Youth lacrosse in Shelburne, VT

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DRILLS AND GAMES FOR GRADES 3-8 BOYS- PART 1

NOTE- This section covers warm up activities, catching/throwing, cradling, and dodging.  See Part 2 in Coaches Resources for additional individual and team skill drills.  


SECTION  ONE- INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES,  WARM UP ACTIVITIES, STRETCHING, AND CONDITIONING DRILLS
 
Overview-
Teach the following warm up activities and stretches to the players and each week have a different player be the person to lead the routine (if you choose not to stretch before practices you can do so before games).  A player can gain leadership skills by leading the routines.  Additionally, conditioning activities are included.  Many of the conditioning activities include development of lacrosse skills.  Introductory activities are designed for players to get to know each other.
 
INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES
 
TOSS A NAME
 
Goal-
To have players learn the names of other players.
 
Description-
Players form a circle.  Players do not have sticks.   They say their own name and throw a soft ball or other prop overhand to another player and say the name of the player they are throwing to.  For example, “from Ryan to Pete.”  Each person must throw to someone who has not yet received until everyone has received and the ball goes back to the person who started.  If they do not know the name of the person, ask.  Do it once or twice with the same sequence of names before timing it to see how quickly the group says everyone’s name in the same sequence.  Go for the record. You could also introduce a lacrosse skill into the game by reviewing the throwing motion (similar to an overhand throw in baseball) and having the players use this motion.
 
Variation-
Have the players pass the ball with sticks.
 

WARM UP ACTIVITIES AND STRETCHING

 
TOE TOUCHES
 
Have players form a circle.  Have one player be the leader and place him in the middle.  Players (who are standing) bend at the waist and touch their toes.  The leader will lead the players through 10 toe touches.
 
 
JUMPING JACKS
 
Have players form a circle.  Have one player be the leader and place him in the middle.  The leader will lead the players through 20 jumping jacks.
 
HAMSTRING STRETCHES
 
Have players form a circle.  Have one player be the leader and place him in the middle.  Players will sit with their legs extended in front of them.  Have players grab their toes and count to ten.  Repeat 3 times
 

CONDITIONING DRILLS

 
GROUND BALL RELAY RACE
 
Goal-
To have players develop scooping skills along with endurance.
 
Description-
Players will start by standing  at the end line in separate lines. For each line there will be 2 cones (the first will be about 5 yards from the end line and the other will be about 15 yards).  Leave a ball at the first cone of each line.   On the whistle the first player in each of the lines will run up to the first cone and scoop up the ball.  He will then run around the second cone.  When he gets back to the first cone he will drop the ball for the second player in line.  He will continue running back to the end line and the next player will go.
 
Notes-
-Remind players of the proper scooping technique before starting the drill.
-Make sure there are an even number of players in each line. If there is an uneven number of players at practice one player will have to go twice.
-The race can be extended by having players go several times.
 
 
CRADLING LINES
 
See the Cradling Lines Drill from Section Two –Individual Skills (At Stations)
 
Notes- As a conditioning drill have players run the drill at full speed.  You could make it into a relay race to make it more interesting.

WIND SPRINTS
 
Goal-
To have players develop endurance
 
Description-
Players will stand on the end line.  They will then run to the restraining line and back.  Players will then run to midfield and back.
 
Note-
There are many variations to this drill.
 
CRADLING WHISTLE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice cradling skills while developing endurance
 
Description-
Have players do laps around the field with a ball.  As they are jogging and warming up, have them change hands and cradle on the whistle.  Double whistle is sprint with the ball.  Whistle: one-handed cradle right.  Whistle: one-handed cradle left.  Whistle: run backwards and cradle.  Whistle: shuffle.  Whistle: face dodge.  Etc. 
 

SECTION TWO- INDIVIDUAL SKILLS

 
THROWING/CATCHING
 
PARTNER PASSING
 
Goal-
To develop throwing and catching skills with the dominant hand
 
Description-
Players line up in pairs 10 yards apart and pass the ball back and forth, concentrating on the basic throwing and catching mechanics.
 
