Beginner Lacrosse Drills

Beginner Lacrosse Drills

Lacrosse Drills for Beginners & Intermediate Players

Here are some of the basic lacrosse drills that coaches use with young lacrosse players. These beginner & intermediate lacrosse drills will help to improve their overall lacrosse skills.

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Lacrosse Catching Drills

  • Basic passing & catching with a stationary partner – practice right and left hand passes & catches.
  • Two kids running down the field in parallel passing back and forth. Running & catching with your non-dominant hand can be tough for beginners.
  • Practice catching goalie clears. Act as a goalie and your players will have to break out left or right from the goal and catch a ball on the run.
  • Practice catching “misguided” passes (that are almost out of reach). Pass a ball that is almost too high or wide so the player must extend his stick (versus keeping his hand near the head of the stick). This will help him to intercept opponent passes or catch errant passes from your teammates. You can also make this into a wall ball drill.
  • Bad pass drills. Kids often throw erratic passes in a lacrosse game so it is important for kids to practice on how to catch these passes. Have two kids face each other and make bad passes to each other (i.e. throw the pass low, throw the ball to the left side when the teammate has the stick on the right side, throw the ball high, etc.).
  • Cross handed catching drills. Have two kids face each other. They pass the ball righty but catch the ball on the left without changing their hands. They just move the stick across their face to catch. More advanced players should also practice this drill with their left hands.
  • Wall ball & rebounder drills are the fastest way for beginners to get better at catching because they can get many more “touches” in a set period of time and they can practice at home by themselves (versus needing a partner or a team practice).
  • Visit the Lacrosse Catching section for tips on how to catch, instructional videos, etc.

Lacrosse Clearing Drills

  • A basic clearing drill involves having defenders & middies standing in a line near the goalie. They will take turns running towards the midfield line. The first player will run to the right side and the goalie will pass him the ball. The second player in line will run towards the middle of the field and the goalie will pass the ball. The third player runs left & goalie passes ball… and so on. This clearing drill teaches young players how to catch clears on the run.
  • To make this drill more realistic, once players can catch clears well, add a player (i.e. attackman) to ride clearing player after they have caught the ball.
  • After receiving a clear, players should also practice cross field passes (done while stationary and on the run) because they may have to clear the ball by passing to an open teammate on the far side of the field.
  • For information on clears, please visit the main section on Lacrosse Clears.
  • US Lacrosse – Clearing Drills
  • Scoop & Clear Drill​
  • Clears After The Shot

Lacrosse Cradling Drills

  • Practice two hand cradling while running down the field. Switch from left to right side on each whistle blow from a parent/coach.
  • A little more difficult – Practice one hand cradling while running down the field. Switch hands on each whistle blow from a parent/coach. Remember to teach the kids to lock their non-cradling arm in place to avoid any warding penalties.
  • Light defensive pressure by one kid against someone who is practicing his cradling. Learn how to protect the stick with your body.
  • Visit our main Lacrosse Cradling page for more cradling basics and tips.

Lacrosse Defense Drills

  • Practice various checks (i.e. poke checks, lift checks, slap checks, etc.) in order to dislodge the ball from your opponent.
  • A player must practice moving his feet and screening an opponent off from the goal. Have an attackman try to blow past the defender in order to score and the defender must stop a clear shot just by moving his body.
  • Work on clears. Often a defender will win a groundball or snag a pass near the goal. Players must practice getting rid of the ball quickly, especially to a middie in order to start a fast break.
  • Starting around 5th/6th grade, defenders can use lacrosse defense long poles. One of the advantages of this long pole is snagging high passes by your opponents. The defender will gain the ball for team and infuriate the opposing coach!
  • You can practice this takeaway skill with a simple “monkey in the middle” lacrosse drill. Just position the player with the d-pole in the middle and have two other players (on opposite sides) toss moderately high passes to one another. Have the defender try to snag these passes with his d-pole.
  • Or try wall ball drills where the player must throw high passes against a wall. He should then try to snag the high rebounds with his d-pole fully extended.
  • Practice checks as some checks are easier with a long defensive pole (i.e. wrap check).
  • However, protecting the ball is harder as the long pole “sticks out” (i.e. above the player’s head). Therefore, you should run long pole cradling and “under pressure” drills (where attackmen ride the defensive players).
  • Visit our main Lacrosse Defense page for more defense drills and instruction.
  • US Lacrosse – Instructions for Defense Drills
  • Defending Against Feeds to the Crease

