Key Multi-Purpose Practice Drills to Promote Skill Development

Former Rutgers University men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta is a big proponent of using multi-purpose drills during his practices. The drills maximize staff and players to produce an efficient, fast-paced, competitive, and effective practice session.

With the current Denver Outlaws head coach as your guide, check out these dynamic multi-purpose drills that particularly promote skill development. The drills — which include moving target passing and over the shoulder full-field exercises — should make a great addition to your practice plan this season.

Fundamentals: Moving Target Drill

In this moving target drill, a group of players start clustered together in the middle of the drill (perhaps 7 or 8 total). There are always four players involved at a time passing the ball around the horn and outside of the cluster. Essentially, once you pass the ball, you move back into the center. The goal is to hit moving targets on the run, simulating game situations.

During a game, players aren’t just standing around and catching and throwing. Since most passing occurs while while on the move, this is a great drill to practice that. The ball moves around the horn and new players are always rotating through.

Tips: Players should always be moving their feet. Step towards your target when throwing the ball. Pick up the pace as you go along and get as many repetitions as you can. Communicate often and call for the ball.

Start the drill going right-handed. Then switch to the left hand. Players should be going out about 10 yards, but make sure that they don’t leave too soon. Timing is key. Also, have the players throw the ball across their body. Always move your feet when you catch it.


Catch Right, Throw Left

Next, players should practice rolling to the outside, evading pressure, and making a nice, crisp pass. The simulation goes as follows: Catch, turn, roll away from pressure, and deliver the pass. This drill helps players improve on their “C” cuts and advancing the pass/play.

Like the previous drill, timing is also key here. Players want to be in sync. Keep the spacing as and pick up the pace as you move along. After a few minutes, switch to catching left and throwing right.


Over the Shoulder Drill

This effective full-field drill focus on handling the ball over the shoulder, getting game-like situations, and taking as many reps as possible.

Players will break out to the right side first. The goalie will throw an outlet. Catch the ball over your shoulder, use proper technique, and then turn to the sideline. That player will then throw to the next guy up the field (around midfield). He will call for the ball over the shoulder, keeping the stick protected to the sideline. The ball moves one more time down and is then thrown to the goalie. Make sure that you go up and down the sidelines on both sides of the field.

Keys: Work on proper fundamentals like making good passes and communicating. Players should catch everything on the run. Also, work on realistic and game-like movements.

Finish the drill by going left-handed over the shoulder on the left side of the field.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse” with Jim Stagnitta. To check out more essential practice drills, head over to our extensive lacrosse library.

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