Variations
a)Catch and throw with the non-dominant hand
b) Catch with the dominant hand and switch hands to throw with the non-dominant hand (keeping the stick in front of the body).  The player opposite does the same.
c)  Catch with the dominant hand, roll back and switch hands to throw with the non-dominant hand.  The player should run a few yards to the side before throwing.  The partner will run to stay across from his partner. This is good practice for throwing and catching on the run.
d)  Catch with the non-dominant hand, roll back and switch hands to throw with the dominant hand.  The player should run a few yards to the side before throwing. The partner will run to stay across from his partner. This is good practice for throwing and catching on the run.
e)One player stands with his back to the other player and catches the ball over his shoulder.  The other player then turns his back and catches over the shoulder.
f)  The player throwing the ball passes the ball to the off-stick side of his partner’s dominant hand.  Balls should be thrown both high and low to the off-stick side.  The player throwing the ball should use his dominant hand to increase accuracy.  Use both the dominant and non-dominant hand.
 
QUICK STICK
 
Goal- To develop throwing and catching skills with a focus on absorbing catches
 
Description-
Players line up in pairs 2 yards apart.  Player A passes the ball to player B. Player B catches the ball and absorbs it.  He quickly passes the ball back to player A without cradling it. There is a catch and a throw all in one continuous motion.  Player A catches it the same way and the throwing and catching continues on.
 
 
MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE
 
Goal-
To have players practice passing with some pressure.
 
Description-
Create a circle with cones about 5 yards in diameter.  Three players will do the drill.  Two players will be on the outside of the circle by the cones.  The other player will be in the middle.  The two players on the outside will move around the circle trying to get open for a pass.  The player in the middle will play defense.
 
Variation-
Play lefty.

QUICK STICK SHUFFLE DRILL
 
Goal- To develop throwing and catching skills with a focus on absorbing catches while on the move
 
Description-
Players line up in two lines.  The first player in each line faces each other. Player A passes the ball to player B. Player B catches the ball and absorbs it.  He quickly passes the ball back to player A without cradling it. There is a catch and a throw all in one continuous motion.  Player A catches it the same way and the throwing and catching continues on.  While the players are throwing and catching they shuffle along down an imaginary line.  After the first two players go a few yards the next group starts.
 
 
Variations-
-Use the non-dominant hand
 
BACK TO BACK PASSING
 
Goal-  To practice over the shoulder catching and push/ pull motion when throwing.
 
Description-
Players line up in pairs about ten yards.  Each has his back to the other.  Player A keeps his feet planted (no movement) and rotates his trunk so he can pass the ball to Player B.  He should use his right hand.  He passes making sure to use the push/pull motion with his stick.  Player B will catch the ball over his right shoulder and then without moving his feet, rotate his trunk to his left and pass back.  The passing continues in this fashion.
 
Variation-  Pass in the opposite direction.
 
Notes-
For passing instruct the players to use the push/pull motion and explain that they can get off a good throw even if their back is to someone.  Instruct the receiver of the pass to give with the ball (absorb it) as it comes to him.
 

3 MAN BOX
 
Goal-
To have players practice throwing and catching skills.  To have players learn to move to the open space (finding space) so they can be open for a pass.
 
Description-
Arrange 4 cones in a square.  Three players will line up on these cones in the shape of an L.  Players will pass the ball to each other, making sure they keep the shape of an L (players will have to remain adjacent to the ball).  For example, as player 1 passes to player 2, player 3 must run to keep the L and be adjacent the ball (next to the ball).  Explain to players that this drill applies to a game situation in that they want to get in a position adjacent to their teammate so they can provide an outlet.
 
Variations-
-Have players catch and throw the ball with their sticks to the outside of the box.
-Remove the cones so players have to find space (retain the L) without the benefit of cones.
-Add one defender to the middle to make it more challenging
 
Note-This drill prepares players in understanding the concept of the rotating triangle offense.  See the diagram of the rotating triangles offense below.
 
Note-Players will progress from this drill to the 3 Man Box With Two Defenders
 
 
3 MAN BOX WITH TWO DEFENDERS
 
Goal-
To have players learn to move to the open space so they can be open for a pass.  Defenders will learn the basic defensive rotation.
 
Description-
Arrange 4 cones in a square.  Three players will line up on these cones in the shape of an L.  Players will pass the ball to each other, making sure they keep the shape of an L (players will have to remain adjacent to the ball).  For example, as player 1 passes to player 2, player 3 must run to keep the L and be adjacent the ball (next to the ball).  Two players will be added in on defense.  One of the defenders covers the player with the ball and says “ball or I got ball.”  The second player who is stacked behind the first player must call “back” before the pass is made.  Once the pass is made the back player screams “ball” and he moves to the pass, as the ball player moves to the back position and screams “back.”
 
