Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Lacrosse Player’s Most Important Meal of The Day

We have partnered with John Collis the executive director of CSI Athlete (  to bring you a series of sports nutrition / performance articles.  Today's article focuses on how to replenish your bodies nutrients after a workout / practice /game.  We hope you find it helpful.

The BR Staff

What is the most important meal of the day? Obviously Breakfast...wrong. Lunch? Incorrect. Dinner? Negative.

The most important meal of the day is not breakfast, lunch, dinner or even snacks; it is the meal you immediately eat after your workout. As an athlete, the meal you eat within 30-60 minutes after your workout is your window of opportunity. This critical meal allows your body to replenish, recover and grow.
Think of your body as a nutrient sponge. After a hard workout / game or practice, you have just rung out your sponge (your fatigued body) and you are now dropping yourself into a bucket of water (your post-workout meal). If this analogy doesn't motivate you to make sure you eat the right nutrients immediately after your workout, then consider a negative one: Visualize that same squeezed out sponge sitting on a bed of hot asphalt, dried out, brittle and cooked. This visual should help you understand what is going on when you wait too long to fuel your body after your workout.

So what is an ideal post-workout / post practice / post game meal?  While the total caloric and nutrient amount will vary from athlete to athlete, the ratios of each should be rather similar. A balance of unrefined, complex and simple carbohydrates, protein, and health promoting fats is the foundation of your post-workout meal. Ingesting a 2:1 ratio (workout) of carbohydrate to protein, with 20-30 grams coming from protein will help replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle repair.

A few Examples of a quick and powerful post-workout meal for a Lacrosse player who has just worked include:

  • Turkey Sandwich on 100% whole grain bread, packed with greens (spinach, kale, romaine, etc.) tomatoes, shredded carrots, Olive Oil and Vinegar.
  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs, handful of almonds, a bag of raw veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers and hummus.
  • Pita wrap of brown rice, beans/legumes with grilled onions, mushrooms and squash.

Choices such as the above examples will provide your body with the nutrients needs to keep your Lacrosse engine burning strong, all season long. Make the most of your hard work by making sure to fuel your body with the nutrients needed to maximize your performance, day in and day out.

For more information on Sports Performance, please visit us at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

College Coaches Recruiting Checklist

I read a great article yesterday discussing what is on a college coach’s checklist when he is recruiting.  It was written by Ted Spencer the Director of Blue Chip 225.  I have paraphrased part of the article below and added my comments in red.  Please take a minute to read through it and consider how your efforts compare to what coaches are looking for.  The more of these you demonstrate the better chance you have of being on the recruiting board for your college. 

Also note that the last two items are as important as all the rest combined.  You can do everything else right and get passed over by an unenthusiastic recommendation by your high school / club coach, or a negative impression on the college coach. Remember - your club coach matters more than most.  Ask yourself – are they able to help me with both the skills you need and the contacts you require.

  • Grades matter - you must have a GPA that can get you?  The higher your average the easier for the coach to get you admitted and the more likely you are to remain in school and on his squad for four years.
  • Test scores matter / Have strong SAT/ACT scores. - This is part of the NCAA standards, key to admission, and an indication of your ability to stay in school.
  • Hold a strong rank in your class. (VERY, VERY IMPORTANT)Colleges know that high schools are inflating grades.  Almost all schools are doing it. (It is done to keep the parents from yelling).  To adjust for the grade inflation admission offices are using class rank.  This allows them to more realistically evaluate a player who has a 3.8 GPA but is ranked 80th out of 140 kids in the school.
  • Have excellent teacher recommendations from teachers that actually know you.  Do not ask teachers that do not know you well to write recommendations.  They sound formal and weak. At top schools these can spell the difference between admission and rejection.
  • Hold leadership positions in your activities.Be able to prove that the activity was meaningful to you and that you were actively involved, not just doing it to put it on your application.
  • Measures of successcoaches want bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter.  For top programs you need all 4 (or at least off the charts on 3 of them).  At others you may only need 2 of them.  Know what you are good at and highlight it.  Fix what you are struggling at.  It does not matter how good you are if you can not showcase that talent to the coaches.  If it is close between players, coaches in the end default to bigger or faster.  Why? Because a coach gets less flack if a 6’2” kid does not work out then if a 5’8” kids does not.  Understand it from the coach’s perspective and show that you are better. 
  • Demonstrated success against strong competition – Coaches look to strong teams and strong areas to recruit.  Make sure you are on a top club that has national recognition and a history of success.  Better to be the #7 middie on a top 10 team than the #1 middie on the # 100 team.  Coaches know that those players are getting the best coaching, facing the most competitive opponents and playing at the fastest speed.
  • Coaches will check with your local coaches about your character / attitude.  College coaches will ask WHO you are, what you're like, are you coachable, a team player, can you take criticism, are you accountable for your actions as opposed to blaming teammates, or coach (Very, Very important) Do you have a strong effort and good attitude every day in practice and games. Do you demonstrate a competitive spirit. More players lose out at this point than at any other.
  • Your interaction with college coaches - By the time you see a coach he knows how well you can play.  What he is looking to know is who you are.  Are you the kind of player he wants to spend 4 years coaching. How you behave in every aspect of your interaction in writing, on the phone and in person tells the coach the answer to this vital question. College coaches live in fear of their players making the front page of the local paper because they did something wrong.  This can get the coach suspended or fired.  Remember they have a spouse and children that they need to support.  No coach can take a risk on a bad character kid that could impact their livelihood.  Do not give them any reason to believe you could be that kid.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Optimism is about choosing to see things in a positive way

An open letter to all Northern Ohio players 

Occasionally, we feel the need to reach out to all of you about a topic of impact to you.  This week's Blog about Optimism / Attitude is one of those times.  We have borrowed heavily from Chris Widener and his book The Art of Influence for this piece.  It is a great book and an easy read (Hint!).

In life and lacrosse many things go wrong.  When most people have something go wrong they ask the question why did this happen to me? or why does this always happen to me?  Instead they need to ask the positive and optimistic question What good can come from this?  This will allow you to better focus on improving your future rather than reliving your past

A good way to remember optimism is to focus on its roots.  Opt is the root word and it should trigger two thoughts. First, you should remember that you have to opt to do something. You chose to do it.   Therefore optimism is not something that happens to you but a choice you make.

Second Opt should remind you of an Ophthalmologist, the person who helps you to see better.  So Opt in this sense is about how you see the world around you.

Put them together and you find that optimism is about choosing to see things in a positive way.  You can choose to believe that good things will happen and that the future will be better than the present.  The choice is yours and yours alone.

Good luck with your upcoming seasons.

The BR Staff

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RIT - Thoughts From A Day With The Coaching Staff

February 10, 2015
One of the best parts of club coaching is getting to visit the college coaches.  This allows us to watch the latest drills, pick their brains on new developments, and hear from them what they are looking for in future recruits. On Jan 24 we caught up with the coach Coon and the RIT staff.

We caught up with the RIT staff on Friday at the end of a long week of two-a-days.  The week had started with a program run by former Navy Seals that focused on leadership, committing to your teammates and developing mental strength.  By the time we got to them the team was a bit tired but definitely very focused. 

Like most college programs there was very little down time at practice.  The coaches name the drills, review the points of focus, and the players got to work at full speed.  RIT prefers to have practice bounce around skills and groups rather than go in a progression.  The staff believes it helps players learn to deal with confusion and better prepares them for games.

Morning practice
  • Yoga
  • Lifting
Afternoon practice
  • Pre: Goalie warmup and faceoff work
  • Warmups: Dynamic stretching followed by shooting and then full field passing.
  • Individual skills: Offense - shooting, Defense - approaches
  • Main practice: 6 v 6 rides and clears
  • Main practice: Unsettled - short field 4v3 & 3 v 2 w/loser does pushups (see video on BR Lax TV)
  • Main practice: Transition
  • Main practice: EMO / MDD both ends – FOGOs work on shooting
  • Main practice: 6 v 6 both ends
  • Main practice: Triangle passing (catch / throw underpressure)
Overall Thoughts

What is your lacrosse philosophy?
We want to play fast.  To do that we push transition and create unsettled scoring opportunities.  To many teams are afraid to lose an offensive possession, so they slow everything down and allow their opponent to sub.  We would rather push the ball and take advantage of mismatches before we settle in to 6 on 6.

What are your key areas of focus this year?
·         We want to be the best conditioned team in the nation.  We want to make sure no one out works us.
·         We are focusing a fair amount of time on team chemistry.  We need to make sure that we are building leaders who support each other. This is an extension of our recruiting focus and a key reason behind our success.
·         We want to get more aggressive on defense to create more possessions and opportunities in transition.  In the past, our close defense have been on an island (don’t get beat), now we are looking to create more pressure and attack the offense more.

If you could ask a club coach any question(s) you wanted what would they be?
·         Are you asking enough of your kids?
·         Are you teaching them skills and hard work or are you just rolling the ball out and letting them play?
·         What are you doing to ensure that your kids getting the skills / mental toughness that they need to succeed at the next level?

What do you look for in a recruit?
·         Our primary focus is on finding hardworking, mentally tough, team players.  We believe that we can teach an athlete stick skills and lax IQ.  Therefore we look for recruits who are great athletes, have speed and who are willing to work hard (unselfish) to guarantee the best outcome for the team.

Great staff and we really appreciate all the time they gave us.  We learned a lot from them and our conversations on lacrosse, where the game is heading and what has driven their success.  We also picked up several new subbing plays that we may try to put in this summer.