11 Drills for High School and College-Level Lacrosse Players February 1, 2019 00:00

High school boys practicing lacrosse drillsThese lacrosse drills are just right for high school and college-level players. They work perfectly in any available space, even if confined to the close quarters of a gymnasium or on a small field. We recommend using Swax Lax training balls to make practice time most productive, as the balls are softer and don’t bounce or roll, so players can quickly move from drill to drill or rep to rep with confidence.

Advanced Partner Pass

This drill highlights:

  • Arm and wrist strength

  • Stick skills

Directions:

  • Grab a partner

  • Partner 1 passes to Partner 2 with right hand up

  • Partner 2 releases top hand (right) and brings back stick to the ground with left hand

  • Partner 2 brings stick back up to passing position and passes to Partner 1

  • Repeat for number of desired reps

  • Partner 1 Passes to Partner 2 with left hand up

  • Partner 2 releases top hand (left) and brings back stick to the ground with right hand

  • Partner 2 brings stick back up to passing position and passes to Partner 1

  • Repeat for number of desired reps

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to build the player’s range of motion with their stick. Encourage players to “play big” as they swing their stick back to the ground and encourage them to go as fast as possible.

Windsor Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Stick skills

  • Cutting

  • Acceleration

  • Quick release

Directions:

  • Get in a group of three and line up single file on end line

  • Second person in line starts with the ball

  • First person cuts out 10-15 yards, pivots and turns

  • As first person cuts back second person immediately passes

  • First person passes to third person while second person then begins to cut

  • Repeat using non-dominant hand and off-side using left and right hands

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to have a fast paced drill that sharpens players stick skills. Coaches should emphasize that the player passing the ball should immediately release the ball when the cutter turns, so that the cutter spends no time waiting for the pass.

Quick Stick Drill 

This drill highlights:

  • Fast release

  • Communication

Directions:

  • Get in a group of four players with three people on end line and one person about 3 yards away facing the three other players

  • Two players on the end line each start with one ball

  • One player on the end line passes to player at the point

  • Without cradling, player at the point passes to the other player who did not start with a ball

  • Point player then receives the ball from the other player on the line and without cradling, passes ball back to player on the end line without a ball

  • Repeat these steps quickly without cradling using non-dominant hand and/or off-side catch.

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to be quick and to have a plan of where the ball is going before the point player even has possession. This drill becomes fun and competitive when all players are going as fast as possible. To help with this, coaches should emphasize communication from all players because this will make it easier to know who is open.  

Three Person Box Drill 

 

This drill highlights:

  • Quickness

  • Stick skills

Directions:

  • Get in a group of three people and set up cones in a box about 5 yards away from each other

  • Each player stands at a cone so that there is one open cone

  • Player 1 starts with the ball

  • Player 2 shuffles to open cone with outside hand up to receive the ball from Player 1

  • Player 3 then shuffles to open cone with outside hand up to receive the ball from Player 2

  • Player 1 then shuffles to open cone with outside hand up to receive the ball from Player 3

  • Repeat this cycle using non-dominant hand (shuffle the opposite way)

  • Repeat this using off-side hand as well as freestyle (behind the back, flip passes, twizzlers)

Key Coaching Points

The best part about this drill is being creative with it. Encourage players to try fancy stickwork like behind the backs so that they will become more fluid with their stickwork.

Box and One Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Quickness

  • Communication

Directions:

  • Get into groups of five and set up four cones 10 yards apart from each other in a box formation

  • Place one person at each cone and one person in the middle

  • Two players on the outside each start with one ball

  • One player on the outside passes to the player in the middle, player in middle passes to one of the players on the outside that did not start with a ball

  • Middle player then receives ball from second outside player that started with a ball and passes to a player on the outside who does not have a ball

  • Players should go as fast as possible and middle player should limit cradles

  • Every player should go in the middle for about 1 minute

  • Switch it up using non-dominant hand, off-side hand, ground balls, bounce passes and behind the back passes

Key Coaching Points

This drill is designed to make the middle person work hard. Make sure players are going as hard as possible for that one minute and make sure they limit their cradles. In addition, make sure all players are talking, calling out who is open, and helping out the middle player.

2 Person Protection Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Ball protection

  • Checking

Directions:

  • Grab a partner and a ball

  • Player 1 starts with ball

  • Player 1 uses one foot as pivot foot while trying to protect ball from Player 2

  • Player 2 moves about trying to get checks off of on Player 1

  • Player 1 and 2 switch roles

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to work on both stick protection and getting the good check off. Coaches should encourage players on offense to be “big” with their stick by bringing it across their body to a low cradle or up to a high cradle.