Variations-
-Have players catch and throw the ball with their sticks to the outside of the box.
-Remove the cones so players have to find space (retain the L) without the benefit of cones
 
Notes-
1) This drill prepares players in understanding the concept of the rotating triangle offense.  See the diagram of the rotating triangles offense below.
2) Note-Players will progress from this drill to Good Guys-Bad Guys.
 
GOOD GUYS – BAD GUYS
 
Goal-
To have players learn to find space on their own.
 
Description-
Five players get in a line next to each other.  Other players will line up behind these five players.  Tell the players that they have to make sure that there are an equal number of players in each line.  Players one, three, and five, are identified as the good guys.  Players two and four are identified as the bad guys.  Roll out a ball.  If the good guys get the ball, they have to pass the ball to each of the other good guys in order to win.   If the bad guys get the ball, they have to pass the ball to each other to win. If the 3 players get the ball, insist that the players pass the ball by finding space with their L.  The 2 defenders should play ball-back defense.  If the 2 players get the ball, they should also move around to find space.
 
Variation-
-Have players catch and throw the ball with their sticks to the outside of the box.
 
Notes-This drill prepares players in understanding the concept of the rotating triangle offense.  See the diagram of the rotating triangles offense below.
 
 
3 MAN BOX WITH A ROLL BACK
 
Goal-
To have players practice throwing and catching skills, both righty and lefty (keeping their sticks to the outside).  To have players learn to move to the open space (finding space) so they can be open for a pass. This is a conditioning drill because all players are constantly moving.
 
Description-
This is an advanced drill in which the players are continuously moving.  Arrange 4 cones in a square.  Three players will line up on these cones in the shape of an L.  Players will pass the ball to each other, making sure they keep the shape of an L (players will have to remain adjacent to the ball).  For example, as player 1 passes to player 2, player 3 must run to keep the L and be adjacent to the ball (next to the ball).  Explain to players that this drill applies to a game situation in that they want to get in a position adjacent to their teammate so they can provide an outlet.  Players must keep their sticks to the outside for both catching and throwing.  In receiving a pass a player will run to the ball.  Once he catches it he will roll back (change direction)  and switch the stick to his other hand and throw to the player who is at the cone behind the player (in the direction the player came from). He will then run to the cone in front of him.   All players must run in a clockwise motion.  Remind players that to make the drill work the player catching the ball should run to the appropriate cone and round the corner a few yards to catch the ball.  He should then change direction and run back to the cone he ran by and pass the ball.
 
Variation-
All players run in a counterclockwise motion.
 
 
4 MAN BOX
 
Goal- To have players practice passing and catching both lefty and righty.  To have players practice rolling away from pressure by keeping their stick between their body and the defender. 
 
Description-
Arrange 4 cones in a square about 15 yards apart.  Four players will line up on these cones (or a line of four players at each cone). All players have their sticks to the outside of the box.
1) Player 1 passes the ball with his right hand to player 2 who catches the ball with his outside hand (lefty).   Player 2 rolls,  switching the stick in his hands from lefty to righty and throws righty. He immediately follows his pass to the end of the receiving line (player 2’s line).  (Players will be going counter-clockwise).
2)Player 2 receives, passes to the next line and follows his pass, etc.
 
Notes-
-This is a continuous, rotational drill (shuttle drill)
-The whole team can participate in this drill.  For less wait/standing time, create multiple triangles with lines of no more than 3.
 
Variations-
 1)  Have the ball go in the opposite direction.  Catch righty, roll, and throw lefty (clockwise)
2)Count how many complete passes player’s can make in a certain amount of time (i.e. 30 secs., 1 min.)
3) To make it simpler, eliminate the roll and have the players catch and throw with their strong hand.
4)To help reflexes, add in a second ball.
 
 
STAR DRILL (FIVE POINT PASSING)
 
Goal-
To practice throwing and catching on the run and concentration.
 
Description-
Players form lines at each point of  a five-pointed star.  The player who begins the drill runs to an opposite point of the star and passes the ball (while on the run) to that player.  When the receiver sees the thrower coming he runs out so he can catch the ball on the run. The thrower then joins the line.  The player who received the ball runs to an opposite point (but not the line he received the ball from) and passes the ball (while on the run) and joins that line.  The receiver runs out to catch the ball.  And so on.
 
Variations:
Add in a second ball.
Keep track of how many passes the group can make without dropping the ball.
Throw and catch lefty.
Roll ground balls.
Add in a dodge.
The drill is limited only by imagination.
 
