Play Sharp, Practice Passing…Please: Lacrosse Passing Drills
Passing is an art form in lacrosse: the physicality of the sport demands quick, accurate, and well-placed passes. Helping your team master these skills requires running the best lacrosse passing drills. Run one or more of these drills a day to get your players passing like near professionals. They are appropriate for any age group, from high school, college, to even semi-pro leagues.
The Hippo Drill
The Hippo Drill is one of the most popular lacrosse passing drills: it has been written about by coach Mike Muetzel and is utilized by Lynchburg coach and Gettysburg coach Hank Janczyk. This drill focuses primarily on the quick pass, which makes it a lot of fun for more advanced players.
Start by breaking up your team into two 10-man teams, including two attack players and two stick defenders. Perform a simple playoff and start running the scrimmage. That’s another fun thing about this drill: it actually simulates the real conditions of a lacrosse game in a way that other drills don’t.
When a player gets the ball, they have three to five seconds to throw the ball to a teammate. You can either let them be silent seconds or shout them off to add to the pressure. If a player doesn’t successfully pass the ball, must drop the ball. The other team then gets the chance to try to score.
This drill will teach players to constantly look up-field to move the ball, be aware of the location of the ball at all times, challenge your defense to cut off passing routes, create quick transitions, and generate faster, and more effective game play.
Practice this drill until one team scores anywhere from eight goals. At that point, your players blood should be pumping and their passing skills should be taut.
Post Passing and Cutting
This simple drill is great for beginners, medium-skilled players, and even advanced players. It’s not quite as exciting as the full on scrimmage rush of the Hippo, but it was still recommended by US Lacrosse as an exciting passing drill.
Start by sitting one cone at the corner of a 10-yard by 40-yard section of the field. On each end of the grid, you have a post player (for four total passes) throwing the ball into player and catching. Two attackers and two defenders are inside the grid and they are working to catch one of the passes and throw it to another post player.
The attackers are primarily looking to receive the passes while the defenders are looking to block that pass by anticipating passing lanes and intercepting with their stick. The first passer (called P1) attempts to throw to one of the attackers. If the attacker gets the ball, they throw it to the next passer in the rectangle, clockwise.
This passer then tries to pass to the second attacker, while the second defender attempts to steal the ball. The second attacker then has get it to the third passer. Continue in this way around the rectangle, until the players get tired or time has run out.
The best thing about this drill is that it challenges your players to play both offense and defense. You can vary it up by forcing the players in the grid to change from attackers to defenders. This simulates the change of action and flow typical of the average lacrosse game.
Follow these drills regularly to help your team master their passing and to win more games. If you are interested in learning even more about lacrosse drills, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our friendly specialists can help you maximize your on-field lacrosse success.