Coaching a lacrosse team is more about the practices than the games, and lacrosse coaches need to come to every single practice prepared for a successful day. To help new lacrosse coaches who may not know the sport of lacrosse that well, we have compiled a 2-hour lacrosse practice plan that’s perfect for starting out the season and tuning up the sticks. This lacrosse practice plan also is perfect for coaches who need to set up “captain’s practice” where they may not be able to attend because it doesn’t include many contact drills. Any lacrosse coach in need of a practice plan that is sure to get their team in shape for the season needs to check out the Signature Lacrosse introductory practice plan below for some great lacrosse drills that will help keep a tight schedule with great results.
Introductory Lacrosse Practice Plan from Signature Lacrosse
Starting off a lacrosse practice begins with preparation on the coaches behalf and a great attitude from the players. Once you have both of those elements, you want to make sure that all the participants are at your lacrosse practice early. Then, get ready to have some fun at your lacrosse practice.
Starting Lacrosse Practice (10 minutes before)
Begin your lacrosse practice 10 minutes early, if possible, because you’ll want to save extra time for cleaning up and getting water during rests. This first 10 minutes of your lacrosse practice should consist of organizing the field by distributing your lacrosse balls and setting up your lacrosse goals. Once everything on your lacrosse field is set, get your lacrosse players to begin stretching.
Stretching At Lacrosse Practice (Minute 0 - Minute 10)
Stretching is known to help get athletes, like lacrosse players, ready for a training session or competition. Your lacrosse players should focus on getting a deep stretch in their calves, quads, hamstrings, and hips because of the amount of running involved in lacrosse. Aside from these main muscle areas in the legs, your lacrosse players should stretch all the muscles they will use during lacrosse practice to help reduce the chance of injury.
Lacrosse Practice Stickwork (Minute 10 - Minute 20)
Simple lacrosse stickwork is still used by professional lacrosse players at the highest levels because it works so well. Don’t be afraid to get basic line drills going with right to right, left to left, switching hands, over the shoulder, and ground balls. This is having about 5 lacrosse players on each side of the line and then having them run towards the other line and complete a pass to them under the assigned type of pass. Focusing on form and involving both hands during these ten minutes will help get your team’s sticks ready for practice.
Lacrosse Practice Transition (Minute 20 - Minute 40)
Moving the lacrosse ball from one side of the field to the other is a critical part of the game. Without a strong transition game, your lacrosse team will lose the ability to keep up with other teams and find itself lacking chances to win games. A perfect drill for this is the ‘Florida Passing’ lacrosse drill that teaches positioning and involves passing for added emphasis on clearing the lacrosse ball.
Florida passing involves lines on both sides of the lacrosse goal filled with defensemen. Lines of midfielders should be at the 50 on the restraining line for the faceoff. Your attack should be set up in a fastbreak on the far side of the field. Begin by having a groundball or outlet pass go out to one of the defensemen. That player then passes the ball over the goal to the other defenseman, who should be doing a banana cut to the outside. The defenseman catching this pass then should move the ball upfield to a midfielder from the opposite side of the field cutting towards them. That midfielder then moves the ball up to the opposite midfielder cutting upfield. The second midfielder then runs a fast break with the attack. Once the attack get the ball, you can begin a new rep with the defensemen.
Lacrosse Practice Cleanup (Minute 40 - Minute 45)
Now is a great time to have a ball hunt to collect your lacrosse balls for the rest of practice. You can also get some water to your players during this time to keep them hydrated and ready for the rest of lacrosse practice.
Lacrosse Ball Movement at Practice (Minute 45 - Minute 60)
Moving on from ‘Florida Passing’ and still using the same principles, the next drill in the Signature Lacrosse Introductory Practice Plan is a delicious homestyle favorite ‘Meatloaf.’ This lacrosse drill is a simple passing drill that helps emphasize the importance and the fundamentals of clearing.
‘Meatloaf’ should have even lines on the 20’s and 40’s of your field with balls at each line. You begin by having a line on a 20 yard line make a pass to the group across from them. The group receiving the pass then passes to the group next to the group they received their pass from on the 40 yard line. That group continues the diagonal pass to cross the midline to the opposite group on the 40 yard line. That group then sends their pass to the 20 yard line opposite of them, who then flips the ball to the 20 yard line across the field and repeats the drill back to the original group. Once your team gets the hang of it, you can start introducing more than one ball at a time.
Rest (Minute 60 - Minute 65)
Use this time to get your players hydrated. If you’re following this plan, you should have most of your lacrosse balls collected from the last cleanup.
Half Field Lacrosse Practice (Minute 65 - Minute 95)
Splitting your lacrosse team into offense and defense will allow you to increase the specialization of certain players. This is also the perfect time to install your offensive or defensive scheme in a controlled environment. To really capitalize on this time, you’ll need two lacrosse coaches or a team that can manage themselves with limited supervision. This can be done by using drills that have players take accountability for themselves.
Offense Half Field Lacrosse Practice (Minute 65 - Minute 95)
Offensive players should know the offense like the back of their lacrosse glove. To do this, you’ll want to run a ‘skeleton offense’ without any defense on the field. Operating a ‘skeleton offense’ is having your lacrosse players run through the movement of your offensive set without any defenders on the field. All players who are not on the field when running the ‘skeleton offense’ should be watching for mental reps.
Defense Half Field Lacrosse Practice (Minute 65 - Minute 95)
Defense in lacrosse comes down to individual moments and a team awareness. You can run through a ‘skeleton defense’ to show your players where they will need to slide when they get beat, but “skeleton defense’ is much easier to visualize with an offense on the field. You’ll want to use defenders as stand-ins for the offense and slowly go through how your defensive assignments change during a slide or rotation during your specific package. This is also a great time to focus on setting up your base system for broken plays and getting back into your regular slide or rotation package.
Rest & Cleanup (Minute 95 - Minute 105)
Self-explanatory. Get water and get those lacrosse balls.
Man-Up vs Man-Down (Minute 105 - Minute 120)
Ending your lacrosse practice with Man-Up vs Man-Down helps both your offense and defense capitalize on important aspects of their skills. This is also the perfect moment to see which lacrosse players on your team can help your team in a way that isn’t during 6 v 6 lacrosse. And, there’s the added bonus of the reduced contact in these situations. With a Man-Up vs Man-Down situation, players are not engaging with each other as much and have reduced contact through the drill.
Cleanup & Discussion (Minute 120)
Once you’re ready to end your lacrosse practice, you’ll want to have your lacrosse team collect all the equipment used for the day and gather for a talk. It’s important to discuss the positives and negatives of your day so that players can understand the expectations of your lacrosse program. You can also get a great sense of how your team felt about the practice during this time and answer any questions your lacrosse players may have about how to improve. No matter what, it’s important to end your lacrosse practice as a team and with a sense of positivity towards your next meeting together.