Below is a diagram and the progression:
1 to 2; 2 to 3; 3 to 4; 4 to 5; 5 to 1.
 
 
                                                           5
 
 
    2                                                                                                    3
 
 
 
 
 
4                                                                                                    1

                 
TWO MAN PASSING DRILL DOWNFIELD
 
Goal-
To have players catching and throwing as they are running up the field next to each other.
 
Description-
Players form 2 lines on  an end line facing the opposite end of the field. They are about 5-10 yards apart. Players are instructed to keep the spread distance and keep their sticks upright.  Players run up the field passing the ball back and forth.  Once the players are twenty yards up the field the coach can release the next pair.
 
TRIANGLE LINE DRILL
 
Goal-
To improve player’s ability to catch, throw, and to cut to and through the pass.
 
Description-
Initially use 3 cones to form a triangle.  There should be 15 to 20 yards between the points.  Have players line up at the cones. 
1)Player 1 passes the ball to player 2 and immediately follows his pass to the end of the receiving line (player 2’s line). 
2)Player 2 receives, passes to the next line and follows his pass, etc.
 
Notes-
-This is a continuous, rotational drill (shuttle drill)
-The whole team can participate in this drill.  For less wait/standing time, create multiple triangles with lines of no more than 3.
 
Variations-
1)Players use non-dominant hand
2)Count how many complete passes player’s can make in a certain amount of time (i.e. 30 secs., 1 min.)
 
THREE MAN PASSING WITH WEAVE
 
Goal-
To have players practice catching and throwing on the run and to use both hands.
 
 
Description-
Players form three lines on an end line facing the opposite end of the field.  One line stands directly in the center of the end line with the other two lines about ten to fifteen yards to the left and to the right (the sides of the restraining box).  Players are instructed to keep their sticks upfield and maintain the spread distance.  The rightmost line players have their sticks in their right hands, the leftmost line players have their sticks in their left hands.  The players will pass and weave as they run down the field.  The center player starts with the ball and begins to run straight downfield.  He motions a pass to the line on the right.  At this point, the player on the right breaks diagonally toward the center of the field, staying ahead of the player in the middle line.  The middle player passes to the player from the line on the right, and then breaks to the right side of the field, taking that player’s place.  Now, the rightmost player has become the middle line player and  motions a pass to the leftmost line.  The player in the leftmost line breaks diagonally toward the center of the field, staying ahead of the middle line player.  The middle line player passes to the player from the leftmost line and then breaks to the left side of the field, taking that player’s place.  This weave continues until the three players reach the opposite end line. 
 
V CUT TRIANGLE DRILL – (INSIDE RIGHT AND LEFT)
 
Goal-To have players practice catching and throwing and v cutting.
 
Description-
This is an advanced catching and throwing drill.  Initially use 3 cones to form a triangle.  There should be 15 to 20 yards between the points.  Have players line up at the cones.  Have about 3-4 players in each line.  Have one player start with a ball (player 1).  He will be throwing righty.  He will first throw to the player at a triangle to his left (player 2).  The ball will be passed in a clockwise direction.  Player 2 will start with his stick in his left hand.  Player 2 will do a v cut before receiving the pass.  He will run out to his left 2 yards, switch his stick from his left hand to his right hand, cut back 2 yards and receive the pass.  He will then pass the ball to the player on his left, player 3.  Before receiving the ball player 3 will execute the same v cut.  The ball will be passed around in the same manner, with each player executing a v cut before catching the ball.  This drill simulates a real game situation.  The reason or the v cut and the switching of sticks in hand is that players are trying to be deceptive.
 
Variation-
Lefty variation.  Have the players catch and throw lefty.  Players will do the same pattern but they will be going in a counter-clockwise direction.  Players will be v cutting to their right and coming back to their left.     
 
 
ROLL BACK TRIANGLE DRILL – (OUTSIDE RIGHT AND LEFT)
 
Goal-To have players practice catching and throwing and v cutting.  To have players practice their roll back.
 
