Library of drills/games and sample practice plans for youth lacrosse:
Fun Games for beginners:
- Sharks & Minnows - Line everyone up at the midfield line and have them race to the end line while the coaches try to knock the ball out of their stick. Keep going back and forth between the midfield line and end line until there is only one winner. Teaches kids (in a fun way) to protect the ball with good cradling skills.
- Score on the Chicken (or Clown, Cowboy, Frankenstein, Princess, etc.) - Have a coach/parent dress up in a silly outfit and have the kids try to score on him. Always a crowd favorite.
- Egg Toss - Partner kids up to catch and throw a lacrosse ball. Have them take a step back at each turn so they get further and further apart. Last team to avoid dropping the "egg" wins.
- Steal the Bacon - Divide the kids into two teams and line up the players on two sides of the field. Assign each person on the two lines with a number (i.e. 1,2,3,4, etc.). Stand in the middle of the two lines and drop a ground ball. Then shout out a number. The two kids assigned with that number will rush out to win the ground ball and try to return the ball to their team's side of the field or the team who gets ground ball plays attack and tries to shoot on goal. The other team who did not get ground ball plays defense. Award points to each team when one of their players brings the ball back to their team or scores a goal.
- Musical ground balls - Have the kids lie in a circle. Then place lacrosse balls in the middle of the circle... but one or two fewer balls than the number of kids. On the blow of the whistle, the kids will jump up to try and win a groundball. Each time, another "musical chair" (ball) is removed until two kids are going for the remaining lacrosse ball. This is another fun lacrosse drill but it also teaches kids how to win groundballs and to protect the ball.
- Lacrosse Relay Races - Divide your kids into teams. Then split each team in half and have each half line up at two different points on the field (i.e. goal line extended and the midfield line). The teams will compete by racing against each other. A team member must run across the field and tag a team member on the other side... who must then run back to the other side. This keeps going until the last member crosses the finish line. Have them race with lacrosse stick and ball, cradling, and then they pass off to each member of team.
Stick work: Passing/catching/Dodging/scooping:
- Shuttles - The drill is set up with two cones at least 10 yards apart (or more appropriate for age and skill). Each cone should have 3 players behind the cone. On the whistle the player at the front of cone 1 will jog towards cone 2 and pass the ball with her right hand, while cone 2 catches with her right hand only and then jogs towards cone 1 and continues the passes. When the coach feels that the players have all worked the right hand enough, they will call “Left-Left” and have your players catch and throw left hand to left hand. Vary the drill with having the players then go “Catch Right – Throw Left” and “Catch Left and Throw Right”. Continue with whatever additional variation you would like your players to accomplish. You can even put defense behind and pressure the girls catching the ball.
- Partner passing on the move- 2 players are 10 yards apart on sideline and they pass back and forth to each other to other sideline. You can vary the drill by having players only use right hands, only use left hands, switch hands every catch, throw one-handed, quick stick, ect.
- Box Shuffle Drill - Form two lines 5 yards apart, and make a box with 4 cones at the corner; partner up. First two partners pass back and forth while shuffling away from the group; turn right at cones making a box rotation back to start. You can vary from side shuffling around the box, then back pedaling around, and side shuffle to forward backpedaling.
- All in one drill - http://www.playsportstv.com/girls-lacrosse/girls-lacrosse-all-in-one-drill
- 4 Square – Groups of 5, one person goes into middle of square. She gets 10 touches and moves ball to players outside box. No one stands still, everyone moves to a different point. Make it game like. No standing still
- Star Drill - Set up 5 cones in an imaginary star shape (which is really a circle). Station a player at each cone. Rather than have a “line” of players behind the cone; just setup multiple stars. Line 1 passes to line 2. Line 2 passes to line 3. Line 3 passes to line 4. Line 4 passes to line 5. Line 5 passes to line 1. Players should follow their pass. (Can also run drill without motion). Other variations of star drill: http://www.laxlibrary.com/lacrosse-content/star-drill/
- Four Corners or a triangle - Mark 4 corners with cones and put at least 3 players in each corner. Start with one ball and rotate counterclockwise catching over left shoulder and passing with right hand. Change directions halfway through drill, add more balls as player skill will support. Can also do this with ground balls. Be sure the players focus on leading their teammates on both passing and ground balls.
- Pass and Touch Stick - For this drill you need 3 people in a group. 2 players stand about 20-yards apart, each with a ball. The 3rd player stands halfway between their teammates. When the coach yells “GO” the X3 starts to run towards X1 with a ball asking with their dominant hand up. After X3 receives the ball, she quickly gives it back, touches the stick of X1 who initially threw the ball and turns to receive the ball from the X2, 20-yards away. X3 will repeat; catch, cradle, throw, touch stick, turn and receive. There should be about a 30-60 second time limit, then the players switch roles. Once all the players have finished dominant hand they can switch to non-dominant, catch Left-throw Right, and catch Right- throw Left.
- Juggling - Arrange players in two lines similar to quick stick or lateral pass. Each player has a ball. Players jog from start point to end point (other side of the field) flipping the ball out of their stick with one hand and catching it. Variations include switching hands (right hand going one way then left back) or running backwards.
