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1A. Fundamentals - Lesson #1 (The Basics)


Equipment Needed: Open Wall/Field Space or Outdoor/Indoor Lacrosse Box, Lacrosse Balls, 2 Ball Bags or 2 Nets, Tape, Universal Screw Driver, Hacksaw, Zip Ties, Helmets & Gloves, Sticks, Pylons, Whistle, Name Tags, Sharpie

Level = Beginner

*Note - Goalies Are Not Recommended For This Practice*

Pre-Practice (20 min - Optional):
- Meeting: Coaches, Players & Parents – Demo: Stick Cutting & Taping
- Players go on the floor (or into the dressing room) during the actual cutting and taping process (ice-breaker with the assistant coaches)

Post Practice (40 min - Optional):
- Prearranged BBQ with the families on the team

Reminders:

- Athletic position = feet parallel (hip width apart), knees slightly bent (1/4 squat aka peak power position), staying on “the balls (forefoot)” of your feet, leaning slightly forward, with head/chest up, abdominals flexed (as if about to be punched in the stomach), a “neutral spine” and “shoulders set.”

- 4 phases of a movement = preparation (1), force production (2), critical instant (3), follow through (4)

- Loose Ball Skills Analysis Link: https://laxlife.ca/fundamental-skills-analysis/loose-balls-and-face-offs

- Cradling Skills Analysis Link: https://laxlife.ca/fundamental-skills-analysis/cradling

- Passing/Catching Skills Analysis Link: https://laxlife.ca/fundamental-skills-analysis/stickwork-passing-catching-shooting

TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME:

60

MINS

  1. Huddle


    ORDER
    MINS
    - Circle At Centre-Floor (Explain The Importance Of The Circle)
    - Brief Coach Introductions = 1 min
    - Discussion (2 min): History Of Lacrosse Among First Nations People (Research) + Land Acknowledgement
    - Discussion (1 min): How Lacrosse Is Played? Rules?

  2. Warm Up Drill #1: Running Around The Perimeter


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1A: "No Balls"
    - Have players run around the entire outside of the box (close to the boards), holding the stick with "two hands" (no balls).
    - Positively reinforce the players that followed the only two instructions which were "don't cut corners" and "two hands on the stick."
    - Let players know to hold their stick on whatever side they ran with it during this drill, for all subsequent drills.
    - Most common error = not running with "two hands" on the stick

  3. Defense Drill #1: Athletic Position ("Balance" & "Footwork")


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1B (1 min): "Maintaining Balance"
    *top diagram*
    - Demo (1 min): "Holding The Stick," “Athletic Position” (Footwork)
    - Have players stand (with nobody else within arm’s length) in one or both ends of the floor.
    - Players stand in what they believe to be the athletic position and coaches walk around and see if they can push them off balance using a reasonable amount of strength.

    Variation #3 (2 min): "Follow The Stick"
    *bottom diagram*
    - Have players stand (with nobody else within arm’s length) in two different groups, in opposite ends of the floor, with the assistant coaches instructing them to follow their stick (forward, back-pedal, side-shuffle, down & roll - then up), with players doing "stutter-steps" on the coaches whistle (two whistles signals the end).
    - Players should maintain the athletic position throughout the drill, having a wide stance for "side-shuffling and a deep knee bend ("getting low") when "back-pedaling."
    - Informally correct the posture of any noticeably bad athletic positions among the group.
    - Have players sprint to the opposite end of the floor and repeat the drill in front of the other coach. Each sequence of movements should last between 30-45 seconds (giving players the feel for what an average shift would be like).
    - Most common error = not bending knees and getting low/wide while maneuvering.