4 vs 3 Keep Away

This drill highlights:

  • Ball movement

  • Defensive stick and body positioning

  • Reading the offense and anticipating turnover opportunities

Directions:

  • Grab a group of seven people and set up a box with four people on each outside cone (offense) and three people in the middle (defense)

  • Four people on the outside work ball around the perimeter of the box

  • Three people in the middle try to intercept passes and mark up on outside bodies

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is for the offensive players to whip the ball around the perimeter. Coaches should emphasize the importance of using your outside hand. Coaches should also point out that in some circumstances, it may be easier to throw in a behind the back pass or an off stick-side pass.

Maryland Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Ball movement

Directions:

  • Set up a box near the goal (or if inside, a mini goal/trash can/ball bucket will do) with two players up top and two players by the crease

  • Set up three defenders

  • Whip ball around the perimeter until a player is open, then attempt a shot

  • No player is allowed to move from their designated spot or dodge to goal

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to move the ball very fast along the perimeter until the defense cannot keep up. Coaches should emphasize patience on offense and waiting for the best possible shot. Since players cannot dodge, coaches should emphasize the importance of ball movement.

Sniper Cut Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Learning offensive sets/plays even when a goal is not available

Directions:

  • Set up four lines in what looks like a trapezoid form — two low and two up top. Top lines should be at an angle from lower lines, not directly across.

  • Balls should start at one of the two lower lines

  • Player in lower line should mimic a drive to goal, and player at the top line adjacent to her should do a sniper cut

  • After catching the sniper cut pass, that player should pass to the other player behind the goal

  • The player who just received the ball should then mimic a drive to goal while the player at the top line adjacent to them should do a sniper cut

  • Keep this pattern going for desired number of reps

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to mimic a game-like situation. Coaches should make sure the player driving to goal is really “selling” her drive. Coaches should also make sure that the girl running the sniper cut times her cut to coincide with the drive of the low player, so that he/she is not waiting in what would be the 8 meter for a feed.

3 vs 2 Ground Ball Drill

This drill highlights:

  • Staying low on ground balls

  • Stick protection

  • Quick reactions

Directions:

  • Coaches should divide players into two even teams

  • Set up a small sized box (cones about 5–7 yards apart) with players on Team 1 filling in lines behind the two cones diagonally from each other, and players on Team 2 filling in lines behind the remaining two cones diagonally from each other

  • One player from each team (2 players in total) will be start directly in the middle of the box

  • Designate each team to either follow the commands of the first number called or the second number called. For this purpose, Team 1 will be the first number called and Team 2 will be the second number called.

  • If the coach calls out, “32”, then one player from BOTH of Team 1’s lines will enter into the middle, while only one player from ONE of Team 2’s lines will enter (if only one player enters, the line that ALWAYS sends a player in is predetermined).

  • If the coach calls out, “23”, then one player from ONE of Team 1’s lines will enter into the middle, while one player from BOTH of Team 2’s lines will enter.

  • The coach releases the ball into the middle and both teams fight for possession.

  • If the team with three players gains possession, they have to get three passes off inside the box before they get a point.

  • If the team with two players gains possession, the player with the ball immediately runs out of the box to get a point.

  • The first team to get to desired number of points wins.

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to work on competitive ground balls. Coaches should make sure that players are running through the balls. Also, coaches should emphasize that the players always have to be alert to quickly know whether they have to keep possession or run out of the box.

Box Lacrosse

This drill highlights:

  • Stick work in confined spaces

  • Two-man game

  • Transition offense and defense

  • 1v1 offense and defense

Directions:

  • Split group up into two teams, evenly distributing attackers, midfielders, and defenders  

  • Depending on space, set the field up to represent a smaller version of a lacrosse field-two goals directly across from each other at opposite ends and sidelines made of cones on either side

  • Usually a 5v5 works best, but this can be adjusted based on the amount of space

  • Substitutes on each team line up on the sideline and act as boundaries, helping keep the ball in play

  • Begin drill with a 50/50 ball

  • Players play out a 5v5 but can also utilize their teammates on the sideline to pass to if need be

  • After a goal, save, or wide shot, the ball always returns to the goalie for a clear to the other team in order to maintain the pace of the drill

  • Each shift of five players should play about 4 minutes before subbing

Key Coaching Points

The objective of this drill is to be in a game-like situation where everything is fast-paced. Encourage the players to use picks, screens, and deceptive stickwork in order to score goals. Emphasize the importance of getting open for your teammate by working together with other players.

Feel Free to Use These Drills

We’re a company of coaches so we know there are always new and different ways to teach the game. Please feel free to download these drills, print them out, and put them in your practice book. And, we'd love to hear your favorite drill(s)! Please share, email us