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During his tenure as head men’s lacrosse coach at Robert Morris, Bear Davis developed his squad into one of the top scoring programs in the nation. By implementing game-like shooting drills into his regular practice plan, Davis ensured his players were comfortable within the offense, working on practical situations, and involved in competitive drills.
In this week’s team development feature, Davis leads you through whiteboard discussion and on-field simulations featuring three of his most effective drills. Each drill is suitable for players at nearly every level and easy to implement at your own practice with just a few adjustments. Look to deliver results with your own squad in practice and in game situations this season.
Begin by forming two lines out in front of the cage. Get your shooters in a line with each player possessing a ball. As players come up, they will feed to the opposite line across the cage. This player will then receive the pass and immediately fire on net. Be sure to point out a spot on cage that you want players to shoot on. Meanwhile, the next guy in line is ready to go because his teammate has a ball. Look to get tons of reps with this drill. This Time & Room drill is also similar to last week’s feature drill featuring John Nostrant and the Haverford School.
Start with a midfielder dodging down the alley. Next, get your attackmen to clear through and have the defenders step up. From here, the attackers will look to make a little fish hook move on the inside as the midfielder dodges down the alley. The midfielder will then dump it off to the attacker and the attacker will finish in tight.
Look to run this drill on both sides of the field and get a lot of reps in. Also, look to make over-the-shoulder feeds as well. Be sure that the attacker clears through for the dodger — this is key. The player inside here gets his hands free, catches, and looks to finish strong.
The key with change of direction shooting is for players to free up their hands (using your feet). It’s common for players to not always know what this means. Therefore to help with this concept, look to set out cones in front of the goal and get a coach in the middle (of the paint). Establish two lines of players starting from up top (on both sides of the field). One at a time, players start with a sprint to the middle (to free up some space), and then proceed toward the cage with a dodge. They will eventually get down to the cone nearest to the GLE, move back up to the top cone, get around this top cone, and finish off the shot.
Finally, make sure that players use their eyes to always read the slide attacker. We can do this by getting a coach set up in the middle to hold out a number and the players must shout these out. Through this, we will know that the players are dodging with their eyes up and are capable of reading when a player is sliding to try and take the ball away from them.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Game-Speed Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” featuring Kenneth “Bear” Davis. Check out more shooting videos by heading over to our lacrosse library.