Get Your Head in the Game With These Top Lacrosse Mental Toughness Drills (2023 Guide)

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Are you tired of letting your mental game hold you back in lacrosse? Whether it's losing focus, getting too nervous before games, or something else entirely, learning how to stay calm and confident on the field can make a huge difference in your performance as an athlete.

No matter what level of play you're at, being mentally tough is essential for success – so why not get started today with these top lacrosse mental toughness drills?

We've gathered our go-to practices to help sharpen your skills and give you the edge out there on the field!

Read on to learn more about our tried-and-true drills to develop your game, let go of the pressure and beat your opponent!


Take Away Key Points:

  • Mental toughness allows for increased focus, concentration, and decision-making during games and is often practiced by professional athletes.
  • Thanks to mental drills, players can benefit from improved communication with teammates inside and outside the game for better team dynamics.
  • A mentally tough mentality enhances the ability to stay composed in critical moments for optimal performance under pressure.
  • Enhanced resilience to handle setbacks to achieve success at the highest levels is achieved through metal toughness drills.
  • It's necessary to stay focused on every practice drill and reach the full potential of mental toughness.

What Are Mental Skills in Lacrosse?

Mental skills in lacrosse start with mental toughness. This doesn't necessarily mean being aggressive and intimidating to opponents but instead having the mental fortitude to stay focused on the big game regardless of adversity. Developing your mental side is necessary before you start working on physical development.

Mental skills are essential for athletes to develop in order to excel in a sport. In lacrosse, mental toughness is a crucial component for success on the field.

Drills and mental side training prepare players for challenging scenarios during a big game.

For starters, athletes should build mental stamina, including techniques such as positive self-talk and reframing thoughts to motivate themselves. Additionally, deepening mental clarity on the playing field can be improved through mental practice activities like visualization or mental rehearsal that can help anticipate playing scenarios ahead of time.

Lastly, a mentally tough mentality develops as players can regulate their emotions during games and view stressful situations as an opportunity to grow rather than an obstacle. Through mental drills and consistent training, lacrosse players will see better results in a game of fast-paced nature lacrosse.

drills for mental toughness

Top 6 Drills to Excel Your Mental Game in Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a physically and mentally demanding sport, requiring players to be at the top of their game on and off the field. Therefore, mental toughness drills are essential for lacrosse athletes to build self-confidence, focus, talent, motivation, and resilience.

Here are the best drills to improve mental toughness in lacrosse and play high-level lacrosse!

1. Controlled breathing

Controlled breathing is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress during competition. Focus on taking slow deep breaths when feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Controlled breathing exercises help to boost focus and awareness while calming your nerves. This allows you to stay present and make better decisions during competition.

Focusing on your breath is a simple yet powerful tool for regulating your emotions before, during, and after a match. During warm-ups or downtime between games, take a few minutes to close your eyes and practice deep breaths that fill up your diaphragm. This mindful breathing helps clear out any tension or anxiety you may be feeling.

Finally, controlled breathing is important in helping you recover from physical exhaustion after tough matches. Like stretching helps cool down muscles, deep breaths help cool down an overactive mind so you can be ready to go again tomorrow!

2. Visualization/mental rehearsal

Visualization, also known as mental rehearsal, is a powerful tool for developing a mentally tough mentality in lacrosse. It involves visualizing yourself performing at peak levels during practices and games, reinforcing effective techniques, and forming instant solutions to unforeseen challenges.

A visualization is a powerful tool in helping athletes establish strong concentration during games and practices. Take a few minutes each day to mentally rehearse plays or routines before competing to increase confidence and execution before playing. Immediately bring your attention to mental peace before you focus on possible mistakes.

The key components of visualization are clarity, vividness, and emotional intensity. You must be able to imagine yourself in the desired situation with enough detail to make it realistic.

Think about what sounds you'd hear on the field, the feeling of hitting an opponent's stick just right or making a perfect pass. Remember to add positive emotions like excitement, enthusiasm, and confidence to bring your visualization to life.

3. Encourage self talk

Positive self-talk is another important part of training mental resilience in lacrosse players and striving to live up to your expectations.

The voice in your head offers support, encouragement, and motivation when you need it most. Research shows that having positive self-talk can improve your performance on the field and help you stay focused during tough match-ups.

