Blog

Why lacrosse teams’ interest in technology is paying off

11th October 2022

Across the lacrosse performance pyramid – from the PLL to College and High School – teams have been adopting performance technology at an exponential rate. 

Why? Well, early adopters of the technology, for example, six-time NCAA National Champions the Princeton Tigers Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mark Ellis, said, “we want to perform at the highest level and so, provide our athletes with the best resources to compete with anyone in the country. Catapult is a foundational piece in making this happen.”

Princeton University Tigers Men's Lacrosse

Couple this with University of Virginia Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Performance Coach, Steve Cuccia, who used our technology with Penn St Men’s Lacrosse, before coming over to UVA, where he has recently implemented the technology with both the Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse teams.

“You can either rest on the success you’ve had or look for ways to continue to grow and be better … We decided that in our evolution process the next step was getting quantitative data on how effective we are and what we can do to become even more successful programs,” said Cuccia.

“Catapult helps with data-driven decisions and being more efficient when you’re operating in limited time windows. Also, it provides KPIs and gives tangible measures of success and makes sure practice sets us up for winning games.”

Click here to inquire about the technology used by leading lacrosse teams.

Objectifying performance with technology to win more

In 2021, Catapult partnered with Premier League Lacrosse (PLL) and, as this partnership progressed, research found that players using the Catapult devices covered 20% more ground and recorded a 20% increase in distance per high-speed effort during games they won.

Additionally, long stick midfielders logged 2.5 times more acceleration efforts and distance, with midfielders recording a 36% increase in high-intensity change of direction efforts during wins.

Following this insight, it’s clear to see that the winningest teams perform more intensely for longer. This competitive advantage, in theory, can be achieved by any team but many have fallen at the first hurdle. Not knowing the level and intensity teams need to train at in order to reach the required level to win. But this is where technology steps in to provide objective data.

Lacrosse teams’ awareness of this is growing and their interest in technology is too which is evidenced by 2022 NCAA National Champions, University of Maryland Men’s, 2019 and 2021 Men’s champions, the University of Virginia, the #2 ranked men’s team last season Georgetown, and the esteemed 2012 and 2013 National Champions Duke and Ohio State men’s and women’s programs all adopting Catapult in recent months.

“Lacrosse is such a unique sport and with the large growth in the game, many are realizing the advantages that can be gained when you understand the demands of the sport. There is so much skill involved in the game now that the difference between winning and losing is often decided in the preparation and if you don’t know the destination, you can’t build a roadmap.” Steve Cuccia – University of Virginia Men’s and Women’s Performance Coach.

→ To join this elite list of teams who are using Catapult technology, click here.

Georgetown University LAX

Advantages of using technology

While it’s become apparent that many of the top teams in the country have adopted this technology, it’s now important to understand how this technology has helped coaches.

Performance Technology Advantages:

  • Focus on the needs of specific athletes and provide better individual development.
  • Structure more effective training sessions to keep their athletes fresh and engaged.
  • Design more informed off-season training programs.
  • Use performance data to make more informed coaching decisions in-game.

 

To apply these advantages to your lacrosse team view the below video – A webinar discussing the integration of load monitoring in lacrosse:

Throughout this webinar, Tim Murray (formerly with Denver Men’s Lacrosse) and Justin Kilian (formerly with Liberty Men’s  & Women’s  Lacrosse, and currently serving as a Professor in Exercise Science) focus on the connection between physiology and activity load monitoring as it pertains specifically to the phases of play in lacrosse. They provide practical methods of integrating monitoring with decision-making for practices and training sessions.

→ To learn more about Catapult’s solutions for lacrosse, click here.

Recommendations for coaches looking to adopt technology

The time for lacrosse technology innovators and early adopters will soon pass to the early majority, according to Georgetown’s Head Strength Coach Torin Shanahan. 

“Lacrosse is a fast-growing sport and coaches have seen a competitive advantage over those late adopters,” said Shanahan.

But despite this shift to the early majority, there are still competitive advantages to be had. Shanahan had the following recommendations for coaches who have just adopted or are soon to adopt Catapult:

“Catapult Support is unmatched in the industry – so reach out with any questions. They are very quick to rush to your aid whenever you need help no matter how big or small the task might be … Catapult provides all the tools to take your program to the next level and an honest review of your program and staff is critical to understand if your staff is ready to take action on the game-changing information that Catapult provides. If your staff is ready to make changes with new information, then Catapult is a no-brainer investment in the future health and performance of your student-athletes.”

UVA’s Performance Coach, Steve Cuccia, continued in a similar vein:

  • Start simple and collect information without trying to dive in too deep.
  • Be patient. You can gather insight from other institutions and programs but each one is unique in its approach.
  • Consistency is key to measuring performance over time. Stick with 7-10 insights to look for. Granted, they might not always give the best insight but consistency to start is often times more valuable than what turns out to be the best metrics and KPIs. 

 

With the sport of lacrosse growing at a rapid pace over the last several years, and athlete monitoring technology continuing to evolve, Catapult has found itself right at the intersection of these two worlds.

→ To join the early adopters of technology across lacrosse, click here to speak to the team.