We saw this super simple Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) drill at MLL training camp last year. You can work on dodging, change of speed and direction, and conditioning all at the same time in just 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end of practice!
Speed, Agility and Quickness work is just as important for your beginning youth players as it is for high-performance college and pro athletes in any sport. Developing well-rounded athletes is one of the most important things you do as a youth or high school lacrosse coach.
Teaching SAQ and Athleticism doesn't have to be difficult if you don't have a lot of experience in this area. Just like the fundamentals of scooping, catching or throwing, your players also need lots of practice developing the fundamentals of operating their own arms and legs as fast as they can- running, stopping, turning, jumping, etc.
Plus this drill includes an element of dodging and defense so your players will get a little bit of competition to get them to run their hardest!
The Pro guys were doing this drill without any sticks or balls. Start this drill without sticks or balls with your players so they can focus just on running hard.
Here's THE DRILL:
Each rep should take no more than 5 seconds. Keep the reps moving quickly so your players stay active.
Figure 1.) Set cones about 10 yards apart in a diamond shape, with one cone in the center. Put your players in two lines across from each other. One line will be the "Offense" (Blue 1) and the other line will be the "Defense" (Blue 2).
- Have your players run through the "line" instead of touching the cone. Two players trying to touch the same cone is a good way for them to hit heads!
- Try this same drill with each player carrying a ball in their stick to develop muscle memory for dodging and carrying.
- Recognize your players that consistently run hard for your team. This will translate into long-term success as their hand-eye coordination and Lax IQ catch up with their basic athleticism.
- Make sure to keep time in your drills for your players' age and attention span.
- Keep score to inject some added intensity and competitiveness. Give one point to the player that wins their sprint race each time. See who has the most points at the end of this drill.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- Play Crease Tag: Use this basic game of Tag we got from #1 Notre Dame to get your youth and high school players running hard.
- The Bucket Game: Use this simple game to teach your players good Body Defense. We play the Bucket Game all the time at summer camp!
- Play 3x or "Three-By": 3x is the best lacrosse practice game we've ever seen, no joke. Work on stick skills, game situations, defensive help and rotations, pass and shot fakes, ball movement, everything!
Let us know if your players like this "game" better than running sprints at your practice!