Use Wall Ball Drills to Quickly Improve Stick Skills
Wall ball is one of the most effective lacrosse training drills for rapidly improving stick skills. The constant repetitions hone hand-eye coordination, increase hand speed, and drill proper throwing and catching mechanics into muscle memory. Unlike stationary target practice, wall ball introduces movement and unpredictability to challenge reaction time and force you to adjust to errant rebounds. Start close to the wall and use proper form – stepping into throws, following through, and keeping your hands away from your body on catches. Increase distance and work on scooping up ground balls off the bounce. Move side to side to snag off-target returns, maintaining concentration. Use different throwing styles – overhand, 3/4 arm, sidearm, underhand. Vary the speed and location of your throws. Work both hands equally to build ambidexterity. Play against a friend to introduce competitiveness. Keep count of consecutive catches to track progress over time. Wall ball provides a self-motivating solo workout to ingrain fundamentals. Just 10 minutes daily yields rapid sticks skills improvements. It develops the quickness, accuracy, and confidence needed to excel during passing, catching, and shooting in live lacrosse game situations.
Sharpen Shooting Accuracy with Target Practice Drills
Target practice is an essential lacrosse training drill for honing shooting accuracy and scoring skills. Start close to the net and aim for specific targets – upper corners, low to high, near and far pipes, top shelf. Use a variety of different shots – overhand, sidearm, behind-the-back, on-the-run. Work on picking corners and placing shots just out of the goalie’s reach. Move further out to challenge range. Set up stationary targets to practice hitting precise spots. Do rapid fire shots for consistency. Train one-on-one against a goalie to gain experience shooting under pressure. Develop a repertoire of shot fakes, rolls, and dodges to get open for scoring opportunities. Keep track of your shooting percentage over time. Analyze misses to identify weaknesses – grip, footwork, release point, follow through. Refine and smooth out your mechanics. Shoot from game-like situations to make practice as realistic as possible. Shoot after completing conditioning drills when physically fatigued. Master shooting on the move while being defended. Nothing builds a lethal scorer like target practice. It ingrains the proper technique, touch, and accuracy needed to relentlessly hit the back of the net in game situations. Consistent target shooting drill workouts build the confidence and muscle memory to capitalize on every scoring chance.
Wall Ball Drills Rapidly Improve Lacrosse Stick Skills
Wall ball is one of the most effective solo lacrosse training drills for quickly developing superior stick skills. It provides high repetition of the essential fundamentals – passing, catching, scooping ground balls, and cradling. The constant back-and-forth motion ingrains proper mechanics into muscle memory and builds hand-eye coordination. Start close to the wall and focus on fundamentals – stepping into throws, following through, giving a target, meeting passes out front, keeping hands away from body on catches. Increase distance and work both sides equally. Vary throwing styles – overhand, 3/4 arm, sidearm, underhand, behind-the-back. Move laterally to field off-target returns. Work on plucking bad passes and ground balls out of the air. Change up speeds and locations to challenge reaction time and hand quickness. Use different surfaces like brick or concrete to practice unpredictable rebounds. Compete against a partner tracking consecutive catches. Just 10-15 minutes per day provides tremendous gains. Wall ball develops the quick stick skills needed to excel at passing, catching, cradling, and scooping in game situations. The self-motivating solo workout ingrains muscle memory and confidence. Fielding bad throws and adjusting to errant rebounds builds hand-eye coordination and reaction time critical for midfield play.
Cone Drills Develop Footwork and Dodging Moves
Cone drills are a simple yet highly effective workout for honing essential lacrosse footwork and dodging skills. Set up a line of cones in a zig-zag pattern. Start with wider gaps and work on change of direction – forward, lateral shuffle, backward runs. Execute quick sticks, fakes, and rolls around cones. As footwork improves, tighten cone spacing to sharpen cuts and develop elusiveness. Incorporate full speed sprints with changes of direction at each cone. Work right to left and vice versa. Do repeat suicide runs touching each cone. Set up cones in game-like situations to practice cuts, picks and defending maneuvers. Execute proper v-cuts, l-cuts and split cuts. Defend cones by working on body position, poke checks, and footwork. Mimic riding scenarios by applying pressure. Combine conditioning drills with cone work – high knees, butt kicks, cariocas, shuffles, backpedals. Finish workouts with full field sprints touching each cone. Cone drills provide endless variability to improve agility, quickness, footwork and dodging moves. The dynamic start-stop motion and reactivity develops game speed explosiveness and elusiveness. Mastering changes of direction, cuts, and pivots creates separation from defenders critical for attackmen and midfielders.
Fast Break Drills Improve Transition Speed
Fast break drills are essential for improving the transition speed and endurance needed to relentlessly push the pace on the lacrosse field. The key is continuous motion at high intensity with no breaks. Set up on opposite ends of the field. One player starts with the ball and sprints toward the other end, completing a pass at full speed. The receiver immediately turns upfield bursting back toward the starting end. Execute give-and-go cuts at top speed focusing on proper off-ball movement. Run timed continuous lengths focusing on pace and conditioning. Push to decrease completion times while maintaining stick skills and passing accuracy. Run broken clears by adding a simulated ride and requiring dodging and re-defending. Practice outlet passes to start breaks and call out imaginary assignments to read and react. Mimic game situations by facing off, clearing, and fast breaking to a quick shot on goal. Run wings on faceoffs to start from a standstill. Finish workouts with full field sprints. Fast break drills develop stamina, endurance, and mental toughness by accustoming players to constant up-tempo play. Mastering the transition game creates opportunities for odd-man breaks, quick strikes, and easy transition goals.
Agility Ladder Drills Enhance Footwork and Coordination
Agility ladder drills are a versatile workout for improving critical lacrosse footwork and coordination. Set up a flat ladder with the rungs spaced 1-2 feet apart. Face forward jogging through staying on the balls of your feet with high knees. Next, run sideways shuffling in and out of each rung. Face sideways and work on crossovers stepping laterally over each rung. Walk backwards placing each foot carefully in the rungs. Skip through bringing knees high while maintaining balance. Do two foot mini-jumps rapidly going in and out. Combine with other footwork like hop scotches, jumping jacks, and cariocas. Add sticks for added challenges. Run while cradling or passing back and forth with a partner. Work on stick tricks like behind-the-backs and split dodges. Set up cones alongside the ladder and practice dodges attacking the gaps. Time suicides touching the ladder, cones, and across. Finish with stickwork or dodging around the full ladder. Agility ladders improve coordination, balance, lateral quickness, start-stop skills and brain-body connection. The limitless patterns and footwork combinations ingrain muscle memory essential for precise cuts, picks and reacting in tight spaces during games.
Become Ambidextrous by Practicing with Both Hands
One of the best ways to gain a competitive edge in lacrosse is to become fully ambidextrous with both hands. Work on passing, catching, cradling, scooping and shooting equally with your dominant and weak hand. Start with simple drills like wall ball and gradually increase the degree of difficulty. Challenge your weak hand by setting up target passing working on accuracy. Focus on putting the same touch and spin on passes. When catching, keep your weak hand further away from your body to control errant passes. Cradle with your weak hand up and switch back and forth to prevent defenders from knowing your tendency. Take shots angled from the weak side to improve off-hand shooting. Pick up groundballs left-handed by sliding your bottom hand lower down the shaft for greater control. Visualize your hands as equals, not dominant versus weak. Being competent with both hands makes you impossible for defenders to scout and prepare for. The versatility provides a major competitive advantage allowing you to pass, catch, cradle, pick up ground balls and shoot from either side without hesitation. Make ambidexterity a priority in your training and you’ll unlock your full potential as a lacrosse player.
Conditioning with Sprints and Interval Training
Lacrosse requires tremendous endurance, speed, and stamina to maintain a fast pace for four quarters. A conditioning program focused on high-intensity sprints and intervals is essential. Incorporate longer timed runs to build an aerobic base. Mix in stairs, bleachers, hills, and sled pushes to train power and explosiveness. Design complex circuits using cones – suicides, dodges, cuts, jumps. Perform lacrosse-specific drills at full speed with limited rest. Challenge speed with timed full-field sprints. Work on lateral quickness with shuttle runs. Build strength in the weight room with squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts. Use plyometrics like box jumps and hurdle hops to boost vertical leaping ability. Structure interval training with short bursts of maximum intensity followed by brief rest. Maintain motivation and vary workouts to prevent boredom. Emphasize proper running technique and mechanics. Increase intensity progressively to force adaptations without overtraining. Proper conditioning maximizes acceleration, top speed, lateral motion, endurance and VO2 max. Outworking opponents in the off-season translates into a fourth quarter edge during games when fitness matters most.
Drill Clearing Techniques to Maintain Possession
Successfully clearing the ball from defense to offense is critical for maintaining possession and generating scoring opportunities. Work on clearing fundamentals like scooping ground balls, outlet passing, and breaking pressure. Drill proper technique for boxing out ground balls using your body position to gain control. Set up outlets and practice hitting them in stride leading upfield. Execute clears against token pressure, then progress to live riding situations. Make clears more challenging by yelling out assignments and on-the-fly adjustments. Mimic game scenarios by connecting clears to fast breaks and 6-on-6 situations. Work on clearing off the faceoff using wings and long sticks. Run timed clear drills and keep track of completion percentages. Analyze each failure to identify weaknesses. Are you throwing lazy outlet passes? Failing to scan upfield? Not communicating cutters? Losing composure under pressure? Strive for perfect execution. Turn good clears into great ones by executing fakes, roll dodges, and split dodges to beat defenders. Condition clears by running repetitive suicide sprints beforehand. Clearing proficiency leads directly to scoring chances so drill them relentlessly. Crisp outlet passing, heads-up outlet cuts, and clearing with composure under pressure are the keys to maintaining possession and momentum.
Hone Defensive Skills with Poke Checks and Positioning
Mastering fundamental defensive techniques like poke checking, footwork, and body positioning is critical for keeping opponents in front of you. Drill your poke check starting with the proper grip – top hand at the end to generate maximum leverage. Keep your stick head up and your hands apart. Time pokes to match the offender’s cradle focusing on their bottom hand and shooting side elbow. Start by shadowing in front of a mirror. Progress to poking against a teammate, then move on to live dodging. Work on approaches from different angles – front, side, behind. Drill footwork and body position by shadowing dodgers with a mirror or mannequin. Maintain athletic stance and force them sideways. Use quick lateral shuffle steps to mirror cuts and deny openings. Jam hands and prepare to absorb contact when dodgers tried to roll back. Condition poke check endurance with slide drill circuits. Apply token ball pressure when your teammate has the offender covered. Communicate checks and slides. Work within team concepts maintaining inside position in support. Defensive mastery lets you dictate matchups and play shutdown coverage. Active sticks, disciplined footwork and smart positioning prevents goals just as effectively as spectacular takeaway checks.
Communication Builds Teamwork on the Lacrosse Field
Constant communication between teammates is vital for executing team defensive and offensive concepts in lacrosse. Work on calling out checks, slides, picks, cuts, and skips during drills. Use terms and verbiage directly from your team’s game plan. Repetition builds familiarity and cohesion. Defensively, loudly call out matchups in transition and declare when you have your man covered. Yell “I’ve got ball” and “I’ve got two” to coordinate slides and prevent over-sliding. Remind each other to play inside position and “bump” cutters through picks. On clears, point and call out outlet options. Designate release men and designate side preferences. Offensively, communicate ball movement like “zip, pop, skip” to quickly move the ball around. Call out picks and direct cutters with terms like “pick left” and “cutter opposite.” Use checks and dummies to sync movements and misdirect defenders. Apply immediate peer coaching when execution breaks down. Strong communication improves reaction time, cohesion, chemistry, and accountability. Teams that consistently talk through team concepts execute noticeably faster with fewer mistakes. Vocal leadership translates directly into improving defensive stops, clearing efficiency, and scoring execution.
Analyze Film to Read Defenses and Tendencies
Studying game film and analytic breakdowns provides invaluable scouting intelligence and match-up advantages. Review film of upcoming opponents focusing on their defensive schemes, slide packages, and matchup tendencies. Look for weaknesses like middies who don’t ride back hard or defenders who are susceptible to certain dodges. Note if they play straight man, zone, or hybrid defenses. Identify their top defenders and match them up with your top scorers when planning game strategy. Break down offensive sets as well looking for zone weaknesses and tendencies out of certain formations that can be exploited. Use advanced analytics to quantify shooting percentages from certain angles or dodges types. Track individual stats like ground balls, caused turnovers, and shooting accuracy. Compare goalie save percentages high vs. low, left vs. right. Analyzing film exposes strategic advantages that can then be incorporated into practice plans and game prep. The insights allow you to counter their tactics and attack favorable match ups. In-depth film study and analytics reveal subtleties that make the difference between evenly-matched competitors. Don’t let your opponent gain a preparation edge – do your film homework.
Develop Leadership as an Attackman or Midfielder
Lacrosse teams need vocal leaders, especially at the attack and midfield positions. Lead by example with relentless work ethic, accountability, and a team-first attitude. Arrive early and stay late setting the tone. Uplift teammates with positive reinforcement and encouragement. Help struggling players improve with extra coaching and drilling. Speak up if the team lacks focus or intensity. Challenge teammates to raise their games in practice. Build bonds off the field organizing outings and team meals. Earn trust and respect by making smart plays and prioritizing the team over individual goals. Establish a potent connection with the offense running high pick plays and quick sticks for goals. Translate scout and film study into game plans and matchup strategies. Provide constructive feedback not criticism during sideline conversations. Calmly rally the team after big momentum swings. Handle interviews and interactions with class. Accept responsibility for failures along with successes. Leadership capabilities separate good lacrosse players from great ones. Your legacy will be defined by making teammates better and leading the program to new heights.
Perfect Throwing Mechanics for Accurate Passing
Consistently hitting targets with pinpoint passes requires proper throwing mechanics and technique. Start by gripping the stick with your dominant hand at the very bottom and lead hand spaced above shoulder-width apart. Point your lead elbow at the target with your shoulders aligned squared. Shift weight onto your back foot as you initiate the throw by rotating your hips and core. Power comes from your legs, not just your arms. Rotate your top hand thumb towards the target, rolling your wrists and generating snap by squeezing the shaft. Follow through high finishing with the head of the stick pointed at your target. Make minor grip adjustments for sidearm and underhand throws leading with the bottom hand thumb. Focus on smooth weight transfer and rotation using core strength not just arm muscles. Accuracy comes from repetition to ingrain muscle memory. Work on landing passes to specific targets starting stationary then adding movement. Vary speeds and throwing styles. To prevent defenders from timing passes, use shot fakes and vary your delivery. Perfect passing comes from mechanics, technique, and hours of deliberate repetitions. Strive to make every pass catchable for teammates.