Thanh Pham, University of St. Thomas head coach, uses the “Servers vs. Passers” drill to increase server aggressiveness, work on digging tough serves and also provide some conditioning to his practices. Players will enjoy competing against the other side of the court to see who doesn’t have to run!
Drill Summary: In this drill, half of the team goes to one side of the court as servers and the other half goes to the other side as passers. Servers take turns serving one at a time to three passers. The rules are, if the server gets an ace, the passer closest to the ace has to run twice. If the passer does a one or two pass, they run once. If the passer does a three pass, the server runs once. Finally, if the server misses, they have to run twice.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Work on making serves tough to return.
2) Proper digging technique.
3) Shuffle and stay in front of the ball.
4) Minimize weight shift while passing.
In this drill aimed at the youth lacrosse player, head coach Kenneth “Bear” Davis of the Ohio Machine (MLL) teaches young athletes that assists can be fun too. Davis calls assists “apples,” which makes sharing the apples a rewarding experience for kids.
Drill Summary: If you have a player or two on your team that are great at splitting and ripping, they need to be able to pass if the defense starts keying in on them. To set up this drill, have the drilling player stand about twenty yards in front of the goal with the coach about halfway between. To begin, the coach tosses a ball to the player, who must catch the ball with a left handed grip. After catching the ball, the player runs at the coach, splits just before getting to the coach, attacks the goal, then passes off to another player who is standing on the other side of the goal for an assist. Make sure to switch directions after awhile so players can work on both hands.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Work on using both hands.
2) Make it look like you’re going to shoot before passing.
3) Switch with the ball facing you (to protect it).
4) Keep your eyes up.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Stick Handling & Shooting Drills for Youth Lacrosse.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!
Saint Louis University head coach Jim Crews uses this drill named after former player, coach and current ESPN analyst Doug Collins to improve his players’ feel for the ball and passing ability.
Drill Summary: Players pair up with one ball for each pair and face each other, with one player on each lane line. On the whistle, the player with the ball takes it between their legs with the left hand, exchanges it with their right hand, then passes it to their partner using their right hand only. Players repeat this for one minute, then switch hands and use the left hand to pass for a minute. Once players feel comfortable with this, add another ball to each group and have both players do the between the legs action and passing simultaneously.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Maintain a good stance.
2) Keep the eyes up.
3) Firm, crisp passes.
4) Talk to each other.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Jim Crews: Drills, Plays and How to Coach with Purpose.” View other world class Basketball videos!
3x National Championship Coach, Don Zimmerman, presents the “Diamond Drill.” This drill is good for working on passing and catching on the run and for getting the players to communicate. With four balls in the drill at once, players should be animated in calling for the ball and use each other’s names to avoid confusion when passing and catching.
Drill Summary: The drill begins with a line of Attack players at the top of the box in the middle, two lines of Middies, one on each side of the field where the midfield line and the restraining line intersect, and a line of Defenders at the top of the box at the other end of the field.
The drill begins with just two balls starting opposite of each other, with the first and third Middies. On the whistle, the first player in each line runs 45 degrees towards the line to the right and would make a right-handed across the chest pass. After a couple of passes, you will have four balls all going at the same time. As with most drills, you will want to reverse the direction and have the players go to the left for work on that side as well. It is important to pass such that you lead the player who will be catching.
Marc Van Arsdale was part of Dominic Starsia’s coaching staff for the 2011 NCAA Championship at the University of Virginia, and here Coach Van Arsdale provides you with a passing and catching drill that works on catching the ball over the shoulder. This is an excellent way to work on midfielders breaking out for a pass over their shoulder.
Drill Summary: All the players begin in a line. The first player in line runs out to make a cut and the second player in line throws a pass to the space over the shoulder of the first player. The first player makes the catch on the run and immediately turns up field and passes to a coach or another player that is another 10-15 yards up the field. That coach will then throw it back to the first player who, after passing the ball, has turned around and begins running back to where he began. He finishes by passing back to the spot of the next passer.
This drill mimics a key component of executing the fast break. Players should work on using both hands for this drill and use their teammates names as a way to strengthen team communication and to ensure that they pass to the correct player.