Youth lacrosse in Shelburne, VT

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DRILLS AND GAMES (K, Grades 1-2)

 
SECTION  ONE- INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES,  WARM UP ACTIVITIES, AND STRETCHING, 
 
 
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
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
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.  Have the players rotate positions after a period of time.
 
COACH TOSS
 
Goal-
To have players practice catching balls to their off- stick side and to catch low passes.
 
Drill-
 
Have players line up side by side with an arms length in between them.  The coach will have a quantity of balls with her/him.  The coach will then softly underhand toss a ball to each player’s off-stick side.  Repeat several times.  The coach will then toss low balls to both the stick side and off-stick side.  Repeat.
 
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.
 
CRADLING/PROTECTING THE BALL
 
CRADLING LINES/CRADLING LINES RELAY RACE
 
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 two handed 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.  Have players run up to an end line or a cone.   When they get back they can repeat the drill.  Their speed can be increased to 75 percent to 100 percent.  You can even the lines and run this as a relay race.
 
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 back to a right handed cradle.  They will run across the field along the midfield line.  When they reach the side line they will switch to a lefty cradle.  They will run along the sideline to the original starting spot. Repeat the above sequence as many times as is appropriate.
 
CONE CRADLING-
 
Goal-
To have players practice different types of cradling while on the run.
 
Description-
Form several lines of players.  Place five to seven cones in front of each line.  The cones should be about 5 yards apart.  Using a righty two-handed cradle, have the first player in line weave between the cones.  When he/she gets to the last cone he/she will turn around and come back.  Have the next player go, and so on.  After all players go once, have them do the drill again but when they get to a cone they should switch their cradle to the opposite hand.  For example, they will run around the first cone using a righty cradle and then switch hands  to a lefty cradle. 
 
Note-
Review lefty and righty cradling before starting the drill.
 
GROUND BALLS/SCOOPING
 
INDIVIDUAL SCOOPING AND CRADLING
 
Goal-
To develop scooping skills
 
Description-
 A player starts with a ball in his stick and rolls out the ball.  He then scoops up the ground ball.  Be sure the scooper bends his knees and scoops through the ball.    After scooping the ball, the ball carrier runs several steps while cradling the ball ( the scooper should have a tight cradle protecting the ball)
 
Variations-
a) Kicking and Hitting Ball With the Stick Variation
Same as above but the player with the ball will start by kicking the ball at his feet away from him and then scooping the ball.  The purpose of this is to teach the concept that a player can gain scooping space by kicking the ball away.  Another way to gain space is to hit the ball away with the stick and then scoop.
 
b)Players scoop with their non-dominant hand.
 
c)Players roll the ball between their legs to start.
 
PARTNER SCOOPING AND CRADLING
 
Goal-
To develop scooping skills
 
Description-
Players line up in pairs 10 yards apart facing each other.  One player has the ball at his feet.  On the coach’s command, he scoops up the ball, cradles the ball, and passes it to his partner.  Be sure the scooper bends his knees and scoops through the ball.  The receiver yells “help” or “here’s your help.”  After scooping the ball, the ball carrier runs several steps while cradling the ball ( the scooper should have a tight cradle protecting the ball) and passes to his partner.
 
Variations-
a) Kicking and Hitting Ball With the Stick Variation
Same as above but the player with the ball will start by kicking the ball at his feet away from him and then scooping the ball.  The purpose of this is to teach the concept that a player can gain scooping space by kicking the ball away.  Another way to gain space is to hit the ball away with the stick and then scoop.
 
b)Players scoop with their non-dominant hand.
 
END LINE GROUND BALLS
 
Goal-
To have players practice scooping ground balls on the move.
 
Description-
Players line up side by side along the end line.  Place as many players along the line as fit comfortably.  Have a second group line up side by side a few feet behind the first group.  Each player has a ball.  The first group starts first.   Each player rolls out a ground ball a few feet in front of himself.  He then runs out and scoops up the ground ball.  He then rolls out the ball again and scoops it up.  The player continues this way down the field to the other end line.  After the first group has gone out a little the second group will start.  Once all the players have reached the opposite end line they will come back in the other direction to the original starting spot.  Make sure you instruct players to use proper scooping technique.
 
Variation-
Scoop with the non-dominant hand.
 
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.
 
GROUND BALL PASSES
 
Goal-
To have players practice ground balls while running.
 
Description-
Players form two lines next to each other.  One player from one line starts with the ball.  Players run up the field rolling ground balls back and forth.  After one pair is part way up the field the next pair can go.  Once all players are at the far end they can come back.
 
