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Practice Plans-Full of Fun !. Dan Hendrickson Hastings Middle School Upper Arlington, OH [email protected] Keys to the Perfect Practice. Loaded with Fun. Rewards for hard work. Good pace-moving along. Organized & coaches in tune with the plan. Build your “Puzzle”.

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Practice plans full of fun

Practice Plans-Full ofFun !

Dan Hendrickson

Hastings Middle School

Upper Arlington, OH

[email protected]

Keys to the perfect practice
Keys to the Perfect Practice

  • Loaded with Fun.

  • Rewards for hard work.

  • Good pace-moving along.

  • Organized & coaches in tune with the plan.

  • Build your “Puzzle”.

  • Show what you mean (3)-different ways.

  • “Sticky Messages” at every practice.

  • Ball to player ratio.

  • Lots of BALLS.

Skills development
Skills Development

  • Teaching Methods.

  • Reinforcement of skills.

  • Teaching progression.

  • Teach cues for players to read.

  • Drill design.

Teaching methods
Teaching Methods

  • Part method=break into steps-teach in progression.

  • Whole method=teach skill in its entirety.

Reinforcement of skill
Reinforcement of skill

  • Practice skill repetitively with high number of reps.

  • Player to ball ratio…low! Keep groups at 6-max.

Teaching progression
Teaching progression

  • Teach and practice skills at competitive speed.

Teach cues for players to read
Teach cues for players to read

  • Understand cues to allow players to read situation.

  • Practice cues (2v1, 3v2 etc.).

  • Visualize cues.

Know how kids learn
Know How Kids Learn

  • Tell ‘em.

  • Show ‘em.

  • Let ‘em do it.

  • Fix ‘em.

  • Praise ‘em.

Drill design
Drill design

  • Drills need exact component of skill situation.

  • Make drills according to your offense & defense.

  • Create fun games with drills.

  • Disguise conditioning.

Stick work mechanics
Stick Work Mechanics

  • Holding stick.

  • Catching.

  • Passing.

  • Over the shoulder (OTS).

  • Drills.

Holding stick
Holding Stick

  • Bottom hand covering end of stick.

  • Top hand waist wide.

  • Very soft hands.

  • Head of stick always in the “box area”


  • Head of stick in the box area.

  • Give with the ball-treat it like an egg-don’t scramble the egg.

  • Never snap at the ball.

  • Don’t spin your stick.

  • Stick never pass your face mask.


  • Hands as stated above.

  • Get arms away from the body.

  • Upper hand-snap wrist.

  • Lower hand-pull toward elbow-don’t push.

  • Foot pointed to target.

Over the shoulder ots
Over the shoulder (OTS).

  • Upper hand tells you what shoulder to look over.

  • Half moon cut or banana cut.

  • Expended the stick.

Drills passing catching
Drills: Passing & catching

  • Pair.

  • Give and go.

  • Half circle w/coach.

  • Wall.

  • 3/4-man.

  • Triangle.

  • V-cut w/coach or cone.

  • Back-cut w/coach or cone.

  • OTS/follow the leader.

  • OTS post pattern.


  • Stick position. Start with low to high.

  • “Give me the money”-The Big Diehl.

  • Don’t spin your stick.

  • Remember that cradling is over rated and shows others that they don’t know what to do with the ball.

  • What to do with the ball? Give up the ball-it belongs to the “game”.

Drills cradling
Drills: Cradling

  • Relay races.

  • Weave thru players or cones.

    *changing hands…counting…footwork.

Ground balls
Ground balls

  • Stick position.

  • Body position.

  • Key terms or “Sticky Messages”

    *Be a monkey-get low-be.

    *Talk to the ball (Hello friend).

    *Listen to the ball (Put friend in a safe place).

    *Accelerate thru the ball.

    *Roll away from pressure.

    *Share it with a friend.

Drills ground balls
Drills: Ground balls

  • Monkey.

  • Booty.

  • Pair.

  • Backwards.

  • 3-man.

  • Triangle.

  • Musical Chairs.

  • Clock.

  • Turn it over.

  • Limbo.


  • Purpose of dodging?

    *To free your hands...


    Pass or Shoot.

Drills dodging
Drills: Dodging

  • Pair sharing.

  • Bull in the ring (stick protection).

  • Battling Knights (line drill).

  • Driving from the top & sides.

Drill me
Drill Me

  • Full field OTS.

  • Meatloaf.

  • 2v1 GB.

  • Hot Potato (3v2-breakout).

  • Get open.

  • Box GB’s

Play it up
Play it up

  • 3v3.

  • 4v3.

  • Chaos.

  • Musical Balls.

  • Einstein.

  • West Genny.

  • Fast breaks.

Homework terminology to be taught defense terms
Homework/Terminology to be taught:Defense-Terms

  • Break down.

  • GLE.

  • Poke check.

  • Lift check.

  • 50/50.

  • Move your feet.

  • Never turn your back to the ball.

  • Play the hands.

  • Stick on Stick.

  • Stick on his stick side.

  • Push (V-hold).

  • Slide.

  • Help.

  • Fire.

  • Time flavors defense.

  • Don’t know where to go (touch the hat/hole).

Homework terminology to be taught offense terms
Homework/Terminology to be taught:Offense Terms

  • Back up.

  • Change of speed.

  • Change of depth.

  • Change of direction.

  • Unsettled.

  • Pick.

  • Screen.

  • Dodges.

  • Cutting.

  • Clear.

  • Break.

  • Space flavors offense.

  • Give and Go.

  • Keep it hot.

  • Ball never gets tried.

  • Move w/o the ball.

Sticky messages
“Sticky Messages”

  • BU-balance up.

  • Lacrosse is a game of opposites. `

  • If your feet are still, your wrong.

  • The ball belongs to the game-move it.

  • BUM-Ball…U…Man.

  • What does a 2 on 1 need? The ball.

  • “Don’t mistake activity for achievement, practice it the right way”. –John Wooden.

  • Lacrosse is a game of recognizing, not memorizing.

Last thoughts
Last Thoughts

  • Practice should be no longer than one hour and 25-minutes.

  • If your practice plan is not working…

    scrap it and move on.

  • Everyone is involved in practice…not just the starters. Rotate players often.

  • It’s about having FUN…players feed off you and your staff.

Closing thoughts comments
Closing Thoughts/Comments

  • LPABPW-Lacrosse people are the best people in the World.

  • Sticky messages-add new ones in ever practice.

  • Don’t coach the players on the field; coach them when they come off.

  • Share your knowledge/ideas with others in the league.

  • Whatever bad habits they pick up as a youth, they will have forever.

  • Be a stickler on the mechanics of all fundamentals.

  • UAHS tryouts (1-hour & half) all fundamentals-guess what?-they’re very important.

  • Motor skills are learned at ages 8-12yrs.

  • UALA spring league is all about the fundamentals-don’t feel you have to add more into every practice, skills, skills and more skills.

  • Please review and re-review your UALA coach’s manual-its load!

  • Thank you for all your time and efforts in teaching future UA Bears!

  • Don’t lose sight on the goals of the game-HAVE FUN!

    Great Reading

  • The Sprit in the Stick by Neil Duffy

  • Season of Life by Jeffery Marx (Your first read!)

  • Our game: The Character & Culture of Lacrosse by John M. Yeager

  • Coaching Youth Lacrosse by American Sport Education Program