Roanoke College is well known for its academic quality, but the school is also widely known for its consistently outstanding Men’s Lacrosse program. Headed by Coach Bill Pilat, the team enters the fall ranked #3 in the country according to a preseason coach’s poll in Lacrosse Magazine.
To maintain this ranking, Coach Pilat has entrusted Coach Dave Sampson with overseeing the team’s strength and conditioning training during the offseason. The players are in the gym four days a week with Coach Sampson constantly preparing for the Spring, and they put in many more hours on their own, improving their stick skills every day. These top-level collegiate athletes are hardworking and determined to win a national championship, and it’s this brutal offseason routine that’s going to get them there.Â As those who have played a sport before know, it is the time put in off the field that matters most and the lacrosse team follows this motto unwaveringly.
“Our offseason is crazyâ€¦ they go through absolute murder with me,” Coach Sampson said.
To prepare for one of the toughest schedules in DIII lacrosse, the players are constantly working on strength, speed, and agility. In order to maintain a competitive edge over their competition, Sampson has designed one of the best (and hardest) off-season training regimens in college lacrosse.
“From my standpoint, I don’t think there’s a better conditioned team in the country,” Sampson explains. “I say that because I know what our guys go through, and I see the teams they play.”
With Coach Sampson at the physical helm this winter, the players will undoubtedly be ready for any challenge they face this spring.
Outside of the running, lifting, shooting and dozens of other physical responsibilities the players have, they are also responsible for making their grades the top priority in the winter.
“All players must be committed to their academics or their position on the team will be in jeopardy â€¦ All players’ main responsibility is their schoolwork.” Coach Pilat said.
On top of the physical requirements of these student athletes still lies the academic challenge we all know far too well.
Time management is crucial to the success of the players as they push through their pre season workouts, and it’s the team’s leaders who see them through it.
“The leaders of this team will emerge as the players who work the hardest in the classroom and in the weight room” Coach Pilat said.
The ability to balance a top tier academic workload with a top level NCAA athletic schedule is truly a test to even the most seasoned leaders. Under the watchful eye of these leaders and both Coach Sampson and Pilat, this offseason will no doubt prepare the team for another extraordinary spring season.