Description-
This is an advanced catching and throwing drill.  Initially use 3 cones to form a triangle.  There should be 15 to 20 yards between the points.  Have players line up at the cones.  Have about 3-4 players in each line.  Have one player start with a ball (player 1).  He will be throwing righty.  He will first throw to the player at a triangle to his left (player 2).  The ball will be passed in a clockwise direction.  Player 2 will start with his stick in his left hand.  Player 2 will do a v cut before receiving the pass.  He will run out to his left 2 yards, switch his stick from his left hand to his right hand, cut back 2 yards and receive the pass.  He will then roll back and pass the ball to the player on his left, player 3. With the roll back the player will catch the ball with his right hand and change direction while switching his stick to his left hand (keeping the stick to the outside).  Before receiving the ball player 3 will execute the same v cut.  The ball will be passed around in the same manner, with each player executing a v cut before catching the ball and using a roll back after catching the ball.  This drill simulates a real game situation.  The reason for the v cut and the switching of sticks in hand is that players are trying to be deceptive.  The reason for the roll back is to protect the ball.
 
Variation-
Lefty variation.   Players will do the same pattern but they will be going in a counter-clockwise direction.  Players will be v cutting to their right and coming back to their left and catching with their left hand.   They will then roll back and throw with their right hand.    
 
PARTNER OVER THE SHOULDER
 
Goal-
To have players practice catching over the shoulder.
 
Description-
Have players pair up with each pair with a ball.  Player 1 will have his stick in his right hand and run out 5-10 yards for a pass.  Player 2 will pass the ball over player 1’s left shoulder as player 1 runs out.  Have them switch positions.  After they each catch the ball several times have them next catch the ball over their right shoulder.  Remind them of proper over the shoulder catching technique.
 
Variation-
Catch over both shoulders with their left hands.
 
Note-
If younger players have trouble using their sticks to pass the ball over the shoulder have them use their hands to throw it.

BOX DRILL
 
This is a three-man drill that has one player moving continuously around the outside of 2 standing players.  The goal is to have the moving player catch and throw from the box area next to his head as he moves around the stationary players.  To do the drill position 2 players facing each other.  A third player will run around them.  One stationary player starts with the ball. He passes it to the moving player (how has his stick to the outside) running towards him and gets an immediate return pass.  He then passes the ball to the other stationary player.  The moving player runs around the first player who had the ball and gets a pass from the second stationary player.  He gives a quick return pass to the stationary player.  This continues on.  Players can then switch positions.  They can also go in the opposite direction.

CUT TO THE NET AND SHOOT WITH A QUICK STICK
 
A group of players stands to the side the net on Goal Line Extended (GLE).  Another group stands on the restraining line. The first player from the group on the restraining line cuts to the net and receives a pass from the first  player on GLE.  The player catches and shoots in one motion (quick stick).  Players switch lines.
 
Variations-
Have the players on the restraining line start with the ball.  He will pass to GLE and cut to the restraining line for the return pass. (give and go)
 
For more of a challenge add in a defender or a goalie.
  
 

CRADLING/PROTECTING THE BALL

 
MAGIC HANDS DRILL
 
Goal-
To practice switching hands while cradling with two hands.
 
Description-
Players hold the stick in their right-handed cradle (without a ball).  Their feet remain stationary.  They rotate their shoulders to the right to protect the ball.  They then take the top hand off of the stick and at the same time loosen the bottom hand and let the stick slide down.  The bottom hand will now be the top hand.   They place the other hand at the bottom of the stick.  At the same time as they are switching hands they rotate their shoulders to the left. They continue switching hands back and forth and rotating shoulders.
 
STATIONARY ROLL BACK DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice rolling back (changing their stick from one hand to the other while keeping their backs to the defender).
 
Description-
Give each player a ball.  Tell them they will be practicing this technique on their own.  Have the players hold the stick in the right hand throwing position (hands about 13 inches apart).  Have them swing their right foot behind them and switch their sticks to the left handed throwing position at the same time.  Have them return to original position and repeat 5-10 times for muscle memory.  Instruct the players that this is an important skill to learn because they need to keep their body in between the ball and the defender. 
 
Variation-
Same drill except go from lefty to righty.
 
CRADLING LINES
 
Goal-
To practice cradling on the run
 
Description-
Players get into lines.  Each one has a ball in the stick in the right hand. Players will be using the one hand cradle. Each player runs up the field in a straight line, cradling and keeping the stick parallel to the body.  Players should run at 50 percent.  They should look around the field, not at their stick.  Coming back everyone should switch to their left hands.  When they get back they can repeat the drill.  Their speed can be increased to 75 percent to 100 percent.
 
Note- Sticks should be parallel to the ground and shoulders rotated to protect the ball.  Off-stick arm should be up for ball protection.
 
Variations-
a) Perform the same drill but with the two handed cradle.
b)Have players run at full speed as a conditioning drill.
c)Even the lines and turn it into a relay race.
 
