Stick Work with Matt Striebel


Editor’s Note: As part of the LAS x Trilogy partnership, Trilogy directors and coaches will be dropping tons of knowledge on you from week to week. This week, Matt Striebel kicks it off by talking about the important of stick work variation and footwork. This is really some elite level stuff! Make sure you check out our Training Archive as well. It’s brought to you by Trilogy!

Stickwork Variation by Matt Striebel

The below looks kind of funny, doesn’t it? Jumping jacks and stickwork? Stationary hopscotch and stickwork? Are you kidding me? I’m not some seventh grade girl in the park!

We’re all about efficiency these days, about maximizing what we get out of a single training session or drill, about training the brain and the body to do two things at once. Ever watch a drummer and wonder how the heck he does that, keep time, play multiple beats with his hands and feet?

A lacrosse player, at any given moment, is required to execute a variety of complex hand, foot and body combination maneuvers. This requires dexterity, balance and coordination (among other things). With all the hand-eye work we do in lacrosse, footwork can be one of the most highly underrated skill requirements, but if you watch the best players in the world you’ll notice their footwork is often what sets them apart.

Watch a great shooter prepare himself to shoot even as he’s still receiving the pass; watch an attackman execute a roll-dodge or a split dodge and you see that what makes that dodge effective is not his hands, or his stick, but his feet. I often say that lacrosse at the elite level comes down to fractions of a second. The player that can do things quickly and more precisely than those around him—no matter how big or fast he might be—is the most successful.

By training the body to do multiple movements simultaneously we are honing these essential skills. An added benefit of stickwork variations like this one: conditioning. Wall ball with two minutes of jumping jacks added in is the equivalent of jumping rope for the same amount of time. It’s called two-birding it, getting more bang for your buck—always a good thing!

For more great lacrosse knowledge, check out the Training Archive and become a better player today! It’s never too late.