Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States! Each day, hundreds of kids pick up a lacrosse stick for the very first time. And with all of this growth in recent generations, many parents aren’t sure how to support or coach their kids when they are just getting started.
When you’ve played soccer or baseball your whole life, and your son or daughter chooses lacrosse- it’s hard to know where to begin. Not to worry! We put together 3 easy lacrosse drills for beginners that will make the biggest impact on their start to the game.
Fun Beginner Lacrosse Drills
The great benefit of these fun lacrosse drills is that they can be done from pretty much anywhere so they’re convenient, and they don’t take much time to complete. There’s no such thing as too much practice, so encourage your child to try these drills often, and watch their confidence develop before your eyes!
Wall Ball Routine
I know, I know – you must hear about “getting your player on the wall” all of the time. It’s the top recommendation for a player who is trying to increase their proficiency with passing and catching. But just 15 minutes of wall ball a day for a month will make more of a difference than any practice your player will attend in that time. Here’s how we recommend getting the most out of wall ball:
Stay engaged by setting a goal of the number of completed catches in a certain amount of time
For example, we love 5-minute blocks: time your player’s completed catches with his/her right hand up for 5 minutes. Then left hand in 5 minutes. Then switching left and right. Once you have those 3 totals- you have a target to beat for tomorrow.
Have extra balls ready to go
You will waste a lot of time running around chasing a single ball if you were to miss a catch (and you surely will at some point). Reduce the frustration of missing a pass and get the most out of your time: set up your wall ball area with 10- 20 lacrosse balls nearby.
Move your feet and bend your knees
You won’t catch the ball in a complete standstill in a game, why would you practice that way? Step to your passes, stay engaged and agile, and move your feet to the ball when it’s coming off the wall.
Cradling Drills & Obstacle Courses
Cradling the ball is one of the fundamentals of the game that your child will start on day one, and will not stop until they put down the stick for the last time (which we hope is never!). So they need to get comfortable with the ball in their stick! We recommend progressing their cradling with their proficiency at the skill:
Start by cradling in front of the mirror
Woah! I guarantee that you didn’t think you looked like that! Oftentimes, kids have a vision in their mind around what their cradling looks like: we are sorry to say that usually it is not that smooth in real life. We recommend cradling with both your left hand and right hand on the top of the stick in the mirror as a fundamental first step.
Next progress to cradling on the run
Run a lap with the stick on the right side, cradling the ball, and then on the left side. Parents, this is a great opportunity to film your child as he/she runs: same principle as the mirror: sometimes we need a reminder we don’t exactly look like the picture in our brains.
Now progress to a cradling obstacle course
Set up a few cones in various areas of your yard that your player should run past. When they are running past the cone- they switch hands and cradle with the other hand. Now your practicing cradling in both hands, plus a split dodge.
Watch a College Lacrosse Game
Okay now this isn’t exactly a drill but stay with us. A lot of early instruction from coaches will click when a player sees what a lacrosse game is supposed to look like. Why defenders position themselves where they do, why attackers shoot the ball from places on the field and not others, or maybe how fast the mid-fielders transition the ball…all get answered when a player watches a lacrosse game for the first time. Lacrosse is a niche sport, it’s not like we watch it on every Sunday in the wintertime. So a lot of times a child starts to play lacrosse before watching it.
Pro Tip: Ask your player to watch one player throughout the whole game: see what they do when they don’t have the ball, how they move to create space, how they contribute to the game without the ball, etc.
Practicing Lacrosse Drills Makes Perfect!
With lacrosse season right around the corner, we are so excited to welcome so many new athletes to the game! These 3 beginner lacrosse drills can be incorporated into your child’s practice routine outside of practice, at any level, from a parent without any lacrosse experience whatsoever. These drills are done by college lacrosse players all of the way down to a first-season player – and the result is the same: more confidence on the field.
If your child is ready to take their beginner skills to the next level, and have fun in an overnight camp setting this summer, check out Signature Sports Camps’ unique camp locations and learn more about our mission to help every child develop their athletic skillset while building confidence and character, on and off the field. We’ll see you this summer!