 
ONE HANDED SWITCH DRILL
 
Goal-
To practice switching hands while cradling one handed and protecting the ball
 
Description-
Players stand with their feet stationary and cradling the ball with their right hand.  The left arm should be up protecting the ball.  Their  shoulders should be rotated to the right to protect the ball.  Players then rotate their shoulders to the left.  After they rotate their shoulders to the left they place the stick into their left hand.  They cradle with their left hand and have the right arm up to protect the ball.  The drill continues back to the right and back to the left etc.
 
 
SPINNING WHEEL
 
Goal-
 To have players practice cradling with one hand while protecting the ball.
 
Description-
Players pair up.  One player will have the ball and is the cradler.  The other plays defense. The cradler starts with his stick and ball in his right hand.  He then plants his left foot in front of him and keeps the left foot stationary.  The cradler uses the stationary foot as a pivot point and spins around it as he cradles and tries to keep the ball away from the defender.  The defender works his way around the cradler and tries to tap the shaft of the cradler’s stick when he sees it exposed.  The cradler pretends there is a nail in his stationary foot and spins around it trying to keep his stick away from the defender.  The stationary foot is the hub and the moving body is the wheel.  The defender gets a point if he taps the cradler’s stick.  Play for 15 seconds and switch positions.
 
Variation- The cradler holds the stick in his left hand and keeps his right foot stationary.
 
Note-The cradler should keep his stick straight up and down and his off-stick arm out to protect the ball. (The cradler cannot push off with the off-stick arm for that is warding. The cradler should keep his head up to see the defender.
 
 
CRADLING WHISTLE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice cradling skills while developing endurance
 
Description-
Have players do laps around the field with a ball.  As they are jogging and warming up, have them change hands and cradle on the whistle.  Double whistle is sprint with the ball.  Whistle: one-handed cradle right.  Whistle: one-handed cradle left.  Whistle: run backwards and cradle.  Whistle: shuffle.  Whistle: face dodge.  Etc. 
 
GAUNTLET
 
Goal-
To have players practice switching hands while cradling.
 
Description-
Create groups of about five players and place the groups on one end line.  Leave one player on the end line.  The other players will move onto the field from the end line and space themselves in a line about five feet apart.  Each player will have a ball.  The player on the end line will start with a right handed cradle.  He will then run and weave between the other players while cradling the ball with two hands. After he goes around the first  player he will switch from a right handed cradle to a left handed cradle and so on (he switches hands after he goes around each player).  Once the first player gets to the end of the line he will stand in line five feet from the last player.  The next player will then run and cradle.  Players continue in this fashion until they get to the other end line.  Players will then come back the other way in a similar fashion.
 
Variation-
Cones- Place cones in a line.  Instead of running around players, the players will run around cones.  The players will start in a line and one player will go after the other running around cones.
 
BACK AND FORTH CRADLING
 
Goal-
To have players practice cradling and switching hands while cradling.  To have players practice keeping their body in between the defender and the ball.
 
Description-
Each player will have a ball.  Spread players out on the field, each player facing the coach.   Have the players start with the stick in their right hands.  They will use the two-handed cradle.   On a command, the players will run about ten feet to their right.  They will plant their left foot and switch their stick to their left hand. As they switch hands they will keep their back to the coach (this simulates keeping their back to the defender in the defender-body-ball technique).  The players run back to their original spot, facing the coach.  The stick is now in the player’s left hand.  The players now run to their right about ten feet and plant their right foot.  They switch their stick to their right hand. As they switch hands they will keep their back to the coach (this simulates keeping their back to the defender in the defender-body-ball technique).  The players run back to their original position.  The players keep repeating this sequence.
 
Variations-
1)The coach holds up fingers and the players have to call out the number of fingers the coach holds up.  This helps players practice keeping their heads up.
2)Use the one handed cradle.
3)Have players run in a zig zag pattern to simulate making it harder for a defender to cover them.
 

TEAM CRADLING DRILL-
 
Goal-
To have players practice different types of cradling while on the run.
 
Description-
The whole team will do this drill at the same time.  Players will be following each other in a single file line.  Each player will have a ball.    Have players start on the end line in one corner.  The players will run along the end line using a two handed  vertical cradle to  other corner.  When they reach that corner they will switch to a left handed vertical cradle.  They will run to the midfield line.  When they reach the midfield line they will switch to a one-handed righty cradle.  They will run across the field along the midfield line.  When they reach the side line they will switch to a lefty one-handed  cradle.  They will run along the sideline to the original starting spot. Repeat the above sequence as many times as is appropriate.
 
