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Join Colgate men’s lacrosse coach Mike Murphy as he demonstrates a pair of high-tempo clearing drills. Watch as Coach Murphy provides an overview of each drill before breaking down the action with his players on the field. These clearing drills incorporate proper fundamentals, conditioning, transition aspects, and playing at a high tempo while under control.
Bang it Off the Wall Clearing Drill
This is an efficient drill that Colgate uses to simulate clearing situations, playing fast in the middle of the field, getting looks to the inside and outside, and getting quality shots as well.
Start with a defender with the ball on the GLE. He will break out wide and then make a long pass to a midfielder near midfield. From here, the midfielder will turn and pass across midfield to another midfielder, who then breaks up field before passing to another player, who then turns and fires to an attacker behind the GLE.
Next, the attacker will then turn and look for a streaking teammate cutting in from up top for a quick shot and score. Meanwhile, a feeder on the opposite side of the cage will also hit a second streaking player for a shot on goal. Overall, there will be two shots on goal, one coming after the other.
In summary, this is a terrific full-field drill performed at a brisk pace that features quick turns, fast ball movement, and lots of shots on cage. You can also do this drill on both sides of the field at once to get players more reps.
Coaching Tips: Middies should be working hard to the ball. Shooters should be calling for the ball. Remember, this is not a shooting drill, it’s a scoring drill.
Dragon Clearing Drill
The Dragon Clearing Drill enables attackers to run the field and get shots in. It also allows middies to play the middle of the field utilizing proper stickwork before getting some shots in. The defense works on crossfield passes. The second part of the drill focuses on unsettled play as the attack and defense play in a 3 v 2 situation.
The drill starts with three lines of players. Three at a time, players run up the middle of the field, keeping proper spacing and passing back and forth. Then after a pass around midfield, one outside player will then streak in and get a shot off on goal while on the run. From here, two different feeders hit the other players for shots as well. Altogether, the three drill participants get shots off on the cage.
Finally, things move into 3 v 2 action at the end of the drill. Players will go full-field with a clear (similar to the first drill) and then the action finishes in a 3 v 2 scenario and shot on goal.
In this week’s player development feature, follow along with Haverford School (PA) boys lacrosse coach Travis Loving as he reveals goalie footwork drills and his go-to in-season warm-up. In addition to reinforcing proper technique and fundamentals, these drills will get your players adequately prepared to cover every angle of the cage.
Goalie Footwork Drills
We begin with a series of goalie footwork drills that place an emphasis on technique and will help players explode to the ball. Notice that all drills are performed with a lacrosse stick in hand.
Side to Side – Players hop from side to side with quick feet across a designated line on the field.
Right Foot Side to Side – The drill is the same as before but now players should only use their RIGHT foot.
Left Foot Side to Side – The drill is the same as before but now players should only use their LEFT foot.
Side to Side Mixed – Start with side to side both feet and then the coach will direct which foot to use from there.
Front to Back – This drill is similar to before, but now players will be going front to back with their steps instead of side to side.
Front to Back Left Foot – Now players should only use their LEFT foot.
Front to Back Right Foot – Now players should only use their RIGHT foot.
Figure Eight – Players should now jump with two feet in a figure eight pattern.
Figure Eight in Reverse – Now do figure eights in reverse order. Start at the back right.
Figure Eight on One Foot – Now do figure eights on just one foot.
Check out this formal goalie warm-up done every day at Haverford. A coach will start by shooting against the goalie in net from about 15 yards out. He will start with high shots on both sides of the net — stick-side high and off stick-side high. By doing this, the goalie doesn’t know where the next shot is going. Also, the coach will always walk around the field and shoot from different spots to mix up the angle.
Overall, the coach won’t make too many adjustments when it comes to positioning or corrections. Meanwhile, it’s key to make sure the last three shots are on cage. From here, the coach will then shoot around the hips and go around the horn once again. It’s critical that the goalie can’t anticipate the shot on net before it’s even released.
The previous clips can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “High School Coaching Academy: Training the Lacrosse Goalie.” To check out more goaltender-oriented videos, simply visit our lacrosse library.
Watch as Ohio State head coach Nick Myers breaks down fundamental stickwork skills and drills that coaches can incorporate into practices to help their athletes become complete lacrosse players. Coach Myers starts by discussing some stick pocket basics before moving into the importance of triple threat positioning.
Stick Pocket Basics
When it comes to building a stick pocket for a lot of younger players, they are often building it with the wrong idea. The goal might be to get a harder shot or fancy fake. But when you are building your stick, you need to start with the basics: Throwing, catching, getting the ball in and out of your stick, and being able to build on that. Ultimately, becoming proficient in these areas will make you a better dodger, shooting, and feeder.
So what exactly makes a successful stick pocket? There should be a nice gradual progression. In other words, as you place your hand in your stick and roll it out, you don’t want your lower strings to be too tight. You want your top string to be the tightest and the bottom string to be the loosest. This is crucial towards getting you to be able to do all of the key fundamentals (dodge, shoot and feed).
