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.
Marc Van Arsdale was part of Dominic Starsia’s coaching staff for the 2011 NCAA Championship at the University of Virginia, and here Coach Van Arsdale provides you with a passing and catching drill that works on catching the ball over the shoulder. This is an excellent way to work on midfielders breaking out for a pass over their shoulder.
Drill Summary: All the players begin in a line. The first player in line runs out to make a cut and the second player in line throws a pass to the space over the shoulder of the first player. The first player makes the catch on the run and immediately turns up field and passes to a coach or another player that is another 10-15 yards up the field. That coach will then throw it back to the first player who, after passing the ball, has turned around and begins running back to where he began. He finishes by passing back to the spot of the next passer.
This drill mimics a key component of executing the fast break. Players should work on using both hands for this drill and use their teammates names as a way to strengthen team communication and to ensure that they pass to the correct player.
In this segment, Back-to-Back NCAA Championship Coach (2014 & 2013), John Danowski, teaches the mechanics of a quick catch and shot. The two keys of this drill are for the player who is shooting to catch the ball behind his head with his hands all the way back and then to transfer his weight from his back foot to his front foot as he shoots. The drill reinforces the concept of quickly catching and shooting.
Athlete Movement: Have a coach or a player toss a ball in the air to the shooter. Toss the ball behind the player so that he can catch it behind his head and immediately shoot the ball while transferring his weight from his back foot to his front foot. The shooter should not cradle the ball.
The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Technique & Drills for Championship Lacrosse.” View the latest videos on Lacrosse Shooting Drills.
Beth Larkin, 2010 New Jersey Coach of the Year, uses the Crosse Trainer to discuss catching basics. She advises players to keep their stick head out in front of the body and above the shoulder. Movement of each player’s feet is also stressed to ensure that they can get to the ball and catch it.
For youth players, it is recommended that a coach throw balls by hand to players instead of having partners throw passes that may be too fast or inaccurate.
The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “CrosseTrainer: Building Proper Stick Skills with Color (Girls).” To view the latest video selections on Lacrosse Skill Development, click here.
In this segment Jason Breyo, Lambert (GA) High School Assistant Lacrosse Coach, teaches the defenders how to catch the ball over their shoulder while on the run. This drill helps to improve clearing the ball after a goalie save and also addresses player safety.
Player Movements: To make the drill even more challenging, you can have the defensive player take a few steps after catching the ball and then pass with the same hand to a Middie or Attackman further up field.
Drill Essentials: Players must try to catch the ball without turning, slowing down, or stopping.
Drill Tips: The goalie has the important task of throwing a leading pass to the player, not behind them. If the player has to turn to make the catch, it not only slows them down, but also raises the risk of getting hit.