should become committed to researching and seeking out unconventional weight training devices and services such as newly developed and released air compression training apparatus as well as an assortment of speed and agility equipment pieces not traditionally found in other corporate/private gyms across the country. SPARQ training equipment is an excellent example of unconventional speed and agility apparatus. The SPARQ Program focuses on the testing and training of Athletes to develop the five building blocks of superior athleticism: SPEED, POWER, AGILITY, REACTION, & QUICKNESS. The SPARQ Rating is a powerful new tool for Measuring Overall Athleticism. The results of Simple Athletic Tests are combined into a single score, which shows athletes (and their coaches) exactly how they compare to their competition on a national level & where they can improve their athletic performance through training. Stay tuned for a more in depth look at the specifics of SPARQ training, equipment, design, and implementation over the coming weeks.

As a former Head Coach at Bishop Ireton Catholic High School in Alexandria, Virginia I always stressed the importance of agility to my players. Improving agility, or the ability to start, stop, and change directions as quickly as possible is integral to improving your sports performance. This drill will give some helpful pointers on how to become more agile!

Directions for performing these general agility drills:

1. Make sure to do an adequate Dynamic warm-up (stay tuned for specifics), proper
stretch, and active warm-up prior to beginning ANY activity. These drills are to be performed by individuals in good health (free from injuries) and under competent supervision.

2. Drills should be done at full speed! Game like conditions!

3. Keep your rest between reps/sets to a minimum to elicit an overall conditioning effect.

4. Stay in an “athletic” position at all times keeping your center of gravity low with a good base of support.

5. Keep your feet moving the whole time!

6. Sink your hips, plant tour outside foot, and lean into your cuts.

7. Pump your arms hard and accelerate on the straightaway.

8. Drills should be performed on appropriate surface to avoid slipping (Ideally the same surface as your sport).

Line Drills
1. Start by sprinting from line A to line B at full speed.
2. Touch line B with foot and sprint back to line A, then immediately back to line B (finish line).
3. Variations of this drill can be done by incorporating back pedals, side shuffles, etc.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the “Murph Chronicles” where I will shine some light on SPARQ training infrastructure and implementation as well as introduce some more dynamic agility drills for you guys to focus on. Remember: Eyes up, Head up, Mind up.

Mike Murphy, a native of Virginia Beach, is a graduate from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. Murph is currently studying to obtain his MBA from Marymount University, concentrating in sport law. Murph has had extensive experience in the sports and entertainment industry, working for a variety of professional sports franchises and marketing agencies over the last several years including the New Jersey Nets, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Washington Nationals, and Octagon Global. He currently works out of Bethesda, Maryland as an Integrative Marketing Director and e-commerce coordinator for the Next Level Athletic Performance Center. He also coaches Next Level’s rising high school senior team as well as assisting in the reconstruction of the Varsity program at Bishop Ireton Catholic High School in Alexandria, Virginia.