Warm-Up Drill #4A: Offensive Zone “Star” Passing
- Start with lines of equal numbers at the 5 standard offensive player positions, in one or both ends of the floor (coaches can also have players start several metres back from each of these positions). Balls should begin in one of the low corners (crease position).
- Players should continuously pass the ball to the line 2 positions away from their own, either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction (switch halfway through), following their pass and subsequently joining the line that they passed too. (Draw Diagram)
*Variation #1 (5 min): "One Ball." Beginners start passing around the "star" with one ball (advancing to two if possible), passing to each other while an assistant coach warms up the goalies (other coaches need to be ready with plenty of extra balls in this scenario).
*Variation #2 (5 min): "Two Balls With A Shot." Intermediate and advanced players should start a new ball after every second pass. The top player (point) finishes with a shot on the goalie and then joins the line in the corner with the balls; eventually sending another ball into play. Otherwise, if there's a reason to finish the star with a shot from somewhere other than the point position, change the starting position of the balls accordingly.
This is a warm-up drill for everyone involved. Players should try to hit the goalie for their first couple of shots, while also practicing different passing/shooting techniques of their own (overhand, side-arm, “underhand”).
*Variation #3 (5 min): "Tennis Balls." Same as the variations above except coaches remove lacrosse balls, using tennis balls instead (practicing “soft hands”).
*Variation #4 (5 min): "Flip Passes." Same as the variations above except players utilize a "flip pass."
*Variation #5 (5 min): "Quick Sticks." Same as the variations above except the group comes 5 metres closer and uses "quick sticks." This variation is usually done at the end of the drill and is good for building team morale (i.e. continue until there is a dropped ball, or keep inching closer and closer as a group).
*Variation #6 (7 min): "Pick & Rolls." Start the star spread out a little bit farther than normal; intermediates can start with one ball (Variation #6A) and more advanced players can work up to using two balls (Variation #6B), no shots. With two balls in play, players must work on their spatial awareness in order not to avoid contact in the middle.
The first player in line passes two positions away from their own, picks for that player and then rolls to receive a dump pass back. This player then passes to the next point on the star, then goes to the back of the line they just picked for. The player that made the dump pass picks for the line that the ball just got passed to, receives it back, and so on and so forth.
*Variation #7 (5 min): "Consecutive Catches Game." Same as the variations above except have players keep track of how many times in a row the group goes through the drill without a dropped ball. If a ball is dropped, that group must start their count over from zero.
*Most common error = players not paying attention while in line and/or running through the middle