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During his tenure as head men’s lacrosse coach at Robert Morris, Bear Davis developed his squad into one of the top scoring programs in the nation. By implementing game-like shooting drills into his regular practice plan, Davis ensured his players were comfortable within the offense, working on practical situations, and involved in competitive drills.
In this week’s team development feature, Davis leads you through whiteboard discussion and on-field simulations featuring three of his most effective drills. Each drill is suitable for players at nearly every level and easy to implement at your own practice with just a few adjustments. Look to deliver results with your own squad in practice and in game situations this season.
Begin by forming two lines out in front of the cage. Get your shooters in a line with each player possessing a ball. As players come up, they will feed to the opposite line across the cage. This player will then receive the pass and immediately fire on net. Be sure to point out a spot on cage that you want players to shoot on. Meanwhile, the next guy in line is ready to go because his teammate has a ball. Look to get tons of reps with this drill. This Time & Room drill is also similar to last week’s feature drill featuring John Nostrant and the Haverford School.
Start with a midfielder dodging down the alley. Next, get your attackmen to clear through and have the defenders step up. From here, the attackers will look to make a little fish hook move on the inside as the midfielder dodges down the alley. The midfielder will then dump it off to the attacker and the attacker will finish in tight.
Look to run this drill on both sides of the field and get a lot of reps in. Also, look to make over-the-shoulder feeds as well. Be sure that the attacker clears through for the dodger — this is key. The player inside here gets his hands free, catches, and looks to finish strong.
The key with change of direction shooting is for players to free up their hands (using your feet). It’s common for players to not always know what this means. Therefore to help with this concept, look to set out cones in front of the goal and get a coach in the middle (of the paint). Establish two lines of players starting from up top (on both sides of the field). One at a time, players start with a sprint to the middle (to free up some space), and then proceed toward the cage with a dodge. They will eventually get down to the cone nearest to the GLE, move back up to the top cone, get around this top cone, and finish off the shot.
Finally, make sure that players use their eyes to always read the slide attacker. We can do this by getting a coach set up in the middle to hold out a number and the players must shout these out. Through this, we will know that the players are dodging with their eyes up and are capable of reading when a player is sliding to try and take the ball away from them.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Game-Speed Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” featuring Kenneth “Bear” Davis. Check out more shooting videos by heading over to our lacrosse library.
Look to add these highly efficient shooting drills to your lacrosse practices this year. The drills come from John Nostrant, the head boys’ lacrosse coach at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Perfect for warm-ups, game days, or after conditioning, these three shooting drills get your players a lot of reps in a short time and aim to improve overall shooting accuracy.
This shooting drill uses three lines of players. It all starts with a pass from the right line to the middle guy and then a shot on cage by the middle guy from about 15 yards out. Next, a pass immediately goes from the left player to the right player for a hard shot. Remember, there should be no defense or goalie’s in this drill, just offensive players working on their shooting. Players should always switch lines.
The goal here is to get a volume of shots, get players warmed up, improve on stick work, and to not wear on their legs. 3-Man Shooting is a good pre-game drill and perfect following a lot of conditioning work. Note: The team will burn through a massive amount of balls in about five minutes. There’s constant movement involved, ample passing, and a lot of reps.
Next, have all the lacrosse balls start in the top middle area. The players on the wings will get two shots back-to-back. The first is a set shot, like you’d get in an extra-man situation, set play, or fast break. The second shot is a “hitch and go” featuring a big shot fake and run to the middle.
This is a terrific warm-up drill, but also ideal for teaching technique, dodging, stick skills, and overall throwing and catching. Make sure that you get players to make a big pump fake and then sprint to the middle before unloading a shot.
Also, provide two feeders up top just constantly feeding players with passes. This should be their only job. It really helps players get in a lot of reps. Force the players to mix up shots, whether it be a low shot, high pipe shot, bouncer, etc.
Tip: Since there’s no defense here, players have the tendency to take their time and make a big wind-up. Constantly remind them to get their shots off quickly like in a game situation.
Finally, using the same set-up as before, get players to first make a set shot. Then for the second shot, have players step out, make a backdoor cut, lead with the stick, catch the ball, make one fake, and then shoot it. Remember, don’t run behind the goal. Stay in front of it. Meanwhile, lead players with your stick on the backdoor cut. Like before, players get back-to-back shots in the same sequence here.
Does your squad implement any of these drills or similar variations as part of their practice routine? Which other shooting drills do you recommend for getting your players a ton of reps?