Lacrosse Dodging Drills

  • Station orange cones where the kids have to demonstrate a different dodge at each cone.
  • Practice dodging past a defender with various dodges (i.e. split dodgeface dodgeroll dodge, etc.). Start with no pressure from the defender and slowly increase to full pressure defense.
  • Combine with shooting drills so players must dodge past a defender in order to shoot on the goal. Defender can either go all out or they can just give light poke checks in order for players to focus more on dodging “mechanics”.
  • Visit our main Lacrosse Dodges page in order to learn tons of different dodges (i.e. Toe Drag).

Lacrosse Ground Balls Drills

  • Roll ball out and two players charge out to “win” the ball. The winner should then try to shoot on a goal and the loser should defend against this shot. You can also make it harder with three players going after one ball.
  • Practice scooping ground balls (without pressure) from a variety of angles. You can roll the balls quickly towards the players in the front as they run towards you. Next, you can have the players scoop the balls from the side as they run across the field laterally away from you.
  • Drop a ball halfway between two players and let them battle for the ball.
  • Make sure that you practice “box out” drills (where a player uses his hips, rear, etc. to push his opponent away from the ball).
  • Also practice kicking the ball out of the scrum. Players can gain possession by kicking a contested ball away from the opponent in order to gain an easier pick-up.
  • You can practice ground ball “reaction speed” by having the players facing away from you and then turning to scoop up the ground ball when you tell them to turn as you roll out the ball.
  • Visit our Lacrosse Ground Balls page for more drills.
  • US Lacrosse – Instructions for Ground Ball Drills
  • 2 on 1 Ground Ball Drill
  • Ground Ball Box Out Drill
  • Ground Ball Drill with a Chaser

Lacrosse Passing Drills

  • Basic passing & catching with a stationary partner – practice right and left hand passes & catches. This is one of the first beginner lacrosse drills that kids should practice. The partner can be another kid or a parent.
  • Two kids running down the field in parallel passing back and forth.
  • Passing under pressure. One kid lightly pressuring a passer who must get off a clean pass to the parent/coach.
  • Triangle drill. Three kids in a triangle passing around the triangle – start with 10 righty passes & catches and then 10 lefty. You can make it harder by making the kids run in a circle while passing & catching.
  • Bad pass drills. Kids often throw erratic passes in a lacrosse game so it is important for kids to practice on how to catch these passes. Have two kids face each other and make bad passes to each other (i.e. throw the pass low, throw the ball to the left side when the teammate has the stick on the right side, throw the ball high, etc.).
  • Visit our main Lacrosse Passing page for more passing instruction and ideas.

Lacrosse Riding Drills

  • Lacrosse rides are a critical skill for a team to learn. Offensive players need to learn how to ride “legally” so they are not called for slashing penalties, etc. Moreover, defenders need to practice against rides in order to develop a greater chance of successful clears.
  • Rides can get the ball back for your team (i.e. when an opposing goalie trying to initiate a clear) or stop/slow a potential fast break against your team.
  • US Lacrosse – Riding Drills
  • Riding After A Shot On Goal​
  • Riding After A Sideline Dead Ball

