Monday, August 20, 2007

Lacrosse Drills - Variety is the spice of life

When you have played lacrosse for as long as I have (15 years) the same old routine gets boring so it is important for lacrosse coaches to have a large variety of lacrosse drills that they can run on the training track. The more varied each training session is the higher the intensity will be for the session. At the same time, its good to have structure too. I.E, start with ball handling / stick skills, move onto offensive drills then finish with defensive drills. This is just an example of a structure that you can keep but the drills in each focus area should vary from session to session.

Plan each session and don't just make it up as you go. This will lead to repeating the same old lacrosse drills each session. It will get monotonous and some players will switch off mentally.

Block each session into slots of 20 minutes so if you have a 2 hour session you have 6 slots. Decide the focus area of each of the slots and then select drills for those focus areas. Cary a watch during the session and stick to the times that you allocate each slot as this will keep the intensity high which is one of our main goals. Here is an example of a training session plan:

Start Time 12pm
Duration 1 hour 40 minutes

Slot 1 - 20 minutes - Warm up / Stick Skills
  • Players warm up
  • End to end line drill
  • 4 corner break out line drill
  • 4 corner v-cut line drill
Slot 2 - 20 minutes - Offensive
  • Fast break drill
  • Slow break drill
  • 4 attack vs 3 defense
Slot 3 - 20 minutes - Defensive
  • 1 on 1 dodging
  • 2 on 2
  • 3 on 3
Slot 4 - 20 minutes - Scenarios
  • 6 on 6 attack up by 1 goal with 3 minutes remaining (ball retention)
  • 6 on 6 attack down by 1 goal with 2 minutes remaining (need to score)
  • Man down in defense (6 on 5)
  • Man down in offense (5 on 6)
Slot 5 - 20 minutes - Full Field
  • Full field clearing (defensive unit focus)
  • Full field riding (offensive unit focus)
  • Face off with midfielders coming in.
This looks like quite a lot to cover in a single session but that is the idea. Keep the lacrosse drills short and sharp and the players will be motivated and focused. This structure is tried and tested at all levels of lacrosse from kids right up to college and the pro leagues.

Plan your sessions in advance and stick to the plans. Stick to a structure but vary the drills with the structure and each session will be enjoyable and beneficial for you and the players.

The drills above are just a few examples of lacrosse drills and more detail can be found in the many lacrosse coaching books and DVDs available at amazon. Here is my favorite with particularly good lacrosse drills: The Confident Coach's Guide to Teaching Lacrosse.