To serve their players best, youth lacrosse coaches must be master motivators. Through their leadership, they transform individual athletes into cohesive teams. These solid squads are built through repetition of youth lacrosse drills, like Blind Man’s Bluff, which motivate and engage every player.
Youth Lacrosse Drills to Step up your Team’s Game
1. Firing Practice
Youth lacrosse drills that incorporate a series of rapid fire shots are a good way to reinforce the fundamentals in an exciting way.
- Assemble about 15 lacrosse balls around the top of the arc opposite the goal
- Place the first player at one end of the line of balls
- At the whistle, the player picks up the first ball and shoots it at the goal
- One-by-one he scoops and shoots each ball down the line
As players move down the line shooting at the goal, coaches can get a good look at the mechanics of their scooping and shooting. Instruct players to focus on bending their knees as they scoop, making one or two strong cradles and then shooting accurately at the cage.
Shooting drill variations:
- Set up targets in the corners
- Place a time limit on shooting all the balls
- Put a goalie in net
2. Blind Man’s Bluff
This fun drill teaches many different skills, such as field awareness, adapting to unsettled situations and communication, which are all important in the game of lacrosse.
- Coach chooses a random number of players for the drill (4 vs 3 or 3 vs 3 or another combination)
- These players congregate on one half of the field
- They have to walk with their eyes closed until the coach yells “stop!”
- The Coach then rolls out a ball and yells “ball down”
- The players open their eyes and play out an unsettled situation
Coaches can keep the pairings the same to build comradery and rivalries amongst the team.
3. State Championship Drill
The State Championship Drill is one of the best youth lacrosse drills for both offense and defense, because it is fast-paced fun for the whole squad. The drill develops full-field transition and broken situation skills for 20 players at a time.
- Assemble two full teams on the field
- The coach rolls the ball out anywhere on the field
- The team that gains possession first has to move the ball up-field within five seconds
- If the ball stalls for more than five seconds, the coach blows the whistle and throws another ball to a different part of the field
As you and your team practice these and other drills, set attainable goals for your team to shoot for in each session. While players work to best their previous high marks, their skills will improve exponentially.