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Key Multi-Purpose Practice Drills to Promote Skill Development

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Former Rutgers University men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta is a big proponent of using multi-purpose drills during his practices. The drills maximize staff and players to produce an efficient, fast-paced, competitive, and effective practice session.

With the current Denver Outlaws head coach as your guide, check out these dynamic multi-purpose drills that particularly promote skill development. The drills — which include moving target passing and over the shoulder full-field exercises — should make a great addition to your practice plan this season.

Fundamentals: Moving Target Drill

In this moving target drill, a group of players start clustered together in the middle of the drill (perhaps 7 or 8 total). There are always four players involved at a time passing the ball around the horn and outside of the cluster. Essentially, once you pass the ball, you move back into the center. The goal is to hit moving targets on the run, simulating game situations.

During a game, players aren’t just standing around and catching and throwing. Since most passing occurs while while on the move, this is a great drill to practice that. The ball moves around the horn and new players are always rotating through.

Tips: Players should always be moving their feet. Step towards your target when throwing the ball. Pick up the pace as you go along and get as many repetitions as you can. Communicate often and call for the ball.

Start the drill going right-handed. Then switch to the left hand. Players should be going out about 10 yards, but make sure that they don’t leave too soon. Timing is key. Also, have the players throw the ball across their body. Always move your feet when you catch it.


Catch Right, Throw Left

Next, players should practice rolling to the outside, evading pressure, and making a nice, crisp pass. The simulation goes as follows: Catch, turn, roll away from pressure, and deliver the pass. This drill helps players improve on their “C” cuts and advancing the pass/play.

Like the previous drill, timing is also key here. Players want to be in sync. Keep the spacing as and pick up the pace as you move along. After a few minutes, switch to catching left and throwing right.


Over the Shoulder Drill

This effective full-field drill focus on handling the ball over the shoulder, getting game-like situations, and taking as many reps as possible.

Players will break out to the right side first. The goalie will throw an outlet. Catch the ball over your shoulder, use proper technique, and then turn to the sideline. That player will then throw to the next guy up the field (around midfield). He will call for the ball over the shoulder, keeping the stick protected to the sideline. The ball moves one more time down and is then thrown to the goalie. Make sure that you go up and down the sidelines on both sides of the field.

Keys: Work on proper fundamentals like making good passes and communicating. Players should catch everything on the run. Also, work on realistic and game-like movements.

Finish the drill by going left-handed over the shoulder on the left side of the field.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse” with Jim Stagnitta. To check out more essential practice drills, head over to our extensive lacrosse library.

Two Multi-Purpose Team Drills Focusing on Game Situations

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

By implementing multi-purpose practice drills into a practice plan, coaches can maximize their staff and players to produce an efficient, fast-paced, and competitive session. Plus, coaches will also be able to make practices more productive by using drills that highlight many different aspects of the game at once.

With former Rutgers University head men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta leading the way, check out these two highly effective team drills focusing on game situations. The drills — which Coach Stagnitta uses as part of his own practice plan — include a live 3-on-2 Ground Ball Drill and a Staggered Start Drill that gets the entire team involved and really mimics game-like situations.

Live 3-on-2 Ground Ball Drill

This ground ball drill works on offensive and defensive aspects simultaneously and gets the competitive juices flowing. The simulation will put the pressure on the offensive guys and forces the players to work hard, pick up ground balls under pressure, find the next open man, and provide a quick finish. Offensively, once players secure the ground ball, they should recognize that they have numbers and then work on pacing, getting the ball out of their stick quickly, and finishing.

As for defenders, their job is to put the pressure on the offense, chase them, and make it hard to get the ground ball and get away an easy shot on cage. Disruption is the key and players must work hard to make it happen.

Overall, there should be lots of energy here, plenty of ball movement, and players will get to work on finishing and getting their shots on net. Another great aspect of this drill is that it really hones players’ decision-making skills. Players will have to read the situation and then finish with pressure on them. There isn’t much time here for hesitation.