STEAL THE BACON
 
Goal-
To develop scooping and passing skills under pressure.
 
Description-
Players line up in four lines.  Each line is given a number (or a name).    The coach rolls out a ball and calls out some numbers (for example, one and three).  The players with that number run out and compete for the ground ball.  The player who gets it brings the ball closer to the coach and passes him the ball. The player who doesn’t get the ball plays defense.  A new set of numbers is then called out.  A coach can call out two numbers to set up a one on one situation or four numbers to create a two on two situation.  If a two on two is created the players with the ball will want to pass the ball to get it closer to the coach.  Coaches can run the same drill at different spots on the field to make the lines shorter.
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
DEFENSIVE DRILLS
 
DEFENSIVE SHUFFLE DRILL
 
Goal-
To have players practice defensive footwork.
 
Description-
Have players line up in a row on a sideline facing the goal.  There should be about  two arms lengths in between players. Players will have their sticks in their hands.  Sticks will be pointed forward.  On the coaches command players will shuffle to their right to the middle of the field. They will stop and then shuffle to their left back to their original position.  Repeat.
 
NO STICK ONE ON ONE
 
Goal-
To have a defender practice his stance and footwork.
 
Description-
Two lines of players are formed; players on offense near the restraining line and defenders at GLE to one side of the goal. A line of cones about 15 yards is created extending out from the goal.  The players have to stay within the cones. The defenders have no stick.  The first two players from each line step out.  The offensive player has the ball. The defender will get into the defensive stance and guard the ball carrier.  On the coach’s command the offensive player will try to go to goal and the defender will use his footwork to stay with the offensive player.  The drill ends after the offensive player takes a shot or loses the ball.  Players switch lines.  As an alternative have the defender lock the stick behind his back instead of going without the stick.
 
SHOOTING
 
T BALL
 
Goal-
To have players practice shooting.
 
Description-
The coach will have a bucket of balls around ten yards in front of the net.  Players will form a line facing the net a few feet from the coach.  The coach will underhand toss a ball into the air and the first player in line will catch it.  The player will then shoot on goal.  The player will take a few shots and then go to the back of the line.
 
Note-
-As the players do the drill remind them of proper shooting technique.
-To maximize the number of players shooting use as many goals as possible
 
Variation-
The coach can pass the ball with a stick.
 
SCOOP AND SHOOT
 
Goal-
To have players practice scooping and shooting.
 
Description-
Form a line of players at midfield facing the goal.  Leave a number of balls between the player and the goal.  Have a player run up, scoop a ball, and then run in and take a shot on goal.  The player then gets back in line.
 
SHOOT OUT
 
Goal-
To have players practice shooting in a competitive setting.
 
Description-
Place a tarp in the goal.  Players form a line.  Create a line the players have to be behind to shoot.  Make the line far enough away to be challenging but not so far that the players can’t hit the tarp.  Each player will take a shot on goal and try and hit the tarp.  If a player makes the shot, he moves on to the next round.  Players keep shooting until there is a winner.  Have players who miss go to the other end and shoot to keep them active.
 
SECTION 3 – LINE DRILLS
 
RIGHT-ON-RIGHT- PASSING AND CATCHING
 
Goal-
To develop passing and catching skills while moving
 
Description-
Two lines of three to four players stand 20 yards apart facing each other.  Start the drill with all players holding their sticks in their right hand.  The first player in line carries a ball a few steps and throws it with his right hand to the first player in the other line, who is moving toward him.  The thrower follows the pass, and then goes to the end of the opposite line. 
         The receiver and passer move toward each other, and the receiver calls “help” or “here’s your help.”  The passer throws the ball overhand to the ready position of the receiver. 
 
Variations-
a)Players catch with right hand and throw with the left.
b)Left-On-Left passing and catching. Players throw and catch with their left hand.
 
GROUND BALLS TO
 
Goal-
To develop ground ball skills while moving
 
Description-
Two lines of three to four players stand 20 yards apart facing each other.  Start the drill with all players holding their sticks in their right hand.  A player from one of the lines runs toward the opposing line.  When he gets halfway to the opposing line he rolls the ball to the next player in line.  Receivers should practice keeping their bodies in front of the ball to block a bad hop, and lowering the butt end of their sticks for the scoop. The receiver scoops up the ball and runs to the opposite line and does the same.
 
