Adding Footwork + Agility To Your Game
Needless to say, lacrosse requires solid footwork and a high level of agility. And, believe it or not, you're not born with these skills naturally. It takes hard work, effort, and discipline to succeed in these very technical areas of the game. So, in order to help with the learning curve, CoachUp has provided some of our favorite footwork and agility drills below.
You can do these exercises with a lacrosse coach, personal trainer, or by yourself -- and all you'll need are some cones! Additionally, you'll need an open space that is comfortable to run on with your cleats, so lace them up and get going! Complete each drill with gloves, stick in hand, and a solid ball cradle. Your footwork and agility will be fool's gold unless you can do it with the ball! As in all athletic exercises, safety first, remember to do an extensive dynamic warm-up before the workout and take your time in each drill -- speed is secondary to form.
5-10-5 + Backpedal Sprint
Sprint five yards, touch the line, backpedal five yards, touch the line. Then, sprint ten yards, touch the line, backpedal ten yards, and touch the line again. Continue on, sprinting five yards, touch the line, backpedal five yards, and finish. Take a short break to recovery and then do it all again. 3-4 reps.
All cones are five yards apart. Sprint to cone one, shuffle left to cone two, shuffle right to cone three, shuffle left back to cone one, and backpedal through the finish line. Then, switch directions. Every time you reach a cone, be sure to touch it with your outside hand, don't cheat yourself. It's important to stay low in your shuffle and not cross your feet, this will allow you a more stable foundation and balance in the future! If you need to, take it slow at first! 2-3 reps each direction.
The Turn Drill
All of your cones should be ten yards apart, give or take. Starting at cone one, sprint to cone two. Then, turn around the outside of cone two, keeping your stick in your left, outside hand, and sprint to the inside of cone three. You should constantly be switching hands to keep stick on the outside -- imagine it in an in-game scenario -- if you're feeling pressure from the inside, the last thing you want is for your stick to be there as well! Keeping the ball as far away from your opponent is crucial, so stay with it even if it's unnatural to switch hands on the run at first.
Finally, turn around cone three and sprint diagonally to cone one and finish. Try to make your turns as tight as possible and don’t use extra unnecessary steps. If you need to put your inside hand on the cone as you turn, do so -- it's all about feeling comfortable! 3-4 reps.
This time, set all of your cones about five yards apart. Of course, begin at cone one, then backpedal to cone two. Continue by planting and sprint to cone three at a 45 degree angle. Finally, backpedal to cone four and end by sprinting to cone five. Repeat the drill until you've backpedaled to cone six and then sprinted through the finish line. In this drill, try to minimize the time it takes to transition from a backpedal to a sprint and vice versa, cutting these moments down will make you an incredibly fluid athlete! 2-3 reps each direction.
(Related: Read about avoiding hits on the field here.)
Correctly doing these drills is absolutely key, don't get sloppy! Stay low, keep your turns tight, and finish strong through the end line. It’s important to hold yourself to a high standard in terms of form and technique because the effects will be negated at anything but your top speed and effort. Push through the pain and exhaustion, you'll be that much more prepared come the waning minutes of an important game. If your form is suffering because you’re tired, take a break and regroup. Do these footwork and agility drills a couple times a week and your game will improve considerably.
However, if you're still wondering what you can do in order to continuously improve, don't hesitate to contact us at CoachUp! Our masterful team will be there to provide tips, tricks, and some very helpful motivation. If you want a leg up on your competition, think about booking one of our private coaches! What are you waiting for?