All Access Stony Brook Lacrosse Practice: Ground Ball and Shooting Drills

In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you to Stony Brook, New York for a behind-the-scenes look at a Stony Brook University men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as former head coach Rick Sowell leads his squad through a number of team drills in preparation for the season opener – just two weeks away.

This All Access session presents a great opportunity for coaches and players to see exactly how a top college lacrosse program prepares for opponents during the week. In this example, Coach Sowell talks to his team in the locker room before reviewing game film from a previous contest. Eventually, the players take to the field and run through a variety of ground ball and shooting drills that mimic game-like situations and quick decision-making.

Locker Room Discussion and Video Review

First, Coach Sowell talks with his squad about ways they can get to the fourth quarter and give themselves a chance to win every game. Concepts such as team defense, fundamentals, knowing your role, and establishing a gameplan are all discussed. Says Sowell, “Remember going forward, time and score matters. It must factor into everything we do. Playing your role is also important, especially when trying to set the game plan.”

Next, Sowell reviews video footage from a recent contest, focusing on defensive tactics. Specific player movements are detailed, including how they should react based on offensive passes and dodges.


Ground Ball Drill

After the locker room discussion, the team begins practice with a competitive 1-on-1 ground ball drill. Basically, it’s a fight for possession where players must scoop up the ground balls under major pressure. Once they scoop, the player with possession sprints back the other direction and tries to elude the defender.  In this scoop and run drill, short sticks may end up going against long sticks. Players will start at a specified line before the coach rolls out a ball. Players can also work on their ground ball moves as well, such as boxing out the defender.


Shooting Drills

First, one after another, players move across the crease unloading inside shots on cage. This is an opportunity for players to really work on their hands, shooting close to the net, and overall accuracy in a tight space. It’s also a chance for players to practice different shots down low. For instance, changing planes when making a fake. This drill is a great way for players to get a lot of shots in a short amount of time.

Later on, players move into rapid fire shots. There are dozens of balls set on the ground in two areas at the point. One player scoops and passes across before a shooter dodges or carries and fires on net. This drill is a perfect way to get into shooting shape.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Lacrosse Practice with Rick Sowell.” To check out more videos in our All Access lineup, simple head over to our lacrosse catalog here.

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