 
GROUND BALLS AWAY
 
Goal-
To develop ground ball skills while moving
 
Description-
Two lines of three to four players stand 20 yards apart facing each other.  Start the drill with all players holding their sticks in their right hand.  A player from one of the lines runs toward the opposing line.  When he gets near the opposing line he rolls the ball away from the next player in line (back toward the line he came from).  The next player in line runs out and scoops up the ball and runs to the opposite line and does the same.
 
 
DUMMY DODGING
 
Goal-
To develop dodging skills
 
Description-
Two lines of three to four players stand 20 yards apart facing each other.  Players hold their sticks in their right hand. Start the drill with a player from one line running toward the other line and passing the ball when he is one-half way across.  The Player who passed stops mid-way between the two lines and takes on the role of a defender.    The receiver of the ball in the other line catches the ball and runs at the player who is acting as a defender. He dodges the defender, passes the ball to the next player in line and stops.  He is now the defender.  The defender should hold his stick out but only play passive defense. The drill continues on in this fashion.
 
 
SECTION 4- TEAM SKILLS 
 
TRANSITION OFFENSE AND DEFENSE
 
2 ON 1
 
Goal-
To have both offensive and defensive players understand where to play in a situation where the offense has an extra player(s).  To have both offensive and defensive players understand what to do on a fast break (numbers situation))
 
Description-
Form 3 lines facing a goal.  The middle line will play defense.  The defender starts by facing the two on offense and taking a few steps back.  One player on offense starts with the ball and runs towards the goal.  If the defender comes to him, he will pass the ball to the other person on offense who will be open for a pass.  That person will attempt a shot on goal.  If the defender does not commit to the player with the ball, that player will take the ball to the net and shoot.  The coach should explain the theory behind a numbers situation for both offense and defense sometime during the drill.
 
Notes-
General strategy on offense when attacking in a situation with more on offense than defense (This is called a “numbers” situation and frequently occurs on a fast break)
 
a) When the offensive player has a numerical advantage over an opponent during a fast break, the offensive ball carrier should move the ball down the field towards the goal until he is stopped by the defender (the ball carrier should continue towards the goal to shoot if he is not picked up by the defense).
b) Once the ball carrier is stopped he should look to pass to an open teammate.
c) Maintaining space.  Offensive players should maintain enough space between each other so that one defender may not cover two offensive players at once.
d) In order to help the ball carrier who may receive defensive pressure, offensive players without the ball should free themselves from the defender.
e) Offensive players must look up as they run down the field and pass the ball to any teammate who is open and in front of them in such a way as to enhance their numerical advantage.  Passes should be quick and accurate. A passed ball moves faster than being run on the ground and can speed up the transition and numerical advantage quickly and efficiently.
 
General strategy on defense.
 
a) If the offensive team is on a fast break, a defender’s objective is to stall for time (thereby slowing the break down) and try to cover one or multiple offensive players while his teammates recover to help him.  The first rule is to get back to the hole (the area in front of the goal; similar to the basketball concept of getting back in the paint).
 
b) The defender guarding the ball carrier should maintain proper defensive position- he should stand with his back to the goal and with an “open” stance, i.e., he should have one foot pointing to the player with the ball and the other foot pointing to the player without the ball.  This creates a triangle with the defender – ball - other offensive player.
 
c) Defenders should have quick footwork so that they may force the offense to make several passes, allowing time for teammates to recover and help play defense.
 
d) If necessary, defenders should give up an outside shot or a shot from a poor angle, instead of a close, in-tight shot on goal.
 
E) If attacking players should achieve a numerical advantage close to the goal, it is the defense’s primary task to protect the goal by forming a tight triangle in front of the crease and forcing the offense to pass the ball or take poor shots.  After other defenders recover, the defense may assume the proper settled defensive positioning.
 
f) Players trailing the fast break should run back to the hole rather than directly to the ball carrier on the fast break.  Once in the hole, they should pick up the open player who is most dangerous. 
 
 
SECTION 5- SMALL GAMES
 
3 ON 3 KEEP AWAY (2 ON 2)
 
Goal-
To have players practice moving without the ball and man to man coverage.
 
Description-
 Set up a square about 20 yards by 20 yards.  Create groups of 3 players.  Send two groups of three players into the square.  One group of three players will try to keep the ball away from the other group.  Offensive players cut to get open.  Defensive players play man to man defense.  If there is a turnover the team getting the ball goes on offense.  Leave teams out for a few minutes and switch.
 
SCRIMMAGE
 
Goal-
To have players simulate a game situation.
 
Description-
Play four on four so the kids get the ball frequently.  To encourage passing you can put in a rule that players need to pass the ball 2 or 3 times before shooting.