|My Account||Wish List||View Cart||Checkout|
This week’s player development feature emphasizes ground ball skills and individual stickwork. The following drills will get your players a lot of touches on the ball, tons of repetitions, and should help them build a strong aerobic base. The drills are first diagrammed on the whiteboard and then carried out on the field by the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team.
This drill replicates situations when you are getting pursued on a ground ball. It’s different than facing uncontested ground balls, as now you have some pressure from behind or the side. It’s also about being able to scoop and escape from a variety of different ways and then finding your teammate.
The four players involved are the Roller, Scooper, Chaser, and Baseline. Start this drill at the top of the box or midfield line. Get your roller up top and then the rest of the players almost stacked together.
The roller has all the balls. His job is to roll balls toward the scooper and to control the placement of balls (mixing it up quite a bit). The scooper’s job is to scoop the ball up, but he must feel the pressure behind. Then he must explode on the ball, listen to his baseline teammate, escape, get his hands free, and then throw a possession pass. Making that first pass after the pressure is really critical. Meanwhile, the relationship between the two is crucial to success and escape. The scooper often powers through it with communication from his baseline man (saying things like, “Roll right” or “Pressure on left hip”, etc.).
The baseline man is movable and vocal. The decision now is: Can I throw this ball without being checked? Can I throw it without having to pass through the chaser’s stick? If he can’t, look to split dodge or turn to elude the defense. Then it will be easier for the player to make the pass to the baseline man. The scooper now reads the chaser and can make jump cuts and backdoor cuts to get open.
Get a line of players ready to go. Next, get a coach with a ball and a stick, plus some spare balls back behind the players. “Around the Clock” is a rapid fire drill designed to get a lot of repetitions and touches.
Have the coach set up in the middle of the field by himself and with a ball. He will start by rolling out an uncontested ground ball towards the first player in line. This player will then come up with the goal to pick it up as fast as he can, move his feet, and get the ball back to the coach. The coach will adjust his position and then roll out another ground ball, this time to the next guy in line.
Like a clock, the coach will move all around the field, switching from the left to the right, or moving out in front or to the side. Players should get the ball in and out of their stick as fast as possible. The great thing about this drill is that it allows for creativity on the player’s part. Look to implement a variety of different stick skills and maneuvers, like goosing, rollaways, and more.
Tip: Get your hands in a good position on the stick. Your top hand should be at the top of stick and your bottom hand should be at the bottom of the stick. Come up with a nice cradle, get in a protect position, and quickly move the ball to the next open teammate.
Look to implement this dynamic circuit workout for in-season strength training. Follow along with Syracuse University Strength & Conditioning Olympic Sports Director Veronica Dyer as she leads you through a pair of circuit workouts proven to be effective for lacrosse players.
Circuits are fast-paced, quick, and challenging strength training exercises designed to mix up a traditional strength and conditioning program. Let’s start with this circuit.
Med Ball Slam - Slam a med ball side to side. Be sure to always bring the ball back up over your head after each purposeful slam. This exercise really engages the core and shoulders.
Havards – Use a standard bench for this one. Stand straight and facing the bench. Tap your toe quickly to the bench, alternating feet. This is almost like a running motion. Look to go quicker each time.
Wide Pushups – Get your hands out wider than your standard pushups (further than shoulder width apart). Your body should be nice and in line. Get down and deep. The wider pushup exercise targets shoulder areas more, plus your chest muscles and triceps.
Crossover Step – Use a bench again for this exercise. Step with your outside leg up onto the bench and then down to the opposite side of the ground. Keep going back and forth like this, using your outside leg each time to step up and onto the bench. Establish a rhythm, pick up the pace, and always try to go a little bit faster.
Bench Dips – Use your hands and grab the bench behind you. Face away from the bench and keep your legs straight out. Dip down bending at the elbows and come back straight up. You can also bend your knees to make this an easier routine.
Wall Sit – Press your back against the ball. Keep your feet are shoulder width apart. Sink down with your back pressed nice and firm against the wall. Your arms should be down at your side. Remember to breathe. Hold this position about 20-45 seconds. Continue to breathe and don’t creep up against the wall.
Squat to Bench – Squat down, touch the bench with your butt, and stand all the way back up. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Make each rep controlled. Go down and all the way back. Keep a nice flat back and don’t do any turning or twisting.
Superhero Pushup Series
Superman Pushup - Come down and then lift up with one arm and the opposite leg. Alternate each time. Keep your back flat when you come up with that movement and don’t twist too much with the body. Make sure you are lifting with the shoulder and hip.
Batman - Do a pushup. Then open up like a cape to one side, turning those hips to the side. Then go down and back up with the opposite side. Square up your hips and really open up the body. Continue straight up with minimal rotation.
Spiderman – Go down and then bring that knee up to the side, as if crawling up a building. Look to bring the knee to the elbow.
Alternating V-Sit – Lay on the floor on your back with your arms behind you. Reach up with both hands to one leg. Crunch up and bring up the leg straight. Reach for the toe as high as you can and then come back down. Keep each rep nice and controlled.
