Improve Your Lacrosse Stick Skills
Get to the next level…
One of the most important aspects to improving your lacrosse skills at ANY level is to put in a consistent amount of wall-ball work. Don’t have a brick wall to throw against? Use a rebounder. I tell all of my beginning lacrosse players, that they can easily improve within ONE season by jumping onto a rebounder every day, regardless of their age. Click here to see my rebounder/wall-ball workout routine. Here are some awesome Lacrosse rebounders available on Amazon.
There are a lot of drills every young lacrosse player should perform in order to have his game on top. Having a better game means being able to defeat competition in the field any given day. Now for a young player like you, there are basically three important aspects of the game that you have to concentrate your youth lacrosse drills on. These are sticks skills, running, and end game or shooting.
First, the running drills will not involve the use of any equipment, which means you can perform the same any time. For this one, an aspiring youth lacrosse player should be able to run at least two miles. The purpose of which is to improve and develop endurance. However, two miles is only for one week. The next week should be elevated to three miles and that should be maintained during practice. Aside from two to three mile running, open and full field running is also recommended. In this drill, the player should begin at the end line and run up to the midfield. Then run back to the end line and then run full field to the opposite line. The final route is back to the original end line.
The commitment and dedication to performing sticks skills drills will determine and separate a good and skilled youth lacrosse player to that of a bad and mediocre one. The drill should be performed by setting up ten cones in a straight line that is five yards apart from each other. The player should then run in between and through the cones while switching hands at each cone passed. For a right-hander, the objective is to work more on the left hand and vice versa.
Part of youth lacrosse drills is to perform a one-on-one drill with another player. The first player should be running offense while the second should be in defense. The purpose or goal of the drill is to challenge the defense to get the ball from the offensive player under one minute. Then they need to switch places right after. Accordingly, the offensive player must see to it that the ball will not be taken away by the defensive player, and in the process, he should be good enough to keep switching hands. Hence, the mastery of switching hands and avoiding the practice of favoring a certain stance will be developed in this drill.
And since lacrosse is won by scoring goals, another crucial drill to perform is shooting drill. The first routine for this type of youth lacrosse drills is to place and position an attack player behind the goal. A midfielder must then be set in about 15 to 18 yards. The midfielder will be tasked to throw the ball to the player designated to attack. The same player will then have to run towards the goal. While the attack player will pass the ball while maintaining a distance of five yards, the midfielder’s job is to crank the shot. The drill should be performed multiple times in order for the midfielder to find the ideal ball position. The same as the one-on-one drill, this one recommends the two players switch places in order to understand and comprehend the opposing roles.
Finally, the last drill that needs to be performed is another one-on-one variety. But this time, it involves the designation of a defenseman and a short stick. The objective is for the offensive player to score and refrain from holding on to the ball. A goalie is needed for the purpose of making the drill fair for the defenseman’s side. The main benefit for this drill goes to the short stick player.
But aside from the general youth lacrosse drills, there are also more specific ones that every young player must perform and learn. The list includes:
Obstacle Type – In cradling (obstacles), you need to make a line composed of ten players who are standing 4-5 yards away from each other while other players must line up with the balls. Each player will then weave in between other players while doing it back and forth cradling from one side to the other side. It should look like the person dodging towards the left will have to cradle to the right and so on.
Pivot Point – In pivot point meanwhile, the young player will need to find a spot where he will halt all forward movement, and by the doing so, one foot is placed forward while the body is twisted instead of making another step forward. So when the pivot is done on the left foot, the player will stop with his left foot put forward, and at that point, he swings his cradle strong to his right and then twisting around in order to face the original point. The purpose of pivot point is to effectively shake a defender with speed and quick change of direction.
Passing as part of youth lacrosse drills involves different varieties. For the sake of this discussion, we will be focusing on the line drills, squares, and the weave.
- Line Drill - Two lines are created, facing each other. Now the player at the top of one line will get the ball while the first two players in each of the line will run towards each other while the player who has the ball will pass it to the other player. As soon as the ball is received, the next player in the first line will come out and the ball will be passed all over again. Now when every player’s turn is done, everyone runs to the end of the line where they threw.
- Squares – In this variety meanwhile, players need to make four lines, making each line meet at a point in a square. The four lines are A, B, C, and D. Player A will begin with the ball and he runs towards point or player B. After which, B will run towards C and will get the ball from player A. Then player B will proceed handling the ball the moment C moves towards the line D. At this point, B passes the ball to C, who in turn will advance towards line D. Hence, the movement goes on and on and the ball is passed around the square.
- Weave – In the last variety of youth lacrosse drills involving passing, there are three lines of players built and the same is placed or situated at the 50-yard line facing the goal. In this drill, line B has possession of the balls. Now the first players in every line will begin down the field while the middle line will cradle the ball. The drill starts when player B passes the ball to the left where he sees player C. The former will then run behind the latter to assume his place specifically in the left wing position. As soon as player C received the ball, he will then cross the field in order to pass to player A while in the process running behind him, eventually taking the right wing position. The moment player A gets the ball, he is required to cross the field and pass to player B while running behind him taking his place in the process. Finally, player B crosses to pass to C and so on.
Apart from those mentioned youth lacrosse drills above a young player still have a lot to learn including the aspects of shooting, defense, pickups, and footwork. Everything should be experienced in order to become an expert of the sport.