2 Fundamental Practice Drills for Lacrosse with Bill Harkins

Through marker board demonstration and on-field simulations, Florida State men’s head lacrosse coach Bill Harkins leads you through two fundamental practice drills that will help prepare your players for game situations. Meanwhile, in addition to being practical and efficient, executing these drills at full speed will add a conditioning element to practices and should contribute towards an improvement in overall team endurance.

Weave Drill

Start with three lines of players, spaced evenly apart at the GLE. The ball can start in any of the three lines. The weave drill starts with passing. Simply throw the ball across to a player and lead your man. The man receiving the ball should give a good target. Remember: Always go behind the ball. So, we’re simply passing and catching all the way down the field (full length).

On the way back, players should follow the exact same format, except now implement ground balls. On the third time back down the field, players should stay in their own lanes while goosing (or “deflecting”) the ball all the way down the field. This is the only time that players won’t run behind the ball.


Three Line Clears

Start with a goalie to the right of the cage with plenty of balls and three lines to his/her left. Look to run this drill from both ends of the field. A coach should stand in the middle of the field and then blow the whistle three separate times, bringing players from both sides into action.

On the first whistle, the outside player sprints up field. Two seconds later, the middle player goes. Two seconds later, the third player breaks. As the third player breaks, the goalie passes to the inside and to this third player streaking up field. As soon as this player gets it, he throws a pass to the middle guy in stride up the field. As soon as he receives it, he throws a pass to the outside player in stride and up the field. When finished, they join the line on the opposite side.

As soon as a save happens, we want to simulate the goalie firing the ball up field as fast as he can and moving the ball up field, sparking a transition break and hopefully a scoring opportunity.

On the Field: At Florida State, the squad is constantly looking to get the ball up the field as fast as they can and attack. This drill simulates those situations when we just made a save and first player has broken for a fast break, the second player has broken, and third player has broken and is free. Then it’s a matter of progressing the ball up the field and to the front man who can attack the cage.

Don’t forget, you can also use long poles in this drill, too. Be sure to vary the drill by picking up the pace and using opposite sides of the cage.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Winning Practice Drills for Lacrosse” with Bill Harkins. To check out more drill-specific lacrosse videos, head over to our lacrosse library.

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