These great ground ball drills show you how the best teams in college lacrosse do things when it comes to maximizing repetition and building muscle memory, plus adding fitness and conditioning to even the most simple drills.
We saw the guys at the University of Denver running these simple 3-man ground ball drills at a regular mid-season practice last year. Even the best coaches know to keep things simple for their players whenever possible. Not every ground ball drill has to be a contested situation like the good ol' "Man/Ball" Drill.
Keep it Simple! These small-group drills are a great way to give your players tons of reps just picking up the ball in different situations, without the pressure of stick or body checks, while constantly running.
"Scoop it and move it!" That's a common rule for most college teams--always move the ball away from trouble as soon as you pick it up. These drills have extra passes built into them so your players are practicing picking up the loose ball then passing it right away, "one cradle and out."
Here's THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Put your players in groups of 3 spaced out in a line 30-40 yards apart. The guy in the middle of the line will start with the ball. You can space your players closer together if you want to get faster reps and more touches, or space them farther apart if you really want to work the conditioning aspects.
Blue 1 throws a bouncing ground ball to Blue 2. He can throw the ground ball out to either side, or straight at Blue 2. Blue 2 will come out from his cone to scoop the ground ball on the run. Don't wait for it!
- Make sure your players are practicing picking up the ball, catching and throwing with both hands, both sides.
- Time your drills for your players age: Practice one of the drills above for 2 minutes of good, hard work, then switch to one of the other variations. 4-5 variations equals 10 minutes of really good ground ball practice.
- Keep score to make it competitive! Have each group count how many GB's or passes they get in 2 minutes to see who is the fastest and who is the winner!
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- 3-Man Hamster Drills: Use these passing and catching drills to give your players tons of reps and conditioning instead of standing in line waiting their turn.
- Figure 8 Passing and Catching: We got this from Paul Rabil's high school coach a few years ago. Lots of extra touches on the ball and great conditioning for the man in the middle!
- 1-on-1 Ground Ball with Pressure Drill: Give your players an easy game situation once they've had plenty of practice picking up the ball.
Let us know if these drills work for your youth or high school team. Make sure your players understand that the college guys practice the same things, just better and faster!