  4. Loose Ball Drill #1A: Stationary & Dynamic "Scooping"


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #2 (2 min): "4 Different Techniques"
    *top diagram*
    - Demo (1 min): Loose Ball – "Scoop, "Trap & Scoop," "Scoop-Tuck-Turn," "Scoop-To-Triple Threat Position"
    - Have players stand (with nobody else within arm’s length) as a group.
    - Each player should have a ball on the ground in front of them to start.
    - Have them practice all of the techniques listed on the Loose Ball Skills Analysis in "stationary" form (from a stand still).
    - Start with the "scoop” (Variation #2A), the "trap and scoop" (Variation #2B), “scoop, tuck & turn” (Variation #2C), and lastly "scoop-to-triple threat" (Variation #2D); 5-10 reps of each.

    Variation #3 (3 min): "Dynamic Loose Balls"
    *bottom diagram*
    - Advance to having players take 5-10 running steps before they pick up the ball; eventually having them run full speed from half-floor or full-floor.
    - Most common error = not keeping the butt-end of the stick low to the ground ("mowing the lawn" instead of "shovelling snow")

  5. Games Drill #1: 52 Pick Up


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #2A: "Team Competition"
    - All players start behind the restraining line, with two coaches having a combined 40-50 balls in their ball buckets/ball bags or nets.
    - Players are divided evenly into two teams and stand close to their associated coach, with coaches throwing all of the balls into one end of the floor and on the whistle the two teams (it is possible to play with up to 4 teams) competing to scoop more loose balls than the other team(s).
    - For competition purposes, the first team to win two rounds will be considered the winners.
    - Most common error = players not working hard
    - Water Break = 1 min

  6. Cradling Drill #1: Static & Dynamic Cradling


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1 (2 min): "Stationary Cradling"
    *top diagram*
    - Demo (1 min): "Cradling"
    - Have players stand (with nobody else within arm’s length) as a group, holding the stick on whatever side of their body feels most comfortable, with a ball in their stick.
    - From a stationary position, have players practice the two-handed cradling technique, as described in the Cradling Skills Analysis.
    - Build up to walking around while cradling, emphasizing the coordination of timing your stride with your cradle.
    - Most common error = bottom hand cradling

    Variation #3 ( 2 min): "Cradling Around A Partner"
    *bottom diagram*
    - Line players up across from each other (5 metres away), with balls, and have them take turns cradling around their partner; both directions (left & right).
    - Start at a jogging speed and build up the intensity.
    - Most common error = not protecting their stick from their opponent

  7. Games Drill #3A: Cradling Relay Races (East-West)


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1B (2 min): "Single Pylon"
    *top diagram*
    - Have players grouped into 2-4 lines depending on numbers (aim for 4-5 players per line if possible), with lines spread out evenly across the floor and operating side-to-side (east-west) in orientation.
    - Place pylons on the ground to mark the start of each line, leaving enough space for there to be a straight line of players behind the pylon without being impeded by the side-boards.
    - Place another pylon near the opposite side boards with enough room for players to circle around the pylon without running into the boards.
    - At the sound of the whistle the first player in each line races around the pylon without a ball (Variation #1A), and later with a ball (Variation #1B).
    - All players take their turn racing around the pylon, sitting down in line once complete. The first team sitting down wins the relay race.
    - Players in line are not allowed to leave until the player ahead of them crosses the starting pylon.

    Variation #2B (2 min): "Weave"
    *bottom diagram*
    - Same as the above variation except running through multiple pylons in a straight line, with the last pylon closest to the side-boards allowing enough room for players to circle around without running into the boards.
    - Players now weave through the pylons using a zig-zag pattern, while cradling a ball.
    - Most common error = players not cradling tight to their body
    - Water Break = 1 min

  8. Cradling Drill #1A: Stationary Cradling


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #2: "Partner Ball Protection"
    - Demo (1 min): "Ball Protection"
    - Have players partner up (1 ball between the two), with one player trying to get the ball off of the other player, who is stationary and trying to use their body/stick position to "protect the ball."
    - Only light slashes on the head of the stick are permitted.
    - Players should alternate roles after 30 seconds.
    - Most common error = bottom hand cradling

