The lacrosse players of the Northern Knights (The Knights) are at an age when speed and agility make competitive team sports an amazing physical and mental challenge. Creating an open field where these young men can gain valuable life lessons in teambuilding, The Knights let us in on what makes their sport a growing success on and off the field.
Field lacrosse, recognized in Canada as our national summer sport, hones our athletes’ skills – a blend of sprinting, shooting, checking, and defending – making it one of the most physically demanding team sports an athlete can play. Athletic skills drawn from soccer, hockey, and basketball, The Knights play competitively with the top teams in their U18 age category throughout North America.
For those unfamiliar with field lacrosse, The Knights have 10 players on the field at a time comprised of 3 attack, 3 midfielders, 3 defensemen, and the goalie. Every game is four periods of non-stop action. With such a demanding physical sport, players fill up with protein and carbohydrates both in advance of play and after during their recovery. Often the team is ‘on the move’ so their demands for quality nutrition in their fast-paced schedule is paramount.
Coaches dedicate their time to develop the players’ mental and physical stamina with strong, advance game planning and strategic skill development. The team’s development program also focuses on skills like commitment, confidence and perseverance to help players succeed lacrosse, as well as in life. The team philosophy is to focus on winning the battle for the lacrosse ball, rather than simply scoring goals through elaborate plays. The core emphasis is to promote teamwork, with a solid dose of fun, friendship and fitness during every practice and competitive game.
Practice and pre-game routines emphasize warming up with dynamic stretches, increasing player flexibility to avoid injuries. Run at high tempo intended to challenge every athlete to perform at their best, further prepping also includes:
- conditioning competition which places players in assigned groups for challenges against a wide group of team mates
- lacrosse stick skill drills to improve control, coordination and quick decision-making
- mixed team position competitions between attack and defense players as an example
After every game play during stretch and recovery the team takes time to reflect and focus on how each player can improve their next game as a team. The coaches encourage the team to use visualization techniques where players can take themselves through the situation and how they can perform differently or better when those same situations arise next game. Above all, the coaches preach to play a clean game of field lacrosse with the highest level of integrity!
The Knights are comprised of elite student-athletes in one of the fastest growing sports worldwide – and the fastest sport on two feet! The team is proud of its achievements this past year which include:
- 2017 division title Best of the West Premier Spring Classic in Las Vegas
- 2017 division title Pacific Open High School IMG Qualifier in Burlington Washington
- 2017 division title Valhalla Fall Invitational in Portland Oregon
- 2017 Silver in Elite Division Legends National Cup in Del Mar California
- 2018 division title Best of the West Premier Classic in Las Vegas (defended title 2 years)