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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.
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.
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.
New Lacrosse DVDs featuring Bill Tierney (6x NCAA Championship Coach, 14x Ivy League Champions, 2x National Coach of the Year & U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee)!
More Bill Tierney Instruction Includes:
New Lacrosse DVDs with Trevor Tierney and Josh Sims! Trevor Tierney was a 2x All-American at Princeton University; named All-World Goalie in the 2002 ILF World Championships in Perth, Australia, and Josh Sims was a 3x first team All-American and 2x midfielder of the year at Princeton University; 4x MLL All Star.
This DVD is a great way for any player to pick up on some tips and drills to improve their individual skills. The most important part about being a great lacrosse player is stickwork, and this video covers everything you need to know to become great at passing, catching, shooting, cradling, scooping and much more!
In this DVD, Josh breaks down the art of shooting the ball with time and room. He shares techniques and drills that will help anyone become a great shooter from the outside!
In this DVD, Trevor shares his philosophy on playing goalie and the secrets to his success. Trevor believes that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about playing goalie, and that the position can be simplified with the tips that he offers. You will be surprised to hear some of his ideas for the new generation of goaltenders!
In this week’s edition of Coaches Corner, Championship Productions’ editor Adam Warner sits down with Tufts head men’s lacrosse coach Mike Daly. Last season, Daly led the Jumbos to a 2010 NCAA Division III national championship with a 9-6 win over perennial power Salisbury, notching the first-ever title for his lacrosse program. In Coaches Corner, Daly reveals his coaching philosophy and plans for defending his team’s national title, talks about the perks of being a Div. III coach, and even details how he got into lacrosse after growing up playing football and baseball.
Talk about your background and your unorthodox path to becoming the head men’s lacrosse coach at Tufts in 1998.
“I went to Tufts as an undergrad and then got into graduate school here. As a graduate student, I also worked as an assistant football and lacrosse coach. The lacrosse program was struggling at that point. Our coach at the time left to take a football job and the position was assigned to me roughly a month before the season started. From there, I never looked back.
I played football and baseball growing up, but not lacrosse. I was a sociology major at Tufts as an undergrad and left with a masters degree in education and teaching. Growing up, lacrosse didn’t have the presence in Massachusetts that it does today, but I always had an interest. My friends played in high school, so there was always a stick around. It was during my grad school years where I really fell in love with the game.”
Your team is now one season removed from winning a national title. What’s the key to maintaining focus this year in order to defend your ’10 championship?
“The biggest key is to remember what got us here and really keep focused on the fundamentals. Right now we’re 6-0 overall and still No. 1 in the country, so I think the guys are grounded and focused on the ultimate goal this season.”
What’s the key to maintaining success year after year?
“We have some great players and great guys who work extremely hard at their lacrosse and academic lives. They just make it a joy to be around them and coach and be associated with them. We’re lucky to have great people in the program, including the assistant coaches and a supportive administration. At the end of the day, we have some terrific players who work their tails off and make plays on the lacrosse field.”
What makes up the complete Tufts player?
“We build our program on the players the world didn’t think were talented enough, but will still outwork all of their teammates and opponents. That’s the best part of Division III athletics, and the best complement you can give a player is to say they are an overachiever. We have a lot of guys like that. They will just flat outwork you.”
Who are your influences as a coach? Do you have a certain credo or philosophy that you particularly implement with your program?
“Early on, we really tried to emulate Billy Tierney and Princeton lacrosse. He took a similar situation to ours and got Princeton from the bottom to the top and eventually competing for national titles. We studied Princeton film and practices and I even talked to Bill himself. In those early years, whatever questions we had, he would take the time to answer them. He’s had a great impact on me.”
What’s unique about Div. III lacrosse and coaching at this level?
“We feel that we have a lot of players from top programs in the country. We are glad to have lacrosse junkies who love to play the game. They are great in the classroom and on the field, and their priorities are in the right place. Plus, they are really able to enjoy the college and lacrosse experience.”
Can you talk about one of your all-time favorite drills to run as a coach?
“My favorite drill is mechanics progression, which deals with your elbows, shoulders and hands and really focuses on the fundamentals of the game. If you can’t catch and throw, you can’t do anything in this game. There’s nothing more important than that. It may be mundane to our players, but it’s absolutely the cornerstone of our program.”
Do you have any superstitions or particular habits as a coach?
“I wear my pink breast cancer T-shirt on every gameday. I lost my mother minutes before a Skidmore game that we won in overtime a few seasons ago, and the game involved an amazing comeback by our team. I’ve always held onto that as a superstition. Also, for every national anthem, I find our head trainer Mark Doughtie and just make eye contact with him. Mark is a Vietnam veteran and what he sacrificed means the world to me. It reminds me that whatever’s about to happen out on the lacrosse field will never be as challenging as what he went through, and it settles me down.”
Can you dish out some advice for youth or high school coaches, particularly individuals who may be starting up new teams or looking to build a struggling program into a contender?
“It’s all about consistency, being yourself and not being afraid to ask for help. The lacrosse community is like no other – and it’s really true. Lacrosse has so many great resources and coaches, just make sure that you reach out and use them.”
Mike Daly has recently partnered with Championship Productions to produce a series of lacrosse videos. Check out the entire catalog by clicking here.
Three new Lacrosse DVDs featuring Mike Daly (Tufts University Head Coach-2010 D-III National Champions)!