  9. Cradling Drill #1B: Dynamic Cradling


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #4: "Scrambled Eggs"
    - Create a designated area using pylons, appropriate to the size of the group you are working with.
    - Have all players weave around each other at a walking speed, and later at jogging speed.
    - Emphasize players keeping their body between other players and the ball (i.e. protect or “hide”the ball), utilizing proper cradling technique.
    - Once the players get the hang of the technique coaches can casually try to dislodge the ball from players who don't have it protected, otherwise pushing them on their hips in order to throw off their centre-of-gravity.
    - This drill can also be done as a game whereby if a player drops their ball or gets knocked out, they must go out of the designated area and wait until the next game (multiple small designated areas is preferred).
    - Most common error = not protecting their stick from their opponent

  10. Games Drill #4: Sharks & Minnows


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1: "D/O Zone Boundary"
    - Using the end-boards and the restraining lines as boundaries, starting with a coach and one volunteer in one or both of the offensive/defensive zones of the lacrosse floor. Creases should also be utilized as another boundary that only the "sharks" can step in (remove the nets).
    - Have all players ("minnows") start against the side-boards, with balls in everyone’s stick, ready to try and successfully cradle to the opposite side boards, without dropping the ball.
    - The coach and initial volunteers ("Sharks") are trying to “strip” players of the ball; all players should be using 2-hands to cradle.
    - Players become "Sharks" if they drop the ball, get stripped, get pushed over the restraining line or step into the crease.
    - Players need to protect the ball and get safely to the other side of the floor.
    - The game ends when every player has lost their ball, or there is one or two players left who still haven’t dropped their ball.
    - Most common error = not adequately protecting the ball
    - Water Break = 1 min

  11. Stickwork Drill #2: "Partner Passing"


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1 (6 min): "Stationary Passing & Catching"
    *top diagram*
    - Demo (1 min): Catching ("Soft Hands" - Catching An Egg Example) & Passing
    - Work on just stationary catching to begin with; give every player a ball and have them toss it up in the air a few times, trying to get a feel for catching it over their shoulder (Variation #1A).
    - Next, arrange players in two rows, 3-5 metres apart, removing a ball from one partner, with the other partner underhand passing the ball (with their bare hand) to the other partner who tries to catch it in the triple threat position using "soft hands."
    - Each player should get at least 5-10 quality attempts to catch the ball in this fashion (Variation #1B), with more experienced players allowed to pass the ball with their sticks instead of their hands.
    - Identify players that are having trouble catching and/or passing, pulling them aside in small groups of players that have a similar problem (catching or passing).
    - Finish with all players passing the ball with their sticks, progressively moving farther and farther away from each other.
    - Most common error = not giving a target to the passer and/or not calling for a pass

    Variation #2 (2 min): "Long Pass"
    *bottom diagram*
    - Demo (1 min): "Crow Hop" (Outfielder In Baseball Analogy)
    - Move next to 5-10 metres (then 15-20 metres). On longer passes have young players start with a crow hop, similar to a long throw to home plate in baseball.
    - As players get farther away from each other the release point (where the ball comes out of the stick) will have to be further behind the players head (ear) in order for the pass to make it to the target in the air; especially for younger/weaker players.
    - Most common error = players releasing the ball too far in front of their body

  12. Games Drill #7: Progressive Passing ("Egg Toss")


    ORDER
    MINS
    Variation #1B: "Overhand Pass"
    - Start with players in two rows, 3 metres apart, all balls starting in the same row of partners.
    - Everyone passes the ball to their partner at the same time, and if the ball is caught both partners take a step backwards, trying to complete the pass from further away. If the ball is dropped, the partners can try again from the same distance.
    - Players move progressively farther and farther away from each other, until their backs are against the side-boards or a designated marker (pylon).
    - The first group of partners to successfully complete this "long pass" wins the game.
    - Most common error = players not using "soft hands" when catching

  13. Huddle


    ORDER
    MINS
    Story:
    - Circle at centre-floor
    - Haudenosaunee Legend (1 min): The 4-Legged Animals vs. The Winged-Birds (Google)
    - Come up with an appropriate word, as a team, for a team cheer

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