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Amping It Up for World Games

Okay, how do we sign up to go boxing with Alyssa Murray??? #boss 

But seriously, after talking to Alyssa about how she’s preparing for the 2017 World Games we want to change up our whole fitness routine. This girl is doing it right and we can’t wait to see her dominate on the field in Poland this July!

Here’s a look at our Q&A with the Syracuse alum and Team USA attacker:

World Games are coming up! What was your first thought when you found out you made the team?

Haha something like, “Hey Mom and Dad, guess what…” I was obviously very excited to be given the opportunity to represent my country at the international level. I love the World Games for a bunch of reasons – for one, you get to play alongside some of the best players in the world which is exhilarating and challenging.

I also think World Games are an opportunity to increase visibility of the sport. It feels like a step towards lacrosse becoming an Olympic sport and to be a part of that is really exciting. (Tap here for 7 reasons lacrosse should be an Olympic sport.)

3 things you are doing to prepare for Worlds?

· Fitness - Playing multiple games in such a short time is enough to wear out even the most fit and resilient players. Right now, I’m concentrating on building up my strength and endurance so my body can play at a high level throughout the entire tournament. Skill counts, but in any tournament, endurance is equally important.

· Stick work - Right now, a lot of my time is spent coaching, but I always make sure to have a stick in my hand. Literally, always. I take any moment to work on shots, dodges and simple catching and throwing. Big games can feel super high-pressure and I want to be fully confident in those basic skills so I can focus on strategy in the heat of the moment, and my body will know exactly what to do.

· Mental Prep – At Syracuse, our team was very into visualization and mental preparation. I feel this is just as important - if not more important - than the physical aspects of the game. I visualize myself having success on the field, making great plays and winning with my teammates. When it gets to game time, it’s like I’ve already been there, and I know what to do.

How does your training regimen look right now?

We are going hardcore on fitness – building up our muscles and cardio. Usually, I’m trying to break a sweat about six days a week at varying intensities so burning out is not an option. Endurance!

Can you talk to us about some of your favorite workouts and how they help grow you as a player?

· Spin class - I love spin because the music is blasting and it feels like you are just enjoying the ride. It always helps when they play some good Beyonce haha...

Check out Alyssa's Spin playlist:

· HIIT (high intensity interval training) - I also enjoy HIIT because it’s actually a full body workout, but you don’t even realize it. I have to admit, lifting is not my favorite activity, so when it overlaps with fast-paced, heart-pumping action, it’s so much more enjoyable!

· Boxing - Boxing is one of my other go-to’s. I LOVE it! I haven’t done it as much in the last few months because I’ve really started to tailor my workouts to lacrosse-specific activities. But boxing is really great for dealing with stress. All the negative energy goes out on the punching bag, and I leave class rejuvenated and relaxed! 

How does the team find synergy leading up to Worlds?

Haha like this...

But actually...most players have their own individualized pre-game routine to help them relax and focus. In terms of team pump-up, we usually have music blasting and a bunch of people dancing, staying loose. It’s really important for things to stay light right up until it’s time to dial-in and go hard for game time. 

What gear do you plan to use in the World Games?

That’s easy! My STX Crux I and the 4Sight Form goggles. My armor, uniform - they’re extensions of me.

Expert tips for players preparing for a high-stakes game?

In the days and weeks before a big game – Hyper-focus on strength and conditioning, and get real about your stick work. It will give you more confidence and help you to trust your abilities – you don’t want to be insecure about your passing and catching in the middle of a big game.

Come game time - Stay calm and take big, deep breaths. You want pre-game to be “the calm before the storm.” Keep it chill and relaxed - then when the first whistle blows, let all that energy come flying out of you like a massive storm.

Want more tips from Alyssa? Here’s a look at her fitness style guide