The Importance of Pace in the Performance Programme
Mali McHugh Year 12 talks about the need- for-speed with the Lacrosse HPP High Performance Programme – which trains athletes for international tournaments.
As the youngest member of the HPP squad Mali looks set for a long future of Lacrosse playing. At seventeen she made the team that went to Thailand for the Asia Pacific Championships: “Making the team for the [Asia Pacific] Championships is my greatest achievement,” said Mali. “We played against lots of other teams: Singapore, Korea, Japan, Thailand, China and Australia. Hong Kong didn’t win but we still had a lot of fun!”
It is the fun she has and the support of her teammates that keeps her so committed to Lacrosse: “The team is really nice, I like playing because everyone is really encouraging but it is also very competitive at the same time. It is a good kind of stress relief for the IB [Diploma]. Sometimes I hang-out with some of my Lacrosse teammates and they help me with stuff unrelated to Lacrosse.”
Known as one of the fastest sports of two feet, Mali explains what Lacrosse demands of its players: “The fitness part is probably the hardest part of it because you have to run the whole field quickly and in practices we do very demanding sprints and drills – I usually feel like I am going to die during them but I end-up surviving. I do fitness outside practice, for HPP and – if you want to make the World Team it is not enough to just do what we do in practice, we also have to go to the gym and do sprints.”
“If I could have a super-power it would be super-speed. In Defence it is crucial that you keep up with your Attack because you don’t set the pace they do, you have to keep-up with their speed and anticipate what they are going to do. So it helps if you can be faster than them [the attack] by quite a lot.”
Mali’s training is challenging but she wouldn’t change it for a second: “I am going to Berlin in June, normally after a tournament I feel completely exhausted but I will also be kind of hyper. Tournaments are very fun and very energetic, my body will be dying but I still feel like I could play another ten games.”