The Top 12 Lacrosse Drills For Girls


It’s great to see that more and more girls are playing lacrosse every year. (Source) However, there is still a lack of adequate training information on the internet about lacrosse drills for girls.

Well, no more! In this article, I will be compiling some of the top lacrosse drills for women, backed by expert opinion and research. 

The best twelve lacrosse drills for girls are:

  1. The ‘Ten’ Drill
  2. The Hammer Drill
  3. 40-40s Drill
  4. Cross Crease Finishing Drill – Offence
  5. Cross Crease Finishing Drill – Defense
  6. Flock Of Geese Drill
  7. Goalie Reaction Drill
  8. Monkey in the Middle Shooting Drill
  9. Shooting With Goalie Work-Drill
  10. Rolling Numbers Drill
  11. Pick And Peel Ground Balls Drill
  12. Circle Feeds – GBs Or Passes

Interested in knowing how you can take your lacrosse game to the next level? Read on! 

girl lacrosse player

1. The “Ten” Drill

One of the most commonly used drill by lacrosse coaches, this simple but effective drill is at the top of my list for all the right reasons. Here is all you need to know about the “ten” drill.

Drill Theme: 1 v 1

Field Position: Offense, Defense 

Drill style: Game

Time required: 10 minutes 

Field Location: Midfield 

Skill Level: Intermediate 

This drill is extremely good for training players to work on 1v1 opportunities inside the attacking zone. Here is how the drill can be performed: 

  • Divide the players into two teams 
  • The drill is team vs team, 1v1 to goal 
  • The first team to score 10 goals is the winner. 
  • This drill employs a pressure situation that works perfectly on 1v1 offense and defense.
  • Assign a goalie to each team that will switch out with the defense.

Skills Practiced:

  • 1 v 1 defense and attack
  • Communication
  • Shooting
  • Defensive Positioning

If you would like to challenge your team more or increase the difficulty of this drill as your players improve their skills, you can change the number of goals or add an outlet pass for the attacker. 

2. Hammer Drill 

This drill is extremely effective in teaching the team how to work on multiple 1v1 challenges from a ground ball pick up, both offensively and defensively. 

Drill Theme: 1v1

Field Position: Offense, Defense

Drill Style: Skills, Conditioning

Time Required: 10 minutes

Field Location: Midfield 

Skill Level: Intermediate

Here’s how to perform this drill: 

  • Place 1 ball at each hash mark on the 8 meter, 
  • A 1v1 will start inside the 8 meter when the coach blows the whistle 
  • The attacker will run to a hash and pick up the ground ball 
  • The attacker will go 1v1 to goal once she has gained possession of the ball
  • Whether the goal is shot or saved, the attacker must run to the next hash mark and initiate another 1v1 challenge. 
  • The attacker should continue making her way around the 8 meter hashes going 1v1 each time. 

Skills Practiced:

  • 1 v 1 defense and attack
  • Communication
  • Ground Balls
  • Shooting

You can change up the drill or increase the difficulty level by only putting a couple of groundballs on 2 of the hash marks. This will require the attacker to re-attack from the same angle. 

 3. 40-40s drill 

The width of the attack zone in this drill is 40 yards, thus the name 40-40s. The longer sprint will build stamina, conditioning, and strength in your players. 

Drill Theme: Conditioning

Field Position: Offense, Defense

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Field Location: Attack Zone/ Midfield 

Skill Level: Advanced

Here is how you can perform this drill: 

  • Start all players on the line, at one side of an attack zone.
  • On the whistle, they will run a 40 yard dash as fast as they can.
  • Give the players 10-15 seconds in between sprints as they do this 10 times.
  • At ten, give your players a time out/ rest time for about two minutes 
  • Repeat this until you get through 4 sets of 10 sprints.

4. Cross Crease Finishing Drill – Offense

This drill is an excellent way to teach players to time their shots, finish on the crease or close shooting spots. The style of this drill is rapid fire, meaning that each player will be passing to someone and then getting a feed. This drill is especially effective for training a large number of players at the same time, and you can use this to take multiple teams through a drill simultaneously. 

Drill Theme: Shooting 

Field Position: Offense 

Drill Style: Skills 

Time Needed: 10 Minutes

Field Location: Attack Zone

Skill Level: Intermediate 

How to perform this drill: 

  • Give each player a ball, except the player that starts the shooting
  • That player will cut up to the top of the crease
  • She will receive a pass from the player in the left line, catch and then shoot
  • The player who feeds this ball can cut in and pop for a pass from the next player in the right line
  • In this way, this rapid fire drill helps to get in a lot of reps and practice. 

Skills Practiced: 

  • Shooting 
  • Feeding
  • Cutting

You can kick this drill up a notch by varying the locations of shot placement. Your players can shoot all high, all low, all 5 hole, and you can also use ground balls to force your players to work some behind the back shots. 

5. Cross Crease Finishing Drill – Defense

This drill is a sure way to help your team improve on ball and off ball defensive positioning. It’s a good way of practicing approaching ball carrier, and recovering to ‘hole’ in good ‘help’ position after a pass has been made. This drill is highly based on communication, and thus is sure to improve your team’s group work. 

Drill Theme: Defensive Drill

Field Position: Defense

Drill Style: Game, Skill

Time Needed: 15 minutes

Field Location: Attack Zone

Skill Level: Intermediate

Here is how this drill should be performed: 

  • Attack players 1 and 2 bring the ball down the field 
  • Defense players 1 and 2 try to play them as long as they can 
  • When the free player reaches the 3rd attack player’s area, defense 2 should pick up the free player 
  • Recovering defense will include sprinting back to pick up the free attack player. 

Skills Practiced:

  • Defensive positioning
  • Defensive footwork
  • Communication

You can change up this drill or make it a bit harder by adding 2 more players. You can have an attacker and a defender set up behind the cage and off to the side, having the defenders double ball behind. This is a good way to progress the drill and increase the difficulty level as your players’ skills improve. 

two girls playing lacrosse

6. Flock Of Geese Drill 

This game drill’s objective is to teach your team important defensive shifts, sliding, movement and communication. This drill is not only fun and easy to carry out, but it is also a good method of learning important skills such as deploying double teams, breaking slide patterns and supporting fellow team members during the game. 

Drill Theme: Team Defense

Field Position: All

Drill Style: Game

Time Needed: 5-10 minutes

Field Location: 12m/8m

Skill Level: Basic

How to perform the drill: 

  • 8 Defenders start in the middle of the 8M facing each other with their eyes closed.
  • Defenders should loudly start singing a song! 
  • 7 Attackers are outside of the 12M passing the ball around the outside
  • When the coach commands to “play!” the Attack players can attack the goal, the Defenders have to breakout. 
  • Goalie must quickly get in the goal and communicate with the team. 

This drill is one of the simplest on our list but can easily be progressed by switching up the rules. You can use a gym ball and let every player have a turn at being goalie, and can also vary the number of players on each side of the team. 

Another cool thing about this drill is that it can be played with or without lacrosse sticks. Using a mini soccer ball or football can help your team focus on movement and positioning. 

7. Goal Keeper Reaction Drill 

As the name suggests, this drill focuses on strengthening goalkeeper defense. It concentrated on getting the goalkeeper set quickly, lowering her reaction time, and making her practice quickly stepping forward to make the save. 

Drill Theme: Goalie Play

Field Position: Goalie

Drill Style: Warm-Up, Conditioning

Time Needed: 5 minutes 

Field Location: Attack Zone

Skill Level: Basic

Drill instructions: 

  • The coach should stand 7 meters away from the goal and shoot. 
  • Whether the goalie saves the shot or not, she should sprint to the 8 meter mark, backpeddling to the goal circle. 
  • As she is getting closer to the goal circle, she should try and get set in position quickly. 
  • At the same time, the coach should shoot again and the goalie should try to save. 
  • Repeat this until desired. 

Skills Practiced:

  • Goalie Play
  • Good Positioning
  • Footwork
  • Reaction time 

DOWNLOAD

8. Monkey In The Middle Shooting Drill 

Despite its quirky name, this drill is extremely simple to perform. It is excellent for teaching players to time off ball movement. The coach should split the field in half and have the drill running at the same time on both sides of the field. 

Drill Theme: Shooting 

Field Position: Offense 

Drill Style: Skills, Games

Time Needed: 10 Min 

Field Location: Half Field 

Skill Level: Intermediate 

Drill Execution: 

  • Attacker 1 will start the drill by dodging towards the 8m and bouncing top side.
  • Attacker 2 will pop off the middle into a spot where she can easily receive the pass from 1 to finish the shot.
  • Defense 1 will play dummy defense and stay in the dodging lane to force attacker 2 to pop to receive the pass.  
  • Attacker 1 should then move to Defense 1, D1 moves to Attacker 2 and Attacker 2 should go to the back of the line.

Skills Practiced     

  • Off Ball Offense
  • Ball Movement 
  • Shooting
  • Cutting

9. Shooting With Goalie WorkDrill 

This is a relatively straightforward but highly effective drill. Attackers can practice shooting accuracy, while the goalie works on saving shots from all angles, and resetting quickly after moving position. 

Drill Theme: Shooting, Goalie Play

Field Position: Offense, Goalie

Drill Style: Games, Skill

Time Needed: 10 min

Field Location: Attack Zone

Skill Level: Basic

The drill involves: 

  • 5 shooters and 1 goalie. 
  • The shooters are lined up around the 12m, 8m, and behind the cage.  
  • A1 and A2 start behind the cage, drive around the goal and fake, and shoot. 
  • A3 and A4 take a couple of steps and take a shot in-between the 12m and the 8m. 
  • A5 begins on the center hash of the 8m, fakes and shoots.
  • Players will take their shots in this order: A1, A3, A2, A4, and A5

As this is a fast paced drill, it is a great way of improving the skills of both the goalie and the attackers. The drill can be easily reset and repeated as desired. The coach can also add light defensive pressure on the shooters to try and establish a real time game-like situation. 

Skills Practiced:

  1. Placing shots
  2. Moving the Goalie
  3. Goalie Reaction Time 

 10. Rolling Numbers Drill 

This drill’s main objective is strength play. It allows the team to learn to quickly react to advantages and disadvantages, and play both offense and defense. The drill requires the players to pay strict attention to the coach’s commands, learning basic concepts about team strength. 

Drill Theme: Number Advantages

Field Position: Offense, Defense

Drill Style: Game 

Time Needed: 15 Minutes

Field Location: Half Field 

Skill Level: Basic 

How to perform this drill: 

  • The coach should stand at midfield with a bag of balls. 
  • The offense and defense players will be lined on either side of the coach.
  • As the coach walks, he will roll out a ball and call out a number (for example 4)
  • In response, that amount of players, (i.e. 4) will run out from each side and play. 
  • The drill can be made more challenging by having either side up or down a player. For example, if the coach yells out 6, one side will send 5 players and the other side 6. This can be alternated as desired. 

Skills Practiced: 

  • Number Advantages-Disadvantages 
  • Ball Movement
  • Defensive positioning

This drill is unique and fun, and is a good way to keep your players on their toes and break up the monotony of practice. The coach can even kick this up a notch by yelling out “plus 1” at any point in the game, having each side add 1 additional player. 

11. Pick and Peel Ground Balls Drill 

The Pick And Peel Ground Balls Drill is a great way to help players focus on ground balls in a game like situation. It encourages players to improve their decision making skills and reaction time by forcing them to pick up ground balls and make an outlet pass as soon as they can.

Drill Theme: Ground Balls 

Field Position: Offense, Defense 

Drill Style: Game 

Time Needed: 10 Min 

Field Location: Midfield 

Skill Level: Intermediate 

Description of Drill: 

  • Have a line of players in groups of 3 
  • The second person in line picks up a ball and rolls it about 7 yards ahead of the first person 
  • The first person runs out and gets the groundball
  • Player number 2 chases behind them, adding attacking pressure 
  • Player number 3 will run out to where the first player picked up the ball, allowing for an outlet pass. 
  • Player 2 plays a pressure defense, forcing a quick peel and outlet pass. 
  • The drill is repeated with the other groups of players. 

Skills Practiced

  • Ground Balls 
  • Communication
  • Ball Movement 
  • Conditioning 

The drill’s skill level can be elevated by having the player go to the goal and take a shot. You can also increase pressure by adding a fourth player who works to block and intercept, effectively recreating the fast paced game scenario. 

12. Circle Feeds: GB’s or Passes

This drill is highly useful in improving stick skills such as quick passing and catching on the move. 

Drill Theme: Ball Movement 

Field Position: Offense, Defense, 

Drill Style: Warm Up, Skills, Conditioning 

Time Needed: 10 Min

Field Location: Midfield, Attack Zone 

Skill Level: Basic

How to perform this drill: 

  • Arrange players in groups of 8, with 4 balls per group. 
  • The outside players get a ball each.
  • The inside players should be back to back and cannot move.
  • The outside players rotate around passing and catching.
  • Constant motion and talk is essential in this drill. 
  • Players change hands on every ball exchange 

Skills Practiced 

  • Ball Movement 
  • Strong and Weak Hand Play 
  • Ground Balls 
  • Conditioning 

You can vary this drill by increasing the speed of the outside jogging players. The skill level can also be elevated by adding additional skills to push the limits of agility, response and speed in your players. 

This concludes my girls’ lacrosse drills list. Thank you for reading, and I hope you found this helpful! 

References

  1. Watertown lacrosse- Drills and practice plans, available at http://www.watertownlacrosse.com/Page.asp?n=64815
  2. US Lacrosse – Drills Archive, available at https://www.uslacrosse.org/coaches/drills-arch

Jay Speakman

Jay has been a lover and player of many sports all his life, particularly hockey, lacrosse and racket sports. He works as a personal trainer, and writes for many sites about fitness and health. He uses his expertise in writing for us about lacrosse, fitness and conditioning, and squash.

Recent Posts