Hot Pot Of Lax: Best Drills For Tryouts?

drill bits
Lacrosse Tryouts
Put a Superman sticker on the side of your helmet, and you might just gain the skills to make varsity.

This season I’m a 1st year assistant coach at my alma mater, Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, ID. Yesterday evening our coaching staff met in the locker room after an open field scrimmage to discuss tryouts, which begin this Friday. We spent time planning out the entire first day of tryouts, and I think we have a solid handle on things. However, it got me wondering…

What drills do most high school coaches focus on during Day #1 of tryouts?

I know there are quite a few coaches who read LAS on a daily basis and I’m sure many of you are seasoned veterans when it comes to assessing talent and making cuts. It’d be interesting to hear from you about how you go about Day #1 – often times assessing kids you’ve never seen play before – and what techniques or drills you use to narrow down your Varsity selections.

Personally, as a defensive coach I’ll be keeping a heavy eye on stick skills, positioning and communication during day one. Regardless of size or seniority, I want to make sure each defensive player knows the basics. A tendency to constantly hustle during practice won’t hurt their chances either!



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Jeff Brunelle
Founder of Lacrosse All Stars. A West Coast native and product of the MCLA, I moved back East after college where I truly fell in love with the game. I've dedicated my career to LaxAllStars since 2010, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I now live in my hometown of Boise, Idaho, with my wife Zoë, two dogs, and a baby girl expected to arrive around Championship Weekend this May. I'm a technologist at heart, I'm not into snow or the month of January, and one time I kind of stole a football from Gary Gait. Life is crazy busy, but it's worth it when you get to immerse yourself in the medicine of lacrosse every day. We are on a mission to Grow The Game® on a global scale by empowering storytelling by players, for players, and bridging the gap between lacrosse and the mainstream.


  1. In the first day, I think you would be primarily assessing athleticism and skill level. Stickwork, 1 on 1’s, maybe some gb’s and transition, and I think you would have a pretty good idea what you’re working with. I also think it’s not a bad idea to put in a 5 on 4 drill to see how well the kids respond to concepts, and see how they see the field and understand situations.

  2. First day we get into stick work to begin with then smaller field situations (1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 2) and then some 4 v 4. It is better I think to have 4 v 4 to have even situations. We test on conditioning as well as lifting. Our conditioning is 4 half miles in under 3 minutes with 1 minute 30 seconds rest in between.

  3. 4v4 is a big part of what we do in general as we go into them 2-3 times a week. One thing we do is that we split the team in half and rotate from offense to defense. It’s a great way to let everyone handle the ball and play some defense.

    1v1s are also critical because at the end of the day someone has to run by someone else to make something happen.

    Transition: Understanding transition and watching kids make plays in space is a big part of what we do.

    Most importantly have a schedule and don’t spend more than 10 minutes on any one drill.

  4. Other guys have mentioned it, but I’m also a huge fan of 4v4. With less people involved, there’s more space to work with and there’s no chance to hide. You can dictate the set that you want them to start in (open, 2 up top/ 1inside/ 1 behind, etc.), and start to build some team concepts on both O and D from there.