Note-
Make sure players are using proper cradling technique.
 
CRADLING CIRCLE-
 
Goal-
To have players practice cradling under pressure.
 
Description-
Using cones, create circles  about 5-7 yards in diameter.  Two players will be using each circle.  One player will start with the ball and the other will play light defense. The player with the ball will run around the circle starting with a two-handed righty cradle. He will try to keep the ball from the defender, who will be poke checking.  When he is cut off by the defender, he will switch to a two-handed lefty cradle, and so on.  Have players switch spots after a minute or two.  Then have them switch to a one-handed cradle.  Set up multiple circles so all players can be involved.
 
 

DODGING

 
PASSIVE RESISTANCE DODGING DRILL
 
Goal-
To practice dodging with minimal resistance.
 
Description-
Players form a line and each player has a ball.  A coach/player stands about 10 feet from the line and holds a stick out.  The player runs at the coach/player and performs a dodge around him.  Once each player dodges the coach/player in one direction they can come back from the other direction.  A cone can be used in place of the coach/player.
 
Variation-  For practicing a variety of dodges the coach can call out the type of dodge he wants the player to perform as the player approaches the coach/player/cone.
 
 
CHANGE OF DIRECTION DODGE DRILL
 
Goal-
To practice the change of direction dodge.
 
Description-
Players form a line facing the coach. Each player has a ball. Sticks are in the right hand. Players use a two handed cradle.   At coach’s whistle or command players jog up the field to their right at a 45 degree angle cradling the ball in their right hand. After 5-10 yards players plant their left foot, switch their sticks to their left hands and turn to their right (perform a change of direction dodge). They then run to their left up the field at a 45 degree angle.  After 5-10 yards they plant their right foot, switch the stick to their right hand, and run up the field to their right at a 45 degree angle.  They continue up the field in this fashion.
 
Variations-
1) Players use one handed cradle.
Note-Make sure the players bring their stick hand back to the off-stick hand to exchange the stick.
 
 
PARTNER DODGE
 
Goal-
To have players practice dodging with slight pressure.
 
Description-
Players form pairs and line up across from each other.   One player has the ball and should be facing a goal if possible.  The other player is the defender.  The player with the ball tries to beat his partner with a dodge and take a shot on goal.  The defender should apply slight pressure but not go all out. Players then switch roles.  Players continue in this fashion until the coach stops the drill.
 
ZIG ZAG DODGING
 
Goal-
To have players practice dodges using both their left and right hands.
 
Description-
     Place 8-10 cones in the field in a zig zag pattern.  Leave about 15 feet between the cones.  Have players form a line at the beginning of the zig zag pattern.  Form multiple patterns of cones to have fewer players in line.  In setting the pattern set the first cone to the player’s right.  The pattern came be used with a variety of dodges.  Start with the face dodge.  Start with sticks in the right hand.  The first player in line will run out and perform a face dodge on the first cone.  As he runs to the second cone he will switch his stick to his left hand.  He will then perform a face dodge on the second cone with his left hand.  He will run to the third cone and switch his stick back to his right hand as he runs to the cone.  He will perform a right handed dodge on the third cone.  And so on.  After the first player is part way through the zig zag the second player will start.  After a player completes the pattern he will run back to the outside and get back in line.
     Next have the players do the roll dodge using two hands.  Players will roll at each cone and switch hands. Players can also do the roll with one hand.   Have players also do the split dodge
 
Notes-
You can do all the dodges or just focus on one or two.  Make sure you watch players for proper technique.
 
 
Z DODGE DRILL-
 
Goal-
To have players practice the Z dodge.
 
Description-
Have players form a line (or two lines).  There will be no defender.  On the coaches command a player runs up field and performs a Z dodge.  Have them go through the following steps:
 
 
1)Hold the stick in a one handed or two handed cradle.  Drive directly at the defender.  As you drive at the defender he will most likely back away.
 
2)When you are near the defender cut sharply to  the side at a 45 degree angle. Take a few steps to your right (or left if the stick is in the left hand).  This move should create space between you and the defender.
 
3)If the defender comes at you, drive up field past the defender.
 
Have the players do multiple Z dodges as they go up the field.  After the first players go up the field somewhat, have the next players go.
 
Note- This dodge looks like a Z.  Remind the players to turn their shoulders to protect the ball.
 
