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This week’s player development feature focuses on improving your offensive output through a series of effective rapid fire shooting drills. The drills are led by Salisbury head men’s lacrosse coach Jim Berkman, who is well-known for producing high-scoring offensive squads over the years.
The drills — which move at a quick pace and allow players to get a ton of reps in a short period of time — will help improve your overall shooting mechanics. They also focus on offensive players being able to finish inside, shoot in tight situations, shoot on the run, and improve hand, head and stick fakes.
The only equipment coaches will need are cones, goals and plenty of lacrosse balls.
Teams should set up three goals right next to each other. Then, set up four lines of players, two on the sides of the nets, and two out in front of the cages about 10 yards part. The lines next to the goals are passing lines and the players in those lines will pass the ball diagonally to the shooters.
Meanwhile, shooters make up the two lines out in front of the cages. The shooters will cut hard on a diagonal to the center before receiving a pass from the opposite feeder. As soon as they receive the pass, the player will shoot it hard and fast. Once the shot is taken, the next person in line goes.
Remember, since both shooting lines go at once, shooters must watch out for each other when going through the drill. Keep the pace of the drill brisk and players should always be working on their explosiveness, mechanics and shooting accuracy.
This drill is quite similar in nature to the previous diagonal passing drill, except now after players catch the ball from the feeders, they will roll back “away from their defender”, get their hands free and take the shot.
In other words, the shooters must pivot, step forward with one foot, turn their body and reposition their hands before shooting on the opposite side. Watch the clip below and really focus in on the footwork and proper mechanics.
Same Side Split
Now, the feeders will pass to the shooters straight out in front of them and not in a diagonal direction. The shooters will catch the pass on their outside shoulder and then split dodge, sweep across the goal and shoot on the run.
Remember, aim to keep the intensity of the drill always running high. There should be no gaps between the time a shooter finishes and when the next player starts. The key here is to simulate game-like movements and speeds.
Same Side Rollback
Like before, players will now catch the ball on the same side as the passer (not on a diagonal) before making a rollback move and then sweeping across and shooting on the run.
These four shooting drills can be seen on the Championship Productions DVD “How to Create a Great Shooter and Individual Player” featuring Jim Berkman and Salisbury Lacrosse. Be sure to check out more shooting and offensive resources in our exclusive lacrosse catalog.