Running Players in Practice - What Are You Really Thinking?

Variations might include four on offense and three on defense. Coaches might even have four on defense and three on offense and suggest doubling the ball immediately. But they all start with players on their bellies. These are the variations the coach calls out with each group, so now the players need to think and focus as well as play, especially when they are tired. If the defense gets the ball, they then must clear the ball to midfield.

I do not know why, but our players love this drill. Pretty soon they develop strategies on where they take the ground on their bellies. They try to mix up their spacing all over the field or