By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
This month’s player development feature zeroes in on spacing, moving without the ball, and individual stick handling. Designed to get your players a ton of repetitions, the following drills are first presented via whiteboard diagrams and then simulated live by Kevin Corrigan and the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team.
Sweeps and Alley Dodges
When midfielders shoot on cage, it often originates via alley dodges down the side or sweeps. To practice this, let’s work with a set-up where the ball starts with the middies, they drive it down, and then make a circle throwback. Meanwhile, during this circle throwback, a teammate should set himself up to get open and create space to shoot. The middie will then dish to his teammate and the new ball carrier will dodge away from the feeder and go left-handed down the side for a shot on goal.
We can also practice these movements from different angles. Take for example sweeps. For this simulation, let’s get a shorter set-up and circle back with the midfielder. Once this happens, the middie will pass to his teammate. The new ball carrier will then sweep across from up top and deliver a strong shot on net.
Takeaways: This drill is ideal to improve player spacing, the set-up of the dodge, driving down the alley, and shooting accurately on cage.
Monkey in the Middle
Finally, look to add this effective stickwork drill to your practice plan as well. You can do this drill with as many players as you’d like. There will be a main player set up in the middle with between three and six perimeter players around the outside. This inside player is constantly working on catching and passing to the guys on the perimeter (going around the horn).
Add an extra element to this drill by instructing the players on the outside that if they have their stick down, that means the middle man can’t throw you the ball. This added element is all about recognition.
Takeaways: Add this drill to get your guys a ton of touches, looks from different angles, stick handling reps, and read and react scenarios.