Surviving November’s Conditions: Tips For Staying Warm On The Fields

Photo: Craig Chase

Photo: Craig Chase

It’s been well documented that lacrosse can barely be considered a spring sport. College practices start in January and then games begin in early February, often played through snow and with temperatures below 20 degrees.

Kids are recruited in extreme temperatures. In the summer, it’s ungodly hot and humid. In November, it’s unbearably cold. Here are some ways for staying warm and comfortable enough so that you can perform to the best of your ability in front of college coaches. 

Do not wear tights. I realize that some people out there simply have that ‘by any means necessary’ attitude when it comes to staying warm playing ball. That’s great, that’s your thing. All I’m saying is that you should leave the tights at home.

If you’ve ever heard a college coach talk about the trend of wearing tights in November then you’ll understand. At last year’s convention, Duke head coach John Danowski went all Jerry Seinfeld, asking “What’s the deal with tights?!” before proceeding on his short rant. They make kids come off as soft. They’re for girls. They look silly. There’s an endless list of reasons why tights should be banned forever from the lacrosse world, plus there are far better (and more fashionable) ways to stay warm.

Sweats are your friend. There’s no doubt about it: the surprising lack of sweatpants on the fall recruiting circuit is directly correlated to the disappointing amount of leggings.

Throw sweatpants on, maybe double up on socks and then tuck the sweats into the top of your socks. You don’t want to be the recruit that stood out to Division I coaches only because you were the kid who tripped over his long Nike sweats while crossing the midline.

Up top, adding a sweatshirt over your pads and underneath your pinny is always recommended as well. It’ll add an extra layer, provide more comfort than a tight-fit long sleeve and also act as a little extra padding.

Put on latex gloves. Yeah, the ones that surgeons wear. Grab a box from your local pharmacy or grocery store and throw them in your lacrosse bag for the coldest conditions. From what I’ve been told by college and MLL guys that swear by them, they make a massive difference underneath your regular lacrosse gloves. Keep in mind that they lock in moisture, so your hands will sweat and likely prune.

Lay down athletic tape over your earholes. When you were a kid playing out in the show, it was always your ears that were most affected by the bitter cold, especially if you weren’t smart enough to wear a winter hat like me. Putting a few pieces of thick tape over your helmet’s earholes is the best way to protect yourself from the brutal winds that hit lacrosse tournaments in November. Sure, you may be sacrificing looking good, but more important than that, it won’t negatively affect your ability to hear on the fields.

Buy some Hot Hands. I swear by these things at late season Ravens games. You can find them at places like Dick’s, Sports Authority, Target, etc. It’s hard to say what their best use would be during games, but they’re definitely reliable when you’re on the sidelines or in between games. Shake them up considerably and insert into your shoes, pockets (while not playing) or gloves, they’re life savers.

Here’s the wild card – warm chicken broth. I’m known for thinking with my stomach, but this is reportedly a go-to for NFL linemen in nasty Midwest conditions. For one, it keeps you hydrated due to the sodium content but it’ll keep you warm as well. Oh, and it’s tasty too. If you’re playing at a local tournament, have your Mom pour some into a good ‘ol Thermos and store it on the sidelines.

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