Watch as Rutgers men’s head lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta leads his team through a series of multi-purpose line drills and clearing drills. The following lacrosse drills are designed to use with a small number of coaches, to involve every player, and to produce a large amount of repetitions in a short amount of time. The drills also work on a variety of aspects of the game, particularly passing, communication, awareness, transition play and unsettled situations. See what you can take away from some of Coach Stagnitta’s favorite drills – workouts that should also ensure of an efficient and effective practice session.
Start with two lines on opposite sides of the field. Begin by going right-handed. One player starts with the ball and runs across the field before passing the ball to the next player sprinting towards him. That player than sprints and passes to the next guy in line, and the cycle continues. Use two balls at the same time with guys cycling through, this will give you lots of reps in a short amount of time. It’s an ideal drill because it gets a lot of players involved at once, and is perfect if you don’t have a lot of coaches present.
Next, switch things up to Lefty Outside. Passes should go to the outside shoulder and players must reach across their bodies to catch the ball. They should also throw left-handed. Make sure that players communicate at all times.
Switch to Ground Ball Towards. Start with a pass across. Then, the next players will roll out a ground ball to the next player across from him. That player will then scoop the ball and dish off to the next guy in line. The pattern continues. Make sure that you pick it up, bend over and get the ball out of your stick quickly. This drill can always be done with the right and left hands.
Finally, finish things up with Ball Away. Here, the player who catches the ball rolls out a ground ball to a teammate and then steps out to take his/her place. That player who stepped out then scoops up the next ground ball from his teammate and passes across the field. The sequence goes like this: catch the ball, roll it back out, step out, scoop up ball and then dish to next guy across the field.
The goal with this clearing drill is to work on going from an outlet pass and into a clearing pattern. It’s also ideal to run in order to practice your basic clearing patterns without making it skeleton. Once you’ve transitioned up the field, you can then work on 4-on-3 and 5-on-4 fast breaks.
The drill starts with the goalie with the ball. Depending on what type of clear the coach wants, the transition will often be different each time. In this case, the goalie will pass to the wing defender. He will then sprint toward the sideline a bit and then turn and throw the ball across the field to the opposite defender. Once this happens, the unit will now set up the clear. Now, the defender will run with the ball up field before passing it along the sideline to the nearest midfielder (around mid-field). That midfielder will now take the ball into the offensive zone and commence the 4-on-3 fast break.
Remember, you can also add another defender and make it a 5-on-4 fast break. This time, switch things up a bit and have the defender on the wing pass it to a middle defender to lead the team up the field for the fast break. You can implement all kinds of different clearing patterns here, from up the middle to crossing it between defender, passing to a middle defender and then transitioning up the right side, left side or middle and into a 4-on-3 or 5-on-4 fast break.