- Coaches quick stick – Have players around the center circle evenly spread out. Coaches stand in the middle of the circle with a ball. Coaches have a section of girls and they pass the ball to each player on the circle in their section.
- Zig zag line relay game- Divide players into two groups spanning the length of the field (or sideline to sideline) in ten yard increments. Each line has one ball and passes in succession to the opposite end and then back to the beginning. The girls like the competition and it is a simple passing drill to simulate the concept of transition.
- Box passing drill - http://www.playsportstv.com/girls-lacrosse/girls-lacrosse-box-passing-drill
- Stick work inside the circle drill (good for turf) - http://cpl.delvenetworks.com/media/360ba636a51e49c5a8c967c104d9a20a/0d845fc309c14cebab8af2a296477f98-a92a029892f54a53aa506f7440935c23/stickwork-inside-the-center-circle.mp4
- Line Dodge drill- set up 3-4 lines (depending on amount of players) of 4 cones about 10 yards apart, player with ball dodges around each player who is standing at a cone in good defensive stance. When player is finished the through line, all players move up a cone.
- London bridge groundball drill:(good for beginners) 2-3 lines, coach stands there with stick and makes a bridge and ball on ground underneath bridge, player scoops up ball and cradles to cage for a shot on goal.
- Groundball wars drill: 2 players go for a ground ball, the player who does not get groundball plays defense on the player who gets the ground ball and is taking a shot on goal.
Shooting Drills: (for more experienced players)
1.Cross crease finishing drill - http://cpl.delvenetworks.com/media/360ba636a51e49c5a8c967c104d9a20a/2e1e9fcf65a64bfcbde719807eca1d76-28c7c8544671416a96cf9aa23380aab8/cross-crease-finishing-drill.mp4
2.Change of direction drill - http://cpl.delvenetworks.com/media/360ba636a51e49c5a8c967c104d9a20a/918a26d5a5824acabed5347eb848c7bb-bc47962317e646ebba7af2f6fc4e2120/change-of-direction-drill.mp4
Cutting Drills: (for more experienced players)
1. Lax Football - 2 teams of 7-8 players, when a team gets 3 passes in a row, they can throw football into the cage for a point, coach is goalie and throws football to the other team and they try and get 3 passes in a row to throw into cage. Football can be intercepted for a turnover. When football drops to the ground, it's a turnover.
2. Post pass cutting drill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRpiksdd05o
3. Cutting under pressure drill - http://cpl.delvenetworks.com/media/360ba636a51e49c5a8c967c104d9a20a/c15ba93a9b3e4219bfb9e4ee4d39c282-59db7d4a96e446c3a844b1ff0d38670f/cutting-under-pressure-drill.mp4
4. Cutting to ball sealing off defense http://cpl.delvenetworks.com/media/360ba636a51e49c5a8c967c104d9a20a/ae5f0aec1742468aaf45098e6be84a98-c9368ecb2cdc48d8bade96b1814baaee/cutting-to-ball-sealing-off-defense.mp4
1.Defense shuffling & checking (or no checking) with attack calling out numbers at the cones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPdSkrXwr9Q
2. Defense square drill - 2 players at each square (squared is 10 yards apart), attack player tries to get from one side of the square to the other, the defense forces to the outsides
3.2v2 jump back to girl (double teaming)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOcXjVMdQsg
Attack and defense together drills:
- Hammer drill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cm8St8wEqQ
- 4 point 1v1 – 1v1’s at 4 points around the goal cage. 2 up top at the 12 meter and 2 behind the cage, depending on how many players you have.
- Rolling numbers drill – https://www.uslacrosse.org/sites/default/files/public/documents/coaches/drills/womens/rolling-numbers-drill.pdf
- Pentagon drill – http://www.laxmagazine.com/tips/coaches/2009-10/news/062309_pentagon
- 2v1's, 2v2’s, 3v2’s, 4v3’s
- Draw and dumps
Transition/Fast break drills/scrimmage and game like drills: (for more experienced players)
1. Midfield Add in drill- https://www.uslacrosse.org/sites/default/files/public/documents/coaches/drills/womens/midfield-add-in-drill.pdf
2. 3v2 West Genny drill: Starts with 2 teams of at least 6 girls on each team. They are lined up on sidelines by the midfield line. Goals are placed between the restraining lines or 40 yards apart. To start drill, 3 come in on attack for a 3v2, they try to score. If ball is dropped or the player scores, she is out and goes back to line. The 2 remaining players play defense, and the other 2 defenders go back to line and 3 new attack players come out and bring ball down to score. The drill goes back and forth until a team hits a preset number.
3. 7v7 – fast break starting from midfield
Other websites for drills for ideas:
Practice plan Template:
Coach arrives early to set up
10 min - Warm up/Stretching
5 min – team chat/goal for practice
15 min- Stick work (catching, throwing)
10 min - Dodging or groundballs
20 min- offensive/defensive combinations
20 min – scrimmage/game like concepts
10 min – Fun game (for younger players)
5 min – wrap up
1. Try to make practice fun. End practice with a fun game.
2. Try to eliminate having more than 3 girls in a line for drills to get more reps. Keep them moving!
3. Keep drills to 15 min (For younger age groups)
More practice plan templates by age group with specific drill ideas: