There are many different variations of drills and practices players do. Ranging from individual practice to 6v6 team drills, these drills target different lacrosse skills. In fact, practicing by yourself is and will continue to be the most important part of your routines.
During my very first lacrosse season, the coach told me that if I don’t hustle outside of team training, I could never catch up to players who are ahead of me. For that reason, every aspiring lacrosse player needs to take individual training very seriously. Moreover, it doesn’t require a whole lot more than a lacrosse ball, a lacrosse stick, a backyard and maybe a portable lacrosse goal.
Thus, in this post, I will share with you some of the best and most productive lacrosse drills to do on your own. Take a glance below and continue reading to see more details and explanations on every solo drill.
- Wall Ball
- Quick Stick
- Catch the ball on the side wall
- Rapid Fire
- Pick the corners
- Agility Ladder
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If you haven’t checked out my full detailed review on wall ball, head to that post for a more in-depth discussion. Here is a stripped down version of how you should play wall ball on your own.
Wall ball, the most infamous lacrosse drill you can’t ignore, has to be the no.1 thing you do. It’s just as simple as it sounds. You bounce the ball back and forth off a wall 5 feet away. Focus on accuracy and quickness. Try to catch the rebound without letting the ball drop to the ground.
Within wall ball, there are many modifications you could do, such as cross hand catching, one handed catching, BTB and last but not least quick stick. And that leads us to the next helpful lacrosse drill, quick stick.
This drill is mainly performed while practicing wall ball. One big difference is quick stick doesn’t allow any cradle. Because of that, you will release and catch the ball at a more rapid speed.
The goal of this practice is to improve your hand speed. This will really help you get more comfortable with fast passes around the crease. Once the ball lands in your pocket, release the ball out of the stick as fast as possible.
Accompany this drill with wall ball practice. Do 25 reps on each hand, so 50 in total. Aim to have no drops throughout the set.
Catch the ball on the side wall
Unlike all the other drills listed, this one is a bit unique in the sense that it’s more like a stick trick. Throughout my lacrosse career, I always liked to sprinkle some stick trick drills after a wall ball session. One of my favorites is catch the ball on the side wall.
It’s a fun little exercise where you simply pop the ball up and make it land on the side of your lacrosse head. Do this a few times as a short break as well as enhance your hand-eye coordination.
Because the stick is like an extension of your body, you must get incredibly comfortable using it. This fun exercise further allows you to get familiar with the stick.
I have also written a full post on cradling since this is one of the pillar skills to be a great lacrosse player. Check it out here if you want to learn more. Cradling gives you the ability to run up and down the field while controlling the ball the way you want.
Put the ball inside the pocket; then start jogging with both of your hands holding the shaft to maintain control. Your hands, wrists and arms work together harmoniously to keep the balance. Your dominant hand rests right next to the head and your non-dominant hand rests on the butt end.
Also, make sure you are cradling completely from left to right and right to left. Remember to keep your stick vertical to maximize the ball retention.
Rapid fire is essentially a shooting practice. Before you begin, line up a few lacrosse balls on the top of the arc. Then go to one end of the line of balls. In regards to which end, choose the side of your dominant hand.
Once you start, quickly scoop the balls and shoot them one by one. Keep going until you have fired all the balls. Although speed is essential, you also want to try your best to aim accurately at the goal.
If possible, you should also record yourself. This is a great method to see whether your shooting motion needs improvement. Things to remember include bending low to get good control of the ball, cradle once or twice and then follow through the shooting action.
Read also: How to shoot in lacrosse
Pick the corners
Next up, we have one more shooting drill. The goal of this drill is to perfect your shooting form with muscle memory. The last one puts an emphasis on efficiency; this one puts an emphasis on accuracy.
As the name suggests, this exercise requires you to aim at the corners of the goal when shooting. This is the most important drill to improve your shooting accuracy. 10 shots for each hand, do three sets in total. Whether you are standing on the left or right, aim for the opposite corner from where you are standing.
An elite shooter goes through countless shooting drills like this so that during the games they could any corners they want to.
Now we went over cradling, catching and shooting, it’s time for scooping. Luckily, these are drills you could do all by yourself in the backyard. First, take some balls and dump them on different spots across the field or you could also line them up in a straight line.
The technique here is to make sure you crouch down and put one foot beside the ball to create a shield. In real game situations, you will more often than not fight ground ball scrums against one if not multiple players. So even when doing this drill alone, practice shielding.
To read my step by step breakdown of scooping, you can click here to continue reading.
Zigzags is a great exercise that targets your footwork and agility. For this drill, you would need to set up cones down the field in a zigzag pattern.
Again you start from one side; sprint to the first cone and then cut to the second cone. Keep cutting through cones until you reach the last one.
For all positions in lacrosse, changing directions is a common task. Players must be able to get away from opponents to get open for scores.
You can purchase the cones set on Amazon.
When it comes to footwork exercise, the agility ladder is the most popular and effective drill to do. There are different ways to carry out the exercises, and here are some you’d consider doing.
- Side step
Line up parallel to the ladder. Take your inside foot and place it into the first box. Before taking your inside foot to the next box, take your outside foot and place it into the same box. Repeat this motion all the way down the ladder.
This is a great exercise that makes your foot movement more rapid and accurate.
- Icky Shuffle
You start with putting your left foot inside the first square and before putting your right foot in, the left foot is out. Repeat this motion until you reach the end of the ladder. This drill targets your core, lower body and foot movements.
An alternative version is a reverse icky shuffle. Same motion but do it backwayrds.
Check out this demonstration video:
- In & Outs
In & Outs resembles some similarities with the side step since it also works on a player’s footwork and quickness. Stand parallel to the ladder. As you put your right foot into the squares, your left foot goes up and down the ladder.
During this exercise, remember to stay on your toes and try to avoid stepping on the ladder.
Watch this demonstration clip:
You can purchase an agility ladder set on Amazon.
This last exercise will definitely get your heart rate up and built your stamina, speed and agility. This exercise involves multiple sprints across the field.
First you sprint to the 10-yard line and touch it; then sprint back to the starting line and then run to the 20-yard line; then sprint back to the starting line. Continue the running until you reached the 50-yard line.
I often like to finish off practice with intense cardio in the end. This exercise will put you in the best position to handle any tough in-game situations.
Without other players, you could do many great lacrosse drills on your own. Especially during the winter season, these practices can easily be done in your backyard.
Thus, it’s time to put down your phone and pick up your stick to work on your feet and stick skills.