Squat Hold – Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Drop down into a squat and hold it there. Keep your back flat and thighs parallel to the ground. Hold this position up to 45 seconds (depending on length of circuit).
Lateral Band Walk – Get bands around your ankles. Squat down, take two steps to the side, and then retreat. Look to maintain a lower squat position. Keep each movement controlled and always have tension in the band. Also, don’t get too close with the feet.
For more top notch Lacrosse instruction from Stanford University, take a look at the following products:
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Stony Brook, New York for a behind-the-scenes look at a Stony Brook University men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as former head coach Rick Sowell (currently the head coach at Navy) leads his squad through a pre-practice locker room discussion and a number of team drills in preparation for the season opener – which is just days away at the time.
This All Access session presents a terrific opportunity for coaches and players to see how a top-ranked college lacrosse program prepares during the week. In this particular example, Coach Sowell talks with his team in the locker room before reviewing game film from a previous scrimmage. Once the film session is over, the players head out to the field and participate in a number of half-field and man down drills that focus on game-like situations and quick repetitions.
First, on the heels of a two-day rest period, Coach Sowell meets with his squad and talks about effort, intensity, and recent accomplishments. Later on, defensive concepts and key preparation tactics are also discussed. Says Sowell, “Practice like you play so you will play great in big games.”
Coach Sowell then breaks down game film, starting with offensive strategies and making sure players know about their options and what to expect from the defense.
Next, the players take to the field for half-field drills. The team breaks up into two halves of the field, separating the offense and defense. On one side, the offensive players work on catching and shooting in tight spaces around the crease. On the other side of the field, the defense works on clearing under pressure. For instance, there’s a loose ball and the defense must play to space and clear the ball up field while the pressure is on from the riding unit.
The offense then moves into catching, dodging, and shooting on the run about 15 yards from the cage. The drills uses both the right and left sides of the field and goes at game speed. Eventually, the drill moves into catching and firing immediate shots and using a wind-up technique to fire hard on the cage.
Finally, the squad moves into man down drills that focus on back and forth action in a full-field setting. To begin, the offense is in a continual man-up situation. Eventually, the drill moves into 5-on-5 action starting with a transition break and trailer.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Stony Brook Lacrosse Practice with Rick Sowell.” To check out more videos in our All Access catalog, click here.
This week’s team development feature focuses on improving offensive output through a series of high-intensity shooting drills and team plays. Led by Salisbury University men’s lacrosse coach Jim Berkman, the following drills focus on dodging techniques, shooting on the move, accuracy, and getting a lot of reps in a short period of time. To finish up, we’ll reveal five offensive plays from the Salisbury playbook that have paid dividends for the squad in recent years. Then look for ways to incorporate these effective plays with your own squad as well.
Hitch and Shoot – In this drill, one player will throw across for the shooter, who makes a little hitch move, quick sweep, and then shoots on cage. You should be looking to a get a good hitch every time, aiming to freeze the defenders. Try to get from 13 to 11, i.e. shooting the ball inside 11 yards after the hitch move.
Dodge, Hitch, and Shoot – This is similar to our previous drill where the passer dishes to the shooter across. The shooter then catches the ball, hitches, dodges, and fires it on cage.
Roll Back Catch and Go – This particular drills works out of Salisbury’s “22 offense.” Try to implement this drill on both the right and left sides of the field. Here’s how it works. The shooter comes across to the middle of the field, receives a pass, sprints straight for about five yards, makes a quick stutter step, and then shoots it on the run.
Roll Back, Catch, and Step Out – This is a three-man drill that reinforces Salisbury’s offense. The ball moves around the horn until a player makes a little step-out move and then releases a shot on the run.
Wing Dodge and Roll Back – This drill mimics the situation when you are driving down the side and make a dodge to try to get back to the high side. Practicing stepping away from the defender and getting your hands free. It’s key to practice this so it becomes second nature in a game. Run this drill on the right and left sides — even at the same time.
Check out these effective offensive plays from Salisbury’s playbook and see how you can incorporate certain elements with your own squad this season.
23 – It all begins with a hard wing dodge and the ball swings to X. Next, there’s an option for an ISO from the wing. You can then swing it to the backside and get an effective pick for a quick-hitter coming off the backside. The player that picks should open to the ball.
24- The key to this play is picking the picker on the inside. Swing the ball to X, bang it right back, and then look inside for a shot.
25 – The “25″ play involves a double pick for a lefty coming off. Then there’s a re-pick on the inside for a curl. If nothing develops from those looks, you can take those guys to the ball side and swing to the backside for an ISO centering on the middie stepping off the crease.
Bishop – The key here is a wing undercut and backdoor option for a player who’s opening up the backside.
Bluejay – Finally, with “Bluejay”, there’s a double invert behind and you can make it look like you’re setting a pick with an attackman and swinging it to the backside. You then have a pick-the-picker play available on the crease.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “How to Create a Great Shooter and Individual Player” featuring Salisbury coach Jim Berkman. To find more shooting videos, check out our extensive lacrosse catalog.