by Faye Rapoport
Lacrosse is an amazing game that combines agility, speed and strategy for a whole lot of excitement and fun. But like many sports, lacrosse is incredibly demanding on the feet, so Foot.com talked to player Ryan Wellner about footcare and the sport.
Wellner captained Mary Washington College’s lacrosse team in 2000 and set records in ground balls and consecutive games played. He was named 2000 Capital Athletic Conference Sports Athlete of the Year and the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 Mary Washington College Unsung Hero. He also received the Eagles Spirit Trophy.
A veteran of lacrosse camps and now Asst. Coach at Chaminade High School, Wellner was formerly the Director of Lacrosse Operations for the National Lacrosse League. Prior to joining the league, he worked for the English Lacrosse Association developing lacrosse throughout the southwest of the United Kingdom. Wellner has also worked for Shamrock Lacrosse as an international sales representative. Thanks to his efforts, the sport of lacrosse has grown and reached hundreds of kids abroad. He recently wrote: “Lacrosse is, and will continue to be, the fastest growing sport in North America.”
Wellner took a break to answer some quick questions from Foot.com and to describe his own battle with a common disorder for many athletes: shin splints.
Foot.com: What kind of footwear do lacrosse players wear during practice and games, and how important is it to choose the right socks and athletic shoes?
Ryan: Depending upon the type of field, either turf or grass, lacrosse players will use cross trainers or cleats. While choosing the right socks was never an issue with me, most lacrosse players go with whatever socks that make them feel comfortable.
Foot.com: Lacrosse requires a lot of agility, turning, and back-and-forth movement. Do players have to worry about any specific foot conditions or injuries related to the sport?
Ryan: Yes lacrosse players do have to worry about specific conditions or injuries, such as sprained ankles, jammed toes, and shin splints.
Foot.com: Have you personally dealt with any of these problems? If so, what treatment did you get?
Ryan: I have dealt with shin splints throughout my lacrosse career. I undergo electric shock therapy to relieve any buildup of blood, as well as ice baths for up to a half hour.
Foot.com: Do you run or do any other training to prepare for lacrosse games?
Ryan: Yes I run and bike to train for lacrosse.
Foot.com: What kind of footwear do you wear on a daily basis for the most comfort?
Ryan: I wear sneakers.
Foot.com: What training advice would you give to lacrosse athletes in terms of avoiding foot and leg injuries?
Ryan: Make sure that you spend an extra couple of minutes strecthing out. With all of the cutting and quick stopping in lacrosse, it is very important that the muscles are loose and that the joints are clear. Wihout the leg and foot, we can’t participate. Also, spend some time with the weights, nothing heavy, but just a few exercises to build some muscle.
Foot.com: Thank you for your time, Ryan, and good luck with your many endeavors in this great sport.