If you’re like me, you may have to do a double take whenever planning a practice for kids. Those favorite lacrosse drills you had as a player might not be appropriate for youth players who are newer to the game and don’t have the ability to do what adults and teenagers can do.
Below, I detail three drills that I like to run when I’m working a youth lacrosse practice.
Three Great Youth Lacrosse Drills for Kids
Ground ball Train
This drill, originally provided by Coach Gerry Byrne while at Notre Dame, is an excellent lacrosse drill for all levels, including youth. We all know how important ground balls are, and this drill allows players to get a crazy amount of reps in a short period of time. An added bonus is the conditioning involved!
One of my favorite things is that if you have a few players who aren’t quite up to par yet, they won’t take away from the experience of the other players, because it’s an isolated drill.
Definitely not a drill for the first day of youth lacrosse practice, unless you’re blessed with a team that already has decent stick skills. This drill is great for high reps but still catching/passing while moving, working multiple catch/release points, and working timing.
The key in this drill is doing it correctly, meaning players are cutting at the right time, everyone is talking, and we are following the coach’s prompts (catch left throw right, catch right throw right, etc.).
Classic Z Drill
Tucker Durkin does a great job of explaining an absolute staple in coaching circles: the Z drill.
We’ve seen this drill run in some fashion across multiple sports. It’s a drill that definitely is designed for defensive players but benefits every position on the field. At its core, it’s a great footwork drill, but it’s also a great way for players to work on defensive approaches (footwork, low center of gravity, stick out front, approach angle). It’s one of those drills that’s easy to learn but hard to master.
The players in the video below make it look easy, but they’re some of the best high school players in the country. Trust me, your youth lacrosse practice will have plenty of coaching opportunities when you run this drill.