LANE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice movement on defense and dodges on offense.
 
Description-
Using cones create lanes about 15 yards wide and one-half the field long.  Two players will start in each lane, one on offense and one on defense.  The player on offense will run at half speed down the lane, zig zagging from side to side (using the whole 15 yard width).  When the player on offense gets to the side of the lane he can do a split dodge or change of direction dodge as he changes direction.  The defender will play light defense and shuffle or run hip to hip with the player on offense (depending on the speed of the player on offense). The defender will use a drop step to change direction.  When the pair gets to midfield they will switch positions and come back.  The next pair in that lane will then go.
 
Note-
The purpose for the defender is not to dislodge the ball from the player on offense but rather to practice his footwork as the player on offense practices his dodges.
 
Variation-
Defender can play without a stick to practice footwork and body positioning.
 
Variation-
Defender can play harder and use poke checks to make it more challenging.
 
 
GAUNTLET
 
Goal-
To have players practice a variety of dodges and practice dodges using both their left and right hands.
 
Description-
      Create groups of about five players and place the groups on one end line.  Leave one player on the end line.  The other players will move onto the field from the end line and space themselves in a line about five feet apart.  Each player will have a ball.  The player on the end line will start by running by each player and executing a dodge at each one.  Once the first player gets to the end of the line he will stand in line five feet from the last player.  The next player will then run and cradle (the second player in line).  Players continue in this fashion until they get to the other end line.  Players will then come back the other way in a similar fashion.
     You could have the players do the same dodge at each person or have them execute a different dodge at each person.  You could also instruct the players to do all righty dodges, all lefty dodges, or alternating from left to right.
 
Variation-
Cones- Place cones in a line.  Instead of running around players, the players will run around cones.  The players will start in a line and one player will go after the other running around cones.
 

QUESTION MARK /INSIDE ROLL/ROCKER DODGE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice the question mark dodge, the inside roll dodge, and the rocker dodge.  This is also a drill to practice shooting on the run.
 
Description-
This is a good drill for attackmen to practice creating their own shots.  Have players form a line behind the goal at X.  Each player should have a ball.  Have the first player run out to a cone at the 4 and 4 spot (to the right of the goal as you look at the goal from behind) and perform a question mark dodge.  The four and four spot is four yards up field from the goalpost and four yards out towards the sideline.  It is a prime spot for dodging and shooting.  The player will take a shot on goal.  Tell the player to take two steps while running after performing the dodge and shoot.  The player will return to the back of the line and the next player will go.  You can set up lines at both ends of the field and on both sides of the goal.  Have players then do the inside roll dodge and then the rocker dodge.  You can have a coach act as a passive defender in place of the cone.
 
Variation-
1)Have players perform the drill from the left side of the goal (looking from the back of the goal).
2)While the player is behind the net, have the player add in a dodge, such as a change of direction dodge or split dodge.
 
MIDFIELDER DODGE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have midfielders practice dodging and creating their own shots.
 
Description-
This is a good drill for midfielders to practice creating their own shots. Have players form a line on the restraining line near the left sideline (as they are facing the goal).  Have the first player run  to a cone at the 4 and 4 spot. The four and four spot is four yards up field from the goalpost and four yards out towards the sideline.  It is a prime spot for dodging and shooting.  At the 4 and 4 the player will perform a change of direction dodge, run two steps towards the goal, and shoot. The player will return to the back of the line and the next player will go.  You can set up lines at both ends of the field and on both sides of the goal.   You can have a coach act as a passive defender in place of the cone.
 
Variations-
1) Have the players line up near the right sideline.
2) Have the players line up in the middle of the field and perform a split dodge at a cone.
 
 
1 V 1 FROM IN FRONT OF THE GOAL 
 
Goal-
To have players practice their dodging skills under pressure.  To have defense practice their defensive skills.
 
Description-
Players form two lines facing the goal, one offense and the other defense.  Offense starts with the ball and tries to do a dodge on the defender.  The defender uses defensive skills to try and stop the offensive player.  If the offensive player gets by the defenseman he can take a shot on goal.
 
 
1 V 1 FROM IN BACK OF THE GOAL
 
Goal-
To have players practice their dodging skills under pressure.  To have defense practice their defensive skills.
 
Description-
Players form two lines behind the goal, one offense and the other defense.  Offense starts with the ball and tries to do a dodge on the defender.  The defender uses defensive skills to try and stop the offensive player.  If the offensive player gets by the defenseman he can take a shot on goal.