Youth lacrosse is a time to develop a solid foundation in the fundamentals, like catching, throwing and shooting. But, frequent repetitions can easily make basic exercises stale. With these four drills, coaches will keep players entertained as they reinforce fundamental lacrosse skills.
#PracticeMakesPlayers: Enjoyable Youth Lacrosse Skills Drills
Ultimate lacrosse is a lot like ultimate Frisbee where teams try to move the ball up and down the field without dropping it. Each time a team reaches the other side, they score a point. The goal of ultimate lacrosse is to improve a team’s catching and throwing skills in a full-field environment.
How to Get Started:
- Break into two teams.
- Keep an even number of players on each side.
- Mark off a large field with two end zones.
- Each team starts in its own end zone.
- The game begins when a coach blows a whistle and throws a ball into the middle of the field.
- If the ball hits the ground, possession is lost.
- Players cannot make more than three steps with a ball or they lose possession.
- No contact is allowed.
- If contact is made, the opposing team may take five steps forward.
- First team to three goals wins.
At an early age, lacrosse players work on the mechanics of scooping groundballs. But outside of a competitive setting, players can quickly lose interest in groundball drills. Although, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a musical groundballs game, youth coaches can isolate the skill of scooping groundballs in a fun way.
How to Set it Up:
- Players lay on the ground with their heads toward the middle of a circle.
- The coach puts lacrosse balls in the middle.
- On the whistle, players try to find and scoop a groundball as quickly as possible.
- At each round, players who can’t scoop a ball sit out.
- Before the next whistle, the coach removes one or two balls.
- Continue the game until the last man remains standing.
Sharks and Minnows
Sharks and minnows is a beginner drill that helps young players improve essential lacrosse skills, like cradling, stick protection and endurance.
How to Get Started:
- Set up an area about 30 yards long and 10 yards wide. It should have two safety zones.
- Each player is given a ball.
- The coaches stand in the middle zone.
- All players, or minnows, start on one side of the designated area.
- The sharks, which could be coaches or players, stand in the middle.
- At the whistle, the minnows attempt to cross the “shark zone” without dropping their ball.
- The sharks can bump or stick-check the minnows.
- Minnows who drop the ball are asked to sit out until the drill is done.
- The last player to hold the ball wins.
Fireball is an excellent drill for players to improve teamwork and all other fundamental skills.
What You Need:
- Two groups of players
- One ball
- One goal
- Split players into two groups.
- Then split each group into two lines on each wing of the field.
- The coach stands outside the restraining line.
- The coach calls out 1, 2 or 3 for the number of players from each line to come out.
- On the whistle, the coach rolls out a ground ball for anyone to grab.
- The team that wins becomes offense.
- The other side matches up on defense.
- Both sides scrimmages on half field until a goal or a defensive clear.