Lacrosse Shooting Drills

  • Have your players – Run, dodge (past a defender – real or imaginary) and shoot on the goal. They should practice righty and lefty shots. Basic shooting drills should include dodging & shooting from the top and the wings.
  • Run, catch a pass (feed from parent/coach) and shoot. Do both sides – left and right.
  • Run, scoop up ground ball and shoot.
  • Run from around back of goal (from X) and shoot. Do both sides – left and right.
  • Run, fake shot and shoot. Do both sides – left and right.
  • Add targets (i.e. cones) in the net in order to practice shooting accuracy.
  • Cutting Drills – Have your player “cut” across the face of the goal (left to right or right to left). He should start from 15-20 yards out, run diagonally across the face of the net and end up at goal line extended on the other side of goal. Coach (or another player) will stand near/behind goal line extended on the opposite side of net (versus where the player starts) and feed player as he cuts across goal. Player should catch and shoot on the run.
  • Practice quick stick shots close to the goal.
  • For more advanced players, you should run drills that practice shooting techniques such as FakesBehind the Back ShootingQuestion Mark Shooting, etc.
  • For more lacrosse shooting drills and tips, visit our main section on Lacrosse Shooting Techniques.
  • US Lacrosse – Instructions for Shooting Drills
  • Form Shooting Drill – Drill for shooting on the run.
  • Hopkins Up & Over Shooting Drill
  • Hopkins Over & Down Shooting Drill
  • Six Line Shooting Drill

Lacrosse Wall Ball Drills

  • Beginners should practice tons & tons of wall ball because it is probably the most effective way to improve beginner stick skills.
  • Get your son to practice passing & catching with his non-dominant hand. He will be loved by coaches if he can use both hands effectively (i.e. shooting and catching equally well with his left or right hand).
  • If your son is very young, you can try using a tennis ball for the wall ball drills. Young kids are sometimes fearful of the heavy “regulation” lacrosse ball because it can hurt if/when they get struck by a missed rebound. A light weight tennis ball is roughly the same size and causes less pain if it hits.
  • Have more advanced players practice using the wall to pass with their right hand and catch with their left (and vice versa), catch cross handed, one handed catching, throw behind the back passes & shots, simulate fakes, etc.
  • Visit our main Wall Ball Drills section for many wall ball ideas (i.e. running & passing down the wall). These drills will quickly improve your son’s lacrosse skills.

Lacrosse Speed & Agility Drills

  • Lacrosse players not only need great stick skills but they also need to be great athletes. Here are a variety of beginner drills that will work on a lacrosse player’s speed, agility & conditioning.
  • Timed 40 yard dashes – For extra “fun”, you should have the kids run in full gear while cradling a ball. They automatically lose the race if they drop the ball!
  • Suicide drills – Sprint to the 10 yard line & touch the line, sprint back to the zero yard line & touch the line, sprint to the 20 yard line & touch the line, sprint to the zero yard line & touch the line… and so on. Helps with speed and the ability to quickly change direction.
  • Sideways shuffle drills – Set out two cones and have kids shuffle sideways without crossing their feet between the two cones. Helps with lateral movement (i.e. improves a defenseman’s ability to move and screen off an opponent from the goal).
  • Backward drills – Make them run backwards to the 20 yard line, touch the line and then sprint “forward” back to the zero yard line. This will work on their ability to move backwards at speed and without falling down. This is especially useful for defensemen and middies who need to stay in front of an attacking opponent.
  • Zigzag drills – Place 6-8 cones in a staggered zigzag pattern down the field. Have each player sprint to the first cone, cut left to the second cone, cut right to the third cone and so on. This drill will work on improving your son’s ability to make quick changes of direction when running at speed. Useful for all offensive players, especially middies.
  • Agility ladder drills – Some people swear by this training tool. Others feel that it is useless. Try it and see if it improves your son’s speed, footwork and quickness.
  • Visit our Lacrosse Agility Training page for videos & additional drills that will improve your son’s lateral movement and speed.

Fun Lacrosse Drills

  • As a reward for a good hard practice, you should consider throwing in a couple of “fun” drills (i.e. Lacrosse Sharks & Minnows). Young players really enjoy these drills.
  • Visit our Fun Lacrosse Drills page for a wide variety of additional “fun” lacrosse drill ideas.

Beginner Lacrosse Drills

Beginner Lacrosse Drills

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