It's crucial to be mindful of how you talk to yourself. For example, instead of using negative phrases like "I can't do this" or "I'm a failure," shift towards more positive mantras like "I got this!" or "I am capable of succeeding."

Encouraging words from the coach and positive affirmations from yourself can help build up your internal belief system while competing.

You are your own biggest cheerleader! Self-talk is an invaluable tool for improving mental toughness in lacrosse, so use it as much as possible!

4. Goal setting

lacrosse goalie mental training

Goal setting is a powerful tool for improving mental toughness in lacrosse. It allows you to focus your inner energy, put yourself on the path toward achieving your goals, and prevent any mistakes from happening!

Setting specific, measurable objectives makes it easier to stay motivated and track your progress in what you want to accomplish.

Know what you want to accomplish with each practice and game time; setting short-term goals helps keep your focus on the task rather than any distractions you may encounter.

Last but not least, remember to celebrate when you achieve each milestone! Achieving goals is a great way to boost self-confidence and show yourself that no challenge is too big for you!

5. Meditation/relaxation techniques

Taking time out of your day away from screens, sports equipment, or stressors can allow you to reset your mind and body with relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, or mindfulness meditation.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization, or yoga can help players relax their bodies and minds before a match. This helps to create an effort and sense of balance and stability, which is essential for peak performance.

Practicing different types of mindfulness can help players stay focused and better manage their emotions during intense game situations. Research shows that regular meditation increases concentration and helps ward off distractions so that athletes can perform to the best of their abilities.

Implementing these activities helps increase focus while you enjoy playing lacrosse and improve overall well-being off the field.

6. Reframe negative thoughts

While staying positive during tough times can be difficult, there is always an opportunity to reframe your outlook. This means viewing the situation from a different perspective and looking for the silver lining within each challenge.

If you feel overwhelmed or discouraged during a lacrosse match, practice reframing negative thoughts into positive ones so you can remain focused on the task and confidently face future challenges.

Proactively reframing negative thoughts makes it easier to stay mentally focused during games and remain resilient when faced with adversity. Through regular practice and determination, finding inner strength through reframing will help ensure that nothing can keep you from achieving greatness!


Are sports 90% mental?

It is widely accepted that sports are a combination of physical and mental components, but there is no definitive answer as to the exact percentage breakdown between the two.

 While the importance of having a strong mental game cannot be denied, having a strong foundation of physical abilities and skills is also crucial for success in any sport.

Is lacrosse a mental sport?

cross country mental toughness

Yes, lacrosse is a highly mental sport. It requires a lacrosse player to think quickly and make decisions on the fly in order to outsmart their opponents.

The ability to read the opposing team's strategies, anticipate their next move, and find ways to counter them makes lacrosse challenging and mentally taxing.

To succeed in lacrosse, you must control your emotions while staying focused on the task.

What is the best sport for mental health?

Popular choices in this category include running, swimming, cycling, yoga, and team sports such as basketball or soccer. These activities can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even trauma while promoting overall mental well-being.

It is important to find a physical activity that you enjoy, and that offers improved mood, stress relief, and increased focus.

How do I become a confident lacrosse player?

Becoming a confident lacrosse player starts with having a mastery of the basics.

Practice your skills regularly, such as passing, catching, shooting, and more. Make sure you understand the rules and strategies of the game and get familiar with different playing styles.

Rely on your teammates to support you during difficult plays and take on challenges pushing you outside your comfort zone.

How do you teach mental toughness in sports?

Teaching mental toughness in sports involves creating an environment of trust and respect.

Sports require athletes to manage emotions, think strategically, respond to adversity, and take risks. A coach can help foster a sense of confidence and grit by using positive reinforcement rather than punishment when previous mistakes were made.

Which lacrosse goalie mental training is the best?

Regarding lacrosse goalie mental training, the best approach involves building confidence, focusing on the basics, and setting goals.


Like any other sport, lacrosse requires a competitive mental focus and determination.

Remaining mentally tough through the good and bad times can make all the difference for any competitive lacrosse athlete. Whether developing as a lacrosse beginner or striving to reach the highest levels of excellence, keeping your mind in tune is just as important as physically perfecting your game.

So with practice and dedication, the next step is yours. Put in the work and never lose sight of lacrosse mental toughness drills needed to triumph in big games to become an unbeatable competitor!

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here