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Duke University assistant coach Ron Caputo shares one of the drills that he and head coach John Danowski use to control as many face-offs as possible. The Dead Stick drill is a precision drill that requires players to use sound technique to make sure they retain possession of a face-off.
Drill Summary: Two players get in a stance as though they were about to face-off. The first player’s job is to clamp the ball, put it between their legs and behind them on the ground, stay in the crab walk position when turning around (with their butt and back to the other player) and corral the ground ball. The second player assumes the face-off position, but doesn’t try to steal the ball until the first player puts it on the ground behind them. Another variation of this drill is to have the second player stand up at the start instead of getting in the face-off position. This forces the first player to explode out of their stance and concentrate on boxing out.
Keys to the Drill:
1) First player’s chest should be directly opposite the second player after the turn.
2) Exaggerate putting the other player on their back.
3) Get big on the box out.
4) Practice jamming.
Ivan Cohen, the 2014 German National Team goaltending coach for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships, presents a goalkeeping drill that will improve your goalies’ hand-eye coordination. In this drill, Coach Cohen stresses the importance of staying on the ball with every movement the goalie makes.
Drill Summary: For this drill, goalies should use the hand of a short stick turned upside-down to block incoming balls. After taking a defensive position in front of the net, a coach or teammate lobs balls at the goalies from 10-15 feet away. Goalies try to block the balls by getting the handle of the short stick on the ball when making the save. Do this for at least a minute, then swap goalies.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Drive the hands through the ball.
2) The first step should always be towards the ball.
3) Follow the ball to your stick with your eyes.
4) Use the same hand position as you’d use with a regular goalie stick.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Fundamental Skills and Drills for the Lacrosse Goalie.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!
In this drill aimed at the youth lacrosse player, head coach Kenneth “Bear” Davis of the Ohio Machine (MLL) teaches young athletes that assists can be fun too. Davis calls assists “apples,” which makes sharing the apples a rewarding experience for kids.
Drill Summary: If you have a player or two on your team that are great at splitting and ripping, they need to be able to pass if the defense starts keying in on them. To set up this drill, have the drilling player stand about twenty yards in front of the goal with the coach about halfway between. To begin, the coach tosses a ball to the player, who must catch the ball with a left handed grip. After catching the ball, the player runs at the coach, splits just before getting to the coach, attacks the goal, then passes off to another player who is standing on the other side of the goal for an assist. Make sure to switch directions after awhile so players can work on both hands.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Work on using both hands.
2) Make it look like you’re going to shoot before passing.
3) Switch with the ball facing you (to protect it).
4) Keep your eyes up.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Stick Handling & Shooting Drills for Youth Lacrosse.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!
3x National Championship Coach, Don Zimmerman, presents the “Diamond Drill.” This drill is good for working on passing and catching on the run and for getting the players to communicate. With four balls in the drill at once, players should be animated in calling for the ball and use each other’s names to avoid confusion when passing and catching.
Drill Summary: The drill begins with a line of Attack players at the top of the box in the middle, two lines of Middies, one on each side of the field where the midfield line and the restraining line intersect, and a line of Defenders at the top of the box at the other end of the field.
The drill begins with just two balls starting opposite of each other, with the first and third Middies. On the whistle, the first player in each line runs 45 degrees towards the line to the right and would make a right-handed across the chest pass. After a couple of passes, you will have four balls all going at the same time. As with most drills, you will want to reverse the direction and have the players go to the left for work on that side as well. It is important to pass such that you lead the player who will be catching.
Northwestern University Head Women’s Coach, Kelly Amonte Hiller, gives guidance on stick protection and cradling. She explains how a player can use good body positioning and stick skills to protect the ball in their stick while still being a threat to their opponent.
Coach Hiller gives an assortment of tips on how to use the body, as well cradling, to help your team keep the ball in their stick and keep control of the game.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Kelly Amonte Hiller’s Skills of a Champion: The Basics.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!