Even if you only have two coaches, you can run this drill on both ends of the field and still keep lots of players involved. It’s a terrific drill to maximize numbers, your coaching staff, and you can get the most out of the drill in a short period of time. It keeps practice moving at a good pace, exciting, upbeat, fast-paced, and competitive.

Remember, there should always be a new unit waiting and ready to step in for the next simulation. There should be no down time.

Conditioning can also be done here if the drill is performed at full speed. If you keep the players rotating through one drill after another, this certainly can be used as conditioner at the same time (instead of those dreaded line sprints).


Staggered Start Drill

This drill transitions players into their 6-on-6 offense. But instead of just blowing the whistle and commencing from a dead ball start, we will conduct the drill just like you would in a game.

First, the coach will roll out a ball. The white team is on offense first and the red team is on defense first. The ball will be rolled out to white. As white starts out with the ball, there will be an advantage numbers-wise for that team. Therefore, the defense will be forced to recover in tight and check up. Meanwhile, the offense will try and take advantage of the numbers situation.

It’s key here that defense communicates effectively, gets into position and checks up. This drill is very much like a game situation. Keep in mind that if nothing is open in the unsettled situation, then the offense should transition into their 6-on-6 offense and be patient.

At the end of the drill, the offense goes to defense, the defense is out, and players transition from there.

This drill is a great way for teams to practice the transition into their 6-on-6 offense and look to get a numbers advantage in the process. It also works on the defense getting into the hole first and checking up like they would in a game. Meanwhile, the offense can move into their standard 6-on-6 offense if there are no chances via the unsettled situation at the onset.

Everyone gets repetitions on both sides of the ball. The drill also forces players to clear the ball to the midline, too, so you don’t stop playing.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse featuring Jim Stagnitta. To see more videos focusing on practice drills, check out our extensive lacrosse collection.

A Variety of Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Watch as Rutgers men’s head lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta leads his team through a series of multi-purpose line drills and clearing drills. The following lacrosse drills are designed to use with a small number of coaches, to involve every player, and to produce a large amount of repetitions in a short amount of time. The drills also work on a variety of aspects of the game, particularly passing, communication, awareness, transition play and unsettled situations. See what you can take away from some of Coach Stagnitta’s favorite drills – workouts that should also ensure of an efficient and effective practice session.

Line Drills

Start with two lines on opposite sides of the field. Begin by going right-handed. One player starts with the ball and runs across the field before passing the ball to the next player sprinting towards him. That player than sprints and passes to the next guy in line, and the cycle continues. Use two balls at the same time with guys cycling through, this will give you lots of reps in a short amount of time. It’s an ideal drill because it gets a lot of players involved at once, and is perfect if you don’t have a lot of coaches present.

Next, switch things up to Lefty Outside. Passes should go to the outside shoulder and players must reach across their bodies to catch the ball. They should also throw left-handed. Make sure that players communicate at all times.

Switch to Ground Ball Towards. Start with a pass across. Then, the next players will roll out a ground ball to the next player across from him. That player will then scoop the ball and dish off to the next guy in line. The pattern continues. Make sure that you pick it up, bend over and get the ball out of your stick quickly. This drill can always be done with the right and left hands.

Finally, finish things up with Ball Away. Here, the player who catches the ball rolls out a ground ball to a teammate and then steps out to take his/her place. That player who stepped out then scoops up the next ground ball from his teammate and passes across the field. The sequence goes like this: catch the ball, roll it back out, step out, scoop up ball and then dish to next guy across the field.


Clearing Drill

The goal with this clearing drill is to work on going from an outlet pass and into a clearing pattern. It’s also ideal to run in order to practice your basic clearing patterns without making it skeleton. Once you’ve transitioned up the field, you can then work on 4-on-3 and 5-on-4 fast breaks.

