Learning the proper techniques of the cradle is key to maintaining control of the ball and protecting the stick. Get insight from U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame member, Gary Gait! He is arguably the greatest lacrosse player ever. See what tips on stick handling he has to offer you in the clip below.
Overview: Gary Gait, will show you various ways to cradle and shift the stick from side to side. He explains the two-handed and one-handed cradle techniques.
Player Movements: Gait teaches players to hold the handle in the base of the fingers to be able to move the stick without moving your whole arm.
Drill Essentials: Allow your hand and wrist to curl for more efficient movements.
Drill Tips: Keep the cradle close to your body to protect the stick and ball.
Check out an additional clip from the Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player with Gary Gait: Stick Tricks & Dodging” If you’re interested in more stick handling videos, click here.
Beth Larkin, 2010 New Jersey Coach of the Year, provides you with some stickwork training with the CrosseTrainer. The CrosseTrainer is a color-coded, removable wrap that fastens to the shaft of your stick to reinforce correct hand positioning for beginning players. This a great exercise for youth and high school level athletes to improve on their groundball skills and their fitness level.
Overview: These drills are both basically “shuttle runs” featuring lacrosse skills. In the first segment, each player has two balls set up ten yards apart. For the second segment, players are ten yards away from the ball and receive groundballs rolled to them.
Player Movements: The player will scoop the first ball as they run toward the second ball. When they reach the second ball, the player will drop the first one and scoop the second.
Drill Essentials: Run full speed toward the rolling and stationary groundball.
Drill Tips: Run through and around the ball you are about to pick up.
Check out an additional clip from Championship Productions’ DVD “CrosseTrainer: Building Proper Stick Skills with Color (Girls).” If you’re interested in more skill development videos, click here.
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.
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.
In this youth drill Glen Ridge (NJ) High School Assistant Coach, Paul Schwern, teaches players to scoop through ground balls with their heads up in order to survey the field. In a game, this will help your players avoid the opponent and dodge any hits. Players will be able to look and find their teammates much easier when using this drill.
Overview: Coach rolls a ground ball to an approaching player and holds a specific number of fingers up in the air. Once they scoop up the ball they will call out how many fingers coach is holding up.
Player Movements: The players must scoop up the ball and must then bring their head up.
Drill Essentials: The players should have their head up as soon as they get the groundball.
Drill Tips: It is important to cradle shoulder to shoulder.
Check out an additional clip from Championship Productions’ DVD “CrosseTrainer: Building Proper Stick Skills with Color (Boys).” If you’re interested in more Lacrosse Drills, click here.
Coach Jason Balistreri of Valhalla High School (San Diego, CA) has been using this lacrosse drill at the middle and high school levels for years and it’s always one of his team’s favorite drills. It utilizes team communication, field awareness and balance, scramble offense and defense, clearing and riding, and can also focus on specific coaching points.
Create Chaos Drill – Brief Overview