By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
One of the first skills that youth lacrosse players must learn is how to cradle the ball correctly. In this exercise, former New Jersey high school Coach of the Year, Beth Larkin, shows a few young athletes where to put their hands, where to carry the ball and how to move their sticks.
Drill Summary: To cradle, a player’s bottom hand needs to be in the bottom six inches of the handle, while their top hand needs to be about 12-15 inches up the handle. Work on moving the ball in front of the body to both sides, with the bottom hand remaining loose and the top hand curling over the top. When the ball gets all the way on one side of the body, the player’s shoulders and the ball should line up.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Hand position.
2) Move the upper body with the cradle.
3) Envision keeping the ball away from a defender.
4) Top hand should curl over the top.
By dustin.moscoso - Last updated: Tuesday, December 9, 2014
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.
Stick Protection And Cradling
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.
By dustin.moscoso - Last updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Winningest Coach in NCAA Tournament History, Kelly Amonte Hiller, has players perform a partner passing drill while under pressure. This drill involves two players partner passing while two additional players are standing behind them acting as the opponent. The goal here is for players to build their cradling and awareness skills while throwing or receiving a pass.
Stick Protection Passing Drill
Athlete Movement: The drill starts with partner passing. As the ball is received, a player begins to protect the ball while the opponent behind them attempts to check their stick. After a few seconds of protecting, the ball carrier will throw the ball back to their partner and they repeat the process.
Drill Benefits: This is a great drill not only to get players to be aware of the area around them, but it also builds a player’s confidence when being challenged by an aggressive defensive unit.
By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
In this segment current assistant varsity coach at Lambert (GA) High School, Jason Breyo, offers a glimpse into one of his U9 practices. Watch as he guides his demonstrators through a relay race game in a youth practice. This is a great drill that can reinforce new skills and make practice fun for your youth team.
Hungry Hippo Relay Races
Overview: In what he calls, “Hungry Hippo” Relay Races, Coach Brey separates the players into two groups and forms them into lines. The first team to get all their balls in the bucket wins.
Player Movements: On the whistle, the first player up will scoop a ground ball, cradle to the bucket, drop the ball in, and sprint back.
Drill Essentials: Each line is about 15 yards from a bucket. Make sure that you put the ball in the bucket and that it doesn’t bounce out.
Drill Tips: Focus on cradling the ball when picking it up off the ground. Have the races be a best of three series to encourage competition.