The drill starts with the goalie with the ball. Depending on what type of clear the coach wants, the transition will often be different each time. In this case, the goalie will pass to the wing defender. He will then sprint toward the sideline a bit and then turn and throw the ball across the field to the opposite defender. Once this happens, the unit will now set up the clear. Now, the defender will run with the ball up field before passing it along the sideline to the nearest midfielder (around mid-field). That midfielder will now take the ball into the offensive zone and commence the 4-on-3 fast break.

Remember, you can also add another defender and make it a 5-on-4 fast break. This time, switch things up a bit and have the defender on the wing pass it to a middle defender to lead the team up the field for the fast break. You can implement all kinds of different clearing patterns here, from up the middle to crossing it between defender, passing to a middle defender and then transitioning up the right side, left side or middle and into a 4-on-3 or 5-on-4 fast break.


The previous drills can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse.” Check out additional lacrosse practice drills in our extensive catalog by clicking here.

3 Effective Drills for Implementing the 2-2-2 Offense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The 2-2-2 Offense is great to run at any program. As proven by Rutgers men’s lacrosse coach Jim Stagnitta, it’s an effective offense, one that really allows you to put players in a position to maximize their abilities.

It’s easy to break things down into three separate groups – the groups of two that work together within the offense. You’ve got two attackers behind the cage, two midfielders on the crease and two midfielders up top.

This week, the following plays will work with the high and low guys together within the 2-2-2, with particular emphasis on picks and sweeps, balancing the field and working on a strong two-man game.

With the attack unit, it’s key to work on taking the defenders away from the ball and then into a pick. The following drills will include two attackers and two defenders at all times.

Pick and Roll

The pick and roll within the 2-2-2 will be set behind the net. Make sure that the picking player does not turn his back. Instead, he should roll right away off the pick and get separation in case you pull both defenders with the screen and get an advantage on the backside. Always roll towards the ball.

Swing Pick

With the swing pick, the attacker will carry the ball away from his man and away from the pick, so he’s coming off the pick hard. As he comes off the pick, the picker will now turn around and re-pick. The man with the ball will cut around and see if he can get the defender hung up. If not, he can change direction and initiate another re-pick.

Sweep Over the Shoulder

With this play, see if you can get a little step on your man. As the attacker carries hard, the opposing attacker will sweep under as if he’s clearing through, and then the man with the ball will hit that player with an over-the-shoulder pass on the back side if he can get a half-step on the defender. The emphasis here is to sweep through and step away.


Remember, the basis of the 2-2-2 Offense is three two-man games. It’s important to get the guys comfortable with spacing and working together. Other key areas to focus on are clearing through, dodging hard, keeping space with two players, and attacking the weakside of the defense. Plus, with the 2-2-2, you can work on offensive and defensive aspects at the same time.

The previous plays can be seen in their entirety on Championship Productions’ DVD “Progressive Drills For Building the 2-2-2 Offense” with Jim Stagnitta. Check out our entire offensive catalog right here.

New Lacrosse DVDs: Practice Drills & Drills for the 2-2-2 Offense!

By mike.oconnell - Last updated: Friday, January 7, 2011

Check out our two new lacrosse DVDs featuring Jim Stagnitta (Rutgers University Head Coach)! Jim Stagnitta’s players are always fundamentally sound and in these on-field presentations he takes you through some of his favorite skill development drills!

Multi-Purpose Practice Drills for Lacrosse

  • Keep your whole team active during practice
  • Make your practices more productive by using drills that work multiple skills simultaneously
  • Get drills that can be used for practice at any level of play

Progressive Drills for Building the 2-2-2 Offense

  • Learn an easy-to-follow progression for building the 2-2-2 offense
  • Use your finishes and dodgers to their fullest potential
  • See five progressive drills to build the offense from 2-on-2 to 4-on-4 and finally 6-on-6

Buy the Jim Stagnitta Practice Drill 2-Pack and Save $10!


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