With the new year comes the excitement for a fresh start. Whether it’s in the classroom or your preseason workouts, it’s important to take the time to evaluate what your goals are for the upcoming season! As a coach, teacher and business owner, I personally get really excited to get organized. I buy a new planner for 2018 to prioritize my days so I can see a visual layout of my week and get excited/overwhelmed as I look at how packed the next several months are with practices, games and summer tournaments! I know Feb.-May will certainly rush by in a blur, so it’s important to take some time in early January for me to outline what I want to achieve each week/month, and set reminders to revisit these goals to make sure I’m staying on track. I personally break apart my goals into several categories: business, financial, fitness, family, social, and spiritual. From there I use SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely - and break those down into short-term and long-term achievements.
As a student-athlete, it’s super important to learn time management and learn how to balance academics, athletics, family commitments, social engagements, and healthy habits. One thing that drives me crazy is when during a warm-up lap of preseason practice a player complain of feeling light-headed - because they didn’t eat lunch. It’s understandable (but not ideal) if girls are out of breath after the first couple laps because they’re just getting back in the swing of things, but it’s another issue when girls don’t take care of themselves because they didn’t have time for lunch or ate four oreos on the way to practice because they forgot to eat during the day. In order to feel your best and put your best foot forward you need to prepare yourself throughout the day so you’re able to give 100% at practice. This means HYDRATING - try drinking 8 oz. of water during every class; eating HEALTHY - a balanced lunch of protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs; working EFFICIENTLY during your classes - when the teacher gives you time to do work, do it! If you have a study hall - study! Your time is limited so take advantage of classes that give you time to work so you don’t have hours of homework when you get home. Practice should be a time for you to enjoy lacrosse with your friends. So try to keep it positive during warm-ups; if your coach allows chatting, use it as an opportunity to get to know your teammates better (not to complain about your teachers or workload)!
Even though you have a jam-packed day of academics, socializing, lacrosse, and more work/chores when you get home, remember that family is part of that balance too. Give your parents/grandparents/guardians some love too. You may be exhausted by the end of the day, but if they ask you how practice was, give them a few minutes of your time to share something fun you did. It also reminds you what you love about lacrosse practice and/or a teammate who you admire or who makes you laugh. It’s also important to “un-plug” from social media towards the end of the day. If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, that may contribute to the fact your brain is going in too many directions based on recent input. Take some time before you go to bed to meditate; reflect on your day and jot down 2-3 good things that happened to you or you accomplished. If you’re anything like me, it also helps to write down tomorrow’s to do list - I brain-dump all of the things I know I want to accomplish, otherwise it will play on repeat as I try to fall asleep. I also like reading before I go to bed so I can focus on one subject, as opposed to having the TV on which keeps your brain engaged even if you drift off. And stop scrolling through your friend’s friend’s friend’s status on Facebook! Do you know how many wasted hours you waste on FB/Twitter/Insta/Snapchat, etc?! If you must watch something before you go to bed, watch a lacrosse game on YouTube rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media. Now you can dream of yourself scoring that winning goal. :)
Before your season gets underway, I encourage you to take some time and think about your goals for the next couple months. I always have my girls write out their goals in preseason: what are two personal goals they have for the season and two team goals they’d like to see us achieve. I also want to know what three skills or characteristics they can bring to the team and why they want to be part of the team. It helps to think about your “why.” I challenge you to not only do this for your lacrosse team, but also in the classroom. Are you looking to bring up your GPA? Have you scheduled a re-take for the SATs? Are you going to work on your college target list prior to your season? Whatever you’re trying to achieve, remember that TEAM Lacrosse Academy is here to help mentor you throughout your journey so don’t hesitate to reach out to one of your coaches who are more than happy to help you with your goals! We want to see you succeed both on and off the field!