If you look at the numbers, it’s safe to say that the sport of Lacrosse continues to be a growing sport. In the United States alone, participation grew over 3% in 2017 with over 825,000 people playing the sport. That was the 12th consecutive year of growth with a net increase of at least 20,000 players each of those years. Participants include boys, girls and men and women from the youth level up to the high school and collegiate years.
With the increase comes the need for more knowledgeable coaches who can teach the game the right way. Sure, some coaches have played the game and have a good idea of the types of drills and practice sessions needed. But for the more beginning level coaches and a refresher for the veterans, it’s helpful to have some drills to fall back on that can help improve your team. Here are five lacrosse drills that we think can help.
Catching drills are important because throwing and receiving are such important parts of the game. Start with some stationary drills between paired up players. Have them make some throws and catches from their left side and then their right side until they are comfortable.
Move to catching drills where the players are running. They need to learn to throw and catch while on the move while also alternating between their right and left hands.
Finally, have them practice making poor throws so it’s more difficult to make the catch. This will get them practicing extending to catch passes or moving their stick from one side to the other.
Goalies need to practice making clearing passes after a save. Practice this by having one player shoot the ball while another moves downfield towards the midfield line to receive the pass from the goalie. You can start with the goalies making passes to stationary players and then change it up by having receivers on the move catching the goalie passes.
Ground Balls Drill
Pair players up and roll a ball so that each player has an equal chance to get it. The goal is to have them battle for the ball and not allow the other player to win it. Some tips here is for players to practice using their body to box out the other and gain possession or kicking the ball loose from a scrum to get a better advantage. This drill will teach players how to aggressively gain possession of the ball for their team.
Have players cradle the ball while running down the field. First using both hands and then switching to one hand and alternating between each hand. This is needed when a player needs to ward off a defender with their opposite hand.
These can be done in a variety of different ways to simulate game conditions. They should practice shooting on the move going to both their left and right, and sometimes with a defender in front of them. They can also practice shooting after scooping a ball off the ground or when coming from around the back of the net. You can also use cones to add specific target areas for players to improve accuracy.