Byram Hills Youth Lacrosse

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Together, these skills form the foundation of lacrosse.  A player who cannot confidently execute both will be at a significant disadvantage, and it is therefore important that they be practiced often. 

Stick Skills

The most important skill any player can have is stick skills. A player who is able to play with both hands will find that this is a huge advantage at lower levels and an absolute necessity at higher levels.

The key to solid stick skills is constant practice. Find a wall and bounce the ball off of it as often as you can, being sure to work on both your right and left hands.

Even better than wall-ball is having a catch with a friend or friends. Again, practice with both hands. Practicing with a real person also allows you to practice things you can′t with a wall, such as passing/catching while running or cutting and receiving long break out passes (as if from a goalie on a clear, for example).

Another place to improve your stick skills is in the drills you run as a team. During line drills be sure to focus on both hands and to be moving towards the ball so you get as much practice as possible.

Ground Balls

After stick skills, the most important skill is the ability to pick up ground balls under pressure consistently. This skill will win games, as the team that comes up with the most ground balls will control the ball the most and have more opportunities to score (while limiting the scoring opportunities of the opposition).

Similarly to catching and throwing, ground balls require a lot of practice. Practice getting low, keep your back hand down, scooping the ball and running through while bringing the head of your stick to the "box area" next to your ear to protect it.

Another good drill that you can do by yourself is this: find an open grass area, either in your back yard or the field you use for school.  Run down the field and roll the ball out in front of you, then immediately get low and scoop through the ground ball and keep running. Continue this down to the end of the field and then back. This practices picking up a ground ball in a game situation where it is rolling away from you.

You can also find a friend to practice fighting for ground-balls with. Be sure to practice getting your body between him and the ball and boxing him out if you get caught up around the ball.


Shooting is another very important aspect of lacrosse. Even if a team has perfect stick skills and excellent ground ball skills, they cannot win a game without scoring goals. All positions need to know how to shoot. Attack and midfield will score most of the goals, but occasionally if a defender runs the ball up the field, they need to know how to put it in the back of the net if necessary.

The first shooting drill can be done by yourself. All you need is a lacrosse goal and as many balls you can find. Divide the balls into five even piles, and place them in an arc about 15 yards from the goal. One pile should be directly in front of the goal, while the others should be a few yards to either side. Start at the pile on one end, and shoot each ball. Then run to the next pile and shoot those. Do not collect the balls until after you have shot all of them.

The next drill requires two people. Both of you should stand in front of the goal, about 15 yards away from the goal and 10 yards away from each other. One player should pass the ball to the other, who immediately shoots it. Alternate who passes and who shoots it so both players get practice shooting and feeding.

The third drill gives you the feeling of a game situation. For this, you need two players, and pads are recommended.  This drill involves two players going one-on-one. The first player should start with the ball and the second should play defense on him. The player with the ball should try to dodge past the defender and shoot the ball on the run. This is a very likely situation in a game and also forces the player to shoot while running.


Footwork is a vital part of any lacrosse player. Plaryers must have quick feet so they can react to the other players and so the can quickly dodge and run around the other team.  The following drills are designed to give a lacrosse player quick feet and agility. Each of these drills should be done for 30 seconds with a quick break afterward. Drop your stick on the ground in front of you and then…

Step over the stick with one foot and then the other. Then step back over it with the first foot and then the other. Make sure your knees are high and do this as fast as possible.

With the stick vertically in front of you, keep both feet together and hop sideways over the stick. As soon as you land on the other side, hop sideways back over the stick.  After a break, repeat this drill with only standing on your left foot.  Then again with only standing on your right foot.

Line up several sticks in front of you about a foot apart. If you cannot find several sticks, simply draw a line on the ground. Step forward through the sticks, putting one foot between each stick. Be sure to keep your knees high and to go as fast as possible. When you reach the end, turn around and come back. This drill is similar to the drill that football players do by stepping through tires.


These drills are specifically designed for goalies. They will help a goalie make good outlet passes to midfielders and defenders breaking down field, a very important skill to have. Goalies start the offensive transition, and without good outlet passes to clear the ball, the offense will never be able to possess the ball and score goals.

The goalie stands in the crease and an offensive player shoots the ball at him. After the goalie saves the ball, the offensive player begins to play defense on the goalie, and the goalie immediately clears the ball to another player breaking up field.

Two goalies can practice this drill together. The two players stand as far apart as possible and practice making long passes to each other while the receiver of the pass is on the run. This allows the goalie to work on hitting a player on the run at a long distance, a vital skill for clearing the ball.