When you put a ball into your stick for the first time, you should have a nice groove where the ball sits down in your pocket. You should also have a legal stick that enables the ball to settle in nicely for a two-handed cradle and a one-handed cradle.
Catching & Throwing Tips
When catching and throwing with your stick, it’s critical to avoid wasted motion. This is when your stick is down at the hip and when every catch and throw looks completely different. Instead, you want to build consistency with your catching and throwing.
Look to implement a skill cue called “11 to 1 Passing”. If you were a clock, you’d want to go from 11 to 1 with your stick. Therefore, shorten your release and get off a quicker and snappier pass.
Another key is getting into your triple threat positioning. This is when you catch the ball and you’re in a position to dodge, shoot, or feed. As you catch the ball, the stick should be going back towards the 11 o’ clock position and then snapping it out to the 1 o’ clock position. Even if you get a bad pass, you still want to bring the stick to 11 o’ clock. When following through, crack your top wrist right at your target, and that top hand will force the ball to really snap out of your stick.
When throwing back and forth, focus on catching the ball deep back by the ear. As the ball comes to you, receive it back by the ear and right into your 11 o’ clock position. You can even pretend the ball is an egg, and if you have soft hands, the egg will not break.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Explosive Skills & Drills for Offensive Lacrosse” featuring Nick Myers. You can check out dozens of other shooting videos by visiting our extensive lacrosse library.
Follow along with Johns Hopkins offensive coordinator Bobby Benson as he reveals three effective individual lacrosse drills focusing on shooting on the run. Coach Benson will first walk through each drill before having his team run through live simulations at game speed.
On the Move
This drill is a great way to practice shooting on the run while getting in some conditioning. Start with a pile of balls up top and have just one player go at a time. To begin, have the player dodge down one alley and shoot and then dodge down the other alley and shoot. If you’re on a football field, stay inside the football hash marks when sprinting and shooting the ball. If you don’t or have trouble getting your hips to the goal, you can always put cones down to run within.
The player should start each rep by splitting to the right before shooting the ball. After the shot, he/she should come back to the top and get the next ball. From here, the player will go down the left side alley, shoot it, come back, and then go to the right side. Go for 60 or 90 seconds for each player and look to implement this at least a few times a week in practice.
Shooting with Two Players
Now let’s add two people to the drill to really increase the speed. This time, we will have one player go down the left side as the opposite player goes down the right side. Players go alternate back and forth for the duration of the drill. Meanwhile, it really forces players to pick up their speed of play and to get off hard shots on goal. Remember: This drill does you no good if you don’t practice it at full speed!
Up the Hash
Finally, here’s another great individual drill that simulates coming around the goal from behind. It also simulates those situations when a base defender comes sliding up the field in any kind of adjacent slide package.
A coach will stand with a pile of balls up at the top of the box. One at a time, players will sprint toward the coach from behind the goal (start at GLE on one side of the net). As the sprint toward the coach, they will catch a pass, turn the corner, and then finish the ball going towards the front of the cage. Coaches: Remind your players to catch it first, then turn the corner and get off an accurate shot. Also, it’s critical to practice this on both the right and left sides.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” with Bobby Benson. To check out more shooting-oriented videos, head over to our lacrosse library.
For many lacrosse players across the country, mid-March means its preseason time, a period to get prepared and conditioned for the regular season. To work on that first step and improve your overall quickness this spring, look to implement these dynamic conditioning drills led by renowned fitness expert Rob Rose.
The following drills focus on proper form and technique of a linear first step. You can eventually progress to angles and lateral movement from here, but the first drill we cover is a good launching point.
The goal: Be as efficient as you possibly can. If you can’t do this on a hard surface like a basketball court, you probably won’t be able to use hard balls and may have to go with using your hands. In terms of equipment, look to use two lacrosse balls.
Set 1: Ready Position
Start in a nice low ready position. Your feet should be side by side and wider than shoulder width. You should always be on the balls of your feet. Goal: Get the ball before it bounces twice. The goal for the coaches is to challenge the players. Make sure that the players don’t step back when accelerating to catch the ball.
The coach should bounce the ball. As soon as he/she does, the players are off and getting to the ball quick. Accelerate out and go through. Do not step back. While it may seem quicker, it’s inefficient. Instead, try a drop and push technique. As you get better at it, you will get quicker. Get a quick arm snap too.
Tip: Make your first step a small one. Otherwise, you will be off balance and won’t have the power for your second.
Set 2: Rapid Fire
Now it’s time to really challenge your players. When in ready position, have your players move their feet quickly (while in place) before accelerating to the ball.
Set 3: 180′s
Stay with the rapid fire, but now let’s get into a 180 position. Every time the coach yells “TIME,” the players will turn and do a 180. After doing it straight on, move into 180s at an angle.
Look to perform this drill at a distance of 5-7 yards
Tip: If you don’t have any balls or a hard surface available, then make the goal for each player to get to the hand of the coach before the other player does. Go two players at a time.
The previous workouts are featured in Championship Productions’ DVD “Complete Conditioning for Lacrosse” featuring Rob Rose. To check out more videos featuring lacrosse drills and exercises, click here.