In the latest edition of All Access, we head back to Haverford, Pennsylvania for a behind-the-scenes look at a Haverford School boys’ lacrosse practice. Follow along as head coach John Nostrant leads his team through a number of warm-up and odd-man full-field drills.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn several effective drills that are a practice staple for one of the nation’s most renowned high school programs. Then look for ways to implement them with your own squad as you gear up for another lacrosse campaign.
Warm-ups – Passing and Stickwork
On the heels of a pre-pracitice pep talk, Haverford immediately gets into passing and stickwork drills. While the offensive unit starts in “Diamond”, the defense gets things going with footwork and ground ball drills. The defensive unit first focuses on changing positions based on ball movement around the perimeter.
Next in Diamond, the offensive players are working on meeting the pass, rolling back, and protecting the stick. Notice how the outside guys are working on long passes around the perimeter and quick ball movement while the inside guys are making rapid-fire passes between teammates set out about 10-12 yards apart.
Notre Dame Drill
In the Notre Dame Drill, players pick up ground balls, kick the ball, move it, and handle pressure in a high traffic scenario. This is a nonstop ground ball drill where half the team in the same area of the field. The drill, which goes for about one minute per repetition, works on each player’s ability to handle pressure and get the ball out of their own end of the field. Go for about 4 reps total.
With this final drill, players are coming down on a continuous 3-on-2 break where you got two top guys and a crease guy and one of the top guys will try to drive it down the side. You always want that middle guy to get down low on the high crease. If you do, try to pop it up through the middle. If the top guy tries to drive it across the top, then the crease guy comes out behind him. Make sure you designate a crease guy and he gets up the middle early.
As Coach Nostrant explains, there are a couple of different ways to approach a 3-on-2. For instance, you can drive it deep or you can put a guy inside and roll him out. If you drive it, the crease guy can pop out on the other side, while the other side drags it.
Notes: Look to play to points and make this drill competitive. Haverford will often put juniors and seniors up against freshmen and sophomores to get the competitive juices flowing.