Lax Out Loud: Ladder Math presented by SISU GUard
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Lax Out Loud: Ladder Math

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first ever installment of Lax Out Loud,’s new educational series made possible by the fine folks at SISU Guard. Today we’ll be focusing on improving your footwork while properly communicating too.

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[mks_dropcap style=”rounded” size=”52″ bg_color=”#0c7578″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]T[/mks_dropcap]o kick off this brand new series, Team USA and Denver Outlaws midfielder Drew Snider is going to teach you how to get in the habit of thinking on your feet. You see, speed is one thing, but when you’re out there on the lacrosse field you also need to be able to think clearly and make decisions on the fly.

An introduction to ‘Ladder Math’

When it comes to training, agility ladders are no new thing. However, too often the focus is put only on improving one’s speed.

“Ladder Math” requires verbal communication and quick decision making while moving one’s feet. It can be incorporated into any footwork drill that uses an agility ladder and serves as a nice routine to help get players’ minds right.

It starts by introducing addition, then implement subtraction or multiplication once the drill really gets underway. Suddenly, players are challenged in more ways than one.

How many of your players or teammates do you think could answer these type of questions correctly while maintaining their original speed? To complete today’s communication workout, you’re going to need a couple things:

Key Requirements

Gear: Agility Ladder, Mouth Guard, Game Shoes, Pads (Optional), Stick (Optional)
Time: +/- 10 Minutes
Members: 2+ (1 Instructor, 1+ Athletes)
Communication Points: Yelling out the correct answer to move on

Lacrosse pro Drew Snider SISU
Drew Snider

Get Started

  • To begin, the instructor calls out a number.
  • The athlete repeats the number back, then begins on the speed ladder.
  • The instructor calls out a second number.
  • The athlete adds both numbers (in his or her head) and calls out the sum.
  • The instructor calls out a third number.
  • The athlete adds the new number to the previous response and call out the new sum.
  • Continue process until athlete finishes the ladder.
  • Once past the end of the ladder, athlete jogs back to the start and repeats the whole process.
  • Instructor may switch-up the footwork drills at anytime

Remember, this drill is for one athlete at a time and the instructor should be placed where communication is not obstructed. If a speed ladder is not available, try laying out lacrosse sticks or segments of string 18 inches apart for a span of 8 feet!

If more than one athlete is participating in the drill, have the next in line begin on a new number and wait until the person ahead has finished the entire drill.

We recommend starting with the athletes just stepping in each ladder gap with both feet. Once they are comfortable with the simple quick-feet drills for addition, subtraction and multiplication, try moving to more advanced footwork drills.

As you may have noticed in the episode, everyone, including Drew, wore a mouth guard during Ladder Math when we filmed. We wear them in games so it’s a no-brainer to wear them during practice too!

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We hope you enjoyed our first installment of Lax Out Loud! Next episode, Vancouver Stealth and Denver Outlaws defenseman Chris O’Dougherty will teach us his version of a defensive clearing drill that is focused on proper communication and spreading the field!

[mks_icon icon=”fa-bullhorn” color=”#d32129″ type=”fa”] members get 10% off mouthguards at! Join now to receive the coupon code on our Member Benefits page!