The lacrosse team holds a lockout plank as one of many fitness exercises they were required to perform during the event. Photo courtesy Colin Stewart.
By Eric Chang
For the 29 lacrosse players who went down to San Diego over spring break, the sun and beaches were not a friendly environment. Over a seven hour period the team grinded through a mix of extreme physical and mental training run by the program SealFit. The principle of this experience was to show everyone that they are capable of doing 20 times more than what they think they’re capable of doing.
After some physical warm ups of planks, squats, pull-ups, push-ups, distance running, and lifting; group activities that imitated real combat situations to test the players’ mental toughness became the primary focus. The main exercise was a grueling team stretcher hike. Teams of five would have one person balance on the stretcher while the other four members would carry them until they were too tired to carry anymore. They would then rotate the positions meaning a different member would get on top of the stretcher and be carried for as long as possible. The hike was comprised of both uphill and downhill terrain and being about two miles each way, so this cycle went on for hours. To make things even more difficult, everyone carried a 40 pound rucksack full of sand. There was an immense amount of cooperation and communication required for this activity because the team had to ensure that each member was set down properly and carried safely.
After the stretcher hike, the teams of five partook in a physically draining relay race. Two people would do burpees while the other three members would run a set distance on sand. On the way back, two of the three runners would have to carry the other person back. Discipline and accountability were key takeaways from this activity because every member had to be working their hardest in order for the team to finish. People depended on one another and this really brought the team closer together. “The SEAL training was extremely difficult and pushed everyone beyond their limits. However, it allowed for the team to bond and created a sense of family,” said junior Ryan Murphy.
To conclude the day, the 29 players were split into teams of seven and order to perform multiple tasks with a 250 pound log. They had to carry the weight over their heads, on their shoulders, do bicep curls, and straight-up carry the log over long distances. What the players learned was that if everyone pulled their weight then the activities became a lot easier. “Communication and teamwork makes something that seems impossible easy to do,” said junior Baily Deeter.
Overall, this huge workout involving sustained pain was anything but easy. However the players took away that teamwork makes everything manageable and cooperation and communication are vital. “This experience was very formative in allowing us to realize that if we’re tough mentally and physically we can work together and focus on helping our teammates rather than complaining about ourselves,” said Deeter.