Lax in the Winter?
Lacrosse is technically a spring sport, but any high level coach or player know spring often doesn’t come until April or May in areas like the northeast where lacrosse is becoming more and more prevalent. Temperatures stay well below freezing and snow storms are a regular occurrence at the beginning of the season. College players know this side of the game well, especially if they practice outside year round in a cold part of the country. Even if a college team is located in a warm part of the country, they often have away games scheduled in the cold given how early their seasons start. How are you supposed to stay warm, nevertheless play lacrosse, in such unforgiving conditions? Your hands aren't nearly as mobile, and your legs are tough to keep warm.
Here are a few tips to help you stay toasty, keeping you from being too immobile, in the early months of the season:
Beat the Cold!
- Compression Gear: A tight and warm under layer is essential in cold weather. Almost all the major athletic companies make compression clothing, but Under Armour and Nike have the best gear for cold weather. Everything from turtleneck shirts to full-length spandex pants are worth investing in. Compression gear is the number one weapon against the cold weather. It’s comfortable, and it doesn’t inhibit your mobility like a heavy jacket would in the slightest.
- Layers: Just because you have an Under Armour shirt on doesn’t mean you can’t throw a couple layers on top of it. While you don’t want to limit your mobility too much, the more layers the better. Sweatpants and sweatshirts are a good idea in extremely cold weather, but make sure they’re not too baggy or they’ll slow you down. If you have enough wiggle room in your cleats, doubling up socks is helpful as well. The more layers you have between your body and the elements, the warmer you’ll be, so pile them on.
- Latex gloves: Wearing latex gloves (the ones doctors wear) under your lacrosse gloves will keep your hands warmer for longer. Your fingers are usually among the first body parts to go numb, which can make handling a lacrosse stick pretty difficult. Latex gloves work to keep the heat from escaping the glove, insulating and keeping your fingers warmer for a longer amount of time. These are arguably the most important thing to have in cold weather as you play the game with your hands. Keeping them warm and loose is essential. Available at your local pharmacy, latex gloves are both affordable and effective.
- Taping your ear holes: Take a piece of athletic tape and cover the ear holes of your helmet with it. Wind is often the worst aspect of a cold day. While there’s not much you can do to keep it from whipping your face, this technique will keep the wind off your ears and out of your helmet. You’ll be surprised how much warmer you’ll be using only a couple pieces of tape. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to hear everything!
Use these tips to perform to the best of your ability and keep yourself as warm as possible, and be sure to check out some more of our lacrosse articles!