The #1 Hack for Athletic Competition

May 04, 2021

BTB Lax coach Jesse Miller

I'm sticking with the theme of how playing multiple sports is VITAL to becoming a better lacrosse player.

I recently discovered the importance of a proper warm-up.

Here’s the backstory…

A tennis buddy told me to read Brad Gilbert’s, “Winning Ugly”.

I took his advice.

It’s all about effective strategies to win tennis matches.

Brad is a former tennis professional, but the book is for amateurs.

Today, I'm gonna focus on one topic inside the book...

It's actually the #1 Thing Any Athlete Should Do Before Competition.

So what is it?

It's finding an additional 10 minutes to execute a proper warm-up. 

He explains that a proper warm-up serves two purposes…

  1. It helps enhance your tennis early in the match so that you can improve later in the match.
  2. It prevents injury

You want to start any competition at peak performance.

Going out there cold is no bueno.

This advice hit me hard, especially with my recent boxing experience.

Boxing classes last an hour.

The first 15 minutes is usually an extended warm-up… it's not easy.  

(Especially Sula’s warm-up.)

But here’s the thing, after the warm-up, I feel ready to go.

I now understand why boxers jump rope in full sweats...

They're tyin' to get warm.

It helps you perform better.

So I took Brad’s advice, and get to my tennis matches early.

I put on a hoody and jump rope for 5 minutes.

I do some specific stretching.

I do half-court laps where I vary in running, side shuffles, and backwards running.

Then when my opponent comes, we go through the traditional tennis warm-up.

But I'm already well on my way to being warmed up...

It’s much more effective... and a small advantage in my favor.

I talk about this because I see how high school and college kids warm-up for practice.

Some players have a process, but most just go through the team warm-up.

I think you should do more.

Get there 10 minutes before and develop a routine.

I would incorporate the following…

  • Jumping rope
  • Backwards running
  • Some additional stretches that you won’t hit in your team stretches
  • Some stick work

Don’t roll into the pre-practice jog completely cold.  

It take others more time to warm-up.

You’ll be warm and ready to make plays faster.

One more thing…

This same concept applies to your lifts and speed sessions.

Don’t roll into your lifts completely cold.

Plan to warm-up for 10 minutes beforehand so that you can perform better.

The same concept applies for your speed training sessions.

When you go for jogs or do stick training sessions, then you can just start those lightly.

Take pride in your warm-up and try to work up a sweat before you dive into your specific training session.

Keep me posted on what your warm-up entails.

Talk soon,

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