Lacrosse Rebounders and Wall Ball – Essential Off Season Training

Lacrosse Rebounder - Essential Off Season Training

Lacrosse Rebounder – Essential Off Season Training

In this article we will uncover evidence that practicing your skills using a Lacrosse Rebounder or playing Wall Ball is the most important off-season training aid that you can commit to.  No other activity can help the skill part of the game of Girls Lacrosse in the off season more than rebounder and/or wall ball training.

We will also will explain the science of why it works so well, show you some example drills and help you find the resources to start your training program now.

 

Should I Buy a Rebounder or Just Play Wall Ball?

Let’s start out with the financial component and then we will work into the practical side of the argument.  Lacrosse Rebounders are insanely versatile and can be used for so many unique drills but they can be expensive.  The average price of one is about $190. The biggest advantage to Wall Ball is that of course it is free but the amount of variation on drills that you can do with a rebounder combined with the fact that you can’t pick up a wall and put it on grass, is the reason why we say that you should definitely be making the investment in a Lacrosse Rebounder.

The Science Behind Why It Works

Rebounding drills work because they train your brain to perform an athletic motion or task without the need for a great deal of concentration.  If you can perform an athletic motion without concentration, your brain frees up to focus on the unpredictable parts of the game or on strategy.  An article written in the University of Utah’s Sports N’ Science page describes muscle memory as motor learning.  Motions repeated over time become chemically imprinted into your brain so that you can almost subconsciously perform these tasks that you have been training on.  How cool is that?!

If You Aren’t Doing The Right Drills, You Could Be Training Yourself To Be A Bad Player

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

OK, so maybe a “bad player” is a bit of an overreach but you can certainly help yourself solidify bad habits.  This can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you have logged significant hours.  Muscle memory is super hard to undo which is what makes it so powerful so make sure you have drills that are going to train you the right way.  When I was a kid, I used to do quite a lot of ice skating as a social activity.  Unfortunately, they only allowed skating in a counter clockwise direction so guess which side I can’t crossover on to this day? If you aren’t sure of the drills you are doing, don’t let this aspect stop you from getting going but quickly turn to focusing on your technique before you get deep into this endeavor.  The easiest thing to do is ask your coach to look at your technique and evaluate.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to lug your rebounder down to the field, simply prop your iPhone up on something and shoot a quick video of yourself doing all the drills; one or two reps for each drill will be fine.

How Long Per Session/Day/Week Should I Be Doing Lacrosse Rebounder Drills?

In Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers and in many of his other publications and appearances, he talks about how it takes 10,000 hours of training before you become an expert.  I can hear the fumbling of many hands tapping to their phone’s calculator.  Don’t worry, we did the math.  At a rate of about 10 hours per week during a 4 month season plus games and tournaments you should become an expert in about 50 years. So you aren’t going to be an “expert” as defined by Malcom Gladwell but that’s not what this is about.  It is all about the journey and staying consistent in your practice.  Answering the how long should I train question will be dependent on many factors including your age, available time and time of the year. A good recommendation is the rule of 50 for both hands. Whatever drill you are doing, you do 50 reps and you switch to the other hand.  The amount of time you spend in a given workout’s duration should increase and decrease based on these factors:

  1. Age – There is a lot of research about the negative affects of sports specific overtraining and much of it has to do with playing all year round but overuse injuries such as tendonitis and ligament damage is showing up in athletes at a younger and younger age.  Imagine hanging up your Crosse at age 12 because of overuse injury.
  2. Available Time – This is simple.  Do your own math but training is a time expense that should be calculated.  To keep the most important part of your body in good shape, that is your brain, you should account for training time like this.  Total Time – Time With Friends – Time With Family – Homework  – Team Practice – Game Time = What’s Left Over For Rebounder Training.
  3. Time of Year – If it is during the season, you are getting PLENTY of muscle memory training so put the rebounder in the garage please.  Or, if you would like, ask your coach if they can use it during practice for a drill.

What Are Some Example Drills?

This YouTube Video has a fantastic lineup of drills that you can incorporate.  Make sure you take note of what drills will work well while playing Wall Ball so you can have a regimen when your rebounder is not available and a wall is. As you improve your muscle memory, the next logical step is to  mix it up a bit and combine unpredictability with the muscle memory you have gained.  Consider getting a partner and perform all these drills with her.  Although you will be trying to set the other person up with a nice feed off the rebounder, there is still an element of unpredictability in how the ball comes off the rebounder which will force you to train these muscles and improve your quickness in doing so.  Adding speed to these skills will bring you to the next level.

Which Lacrosse Rebounder Should I Buy? – A Mini Review of Lacrosse Rebounders

All rebounders are not built alike and as with most things, price doesn’t mean everything.  The one universal rule about choosing which one to purchase is to make sure you are focusing on units that are of a mesh and spring construction rather than netting.  For your convenience, we have left those out of our choices below.

1. Brine Lax Wall Rebounder – $249.95

Gets solid reviews with a couple of exceptions that seem like they were anomalies such as a stripped screw and missing parts.  It sets up in about 20 minutes.  There is definitely sticker shock on this unit and we couldn’t justify making the $250 plunge for something that has the alternatives listed below.

Brine Lax Wall Rebounder

Brine Lax Wall Rebounder

2. STX Bounce Back Training Aid STX Bounce Back – $247.99

Sets up in about 15 minutes.  Gets great reviews but there is some talk about the springs wearing over time and not providing the same spring on the rebound.  Structurally, this is made so closely to Brine Lax Wall that you need to see the logo to tell the difference.  Again, just like the Brine unit, this comes with a hefty price tag.  If you were a coach with a budget, we would recommend this for durability and convenience of how it folds down.  This allows for easier travel to and from practice.

STX Bounce Back

STX Bounce Back

3. Champion Sports Lacrosse Pro Bounce Back Target Champion Sports Lacrosse Pro Bounce Back Target – $182.01

This product has received great reviews overall.  The only negative opinion expressed about this product is that the springs and linkages began to break down within 1 year.  This problem would have been easily solved if they had read the part of this article that suggests buying a tarp which would protect it from rust which is primarily the only way the linkages will break down. Other customers found the Champion Sports Lacrosse Pro Bounce Back to be very easy to set up (as little as 10 minutes out of the box and assembled).

Champion Sports Lacrosse Pro Bounce Back Target

Champion Sports Lacrosse Pro Bounce Back Target

4. **GirlsLacrosseHQ’s Pick** EZGoal Lacrosse Folding and Tilting Rebounder, 8-Feet, Orange EZGoal Lacrosse Folding and Tilting Rebounder – $192

Once again this gets rave reviews but this product has a decided advantage that separate it out from the rest. Not only does it have a larger surface area to throw at, it also adjusts up and down to change the angle of the ball coming off.  In the video, they cleverly lay the rebounder down for ground balls which will not be necessary when this is raided to be perpendicular to the ground. If we had to give a bit of a negative score on this it would be due to its larger size.  We know some people like to put these things inside and this thing could really challenge the average ceiling height.  Additionally if you are a coach lugging this thing around, you might have a hard time putting it in even a larger SUV or minivan.

EZGoal Lacrosse Folding and Tilting Rebounder

EZGoal Lacrosse Folding and Tilting Rebounder

5. A Wall – $0

Incredible on value, doesn’t fit in your car and is hard to move to a grass surface.  The price is great and is a perfect entry level tool.

A Wall

A Wall

2 Comments

Jamie 14-12-2016, 14:11

No mention of the Laxback. The Laxback is a small company product that is very different from all the other rebounders that are basically the same product rebranded. The Laxback is larger, lighter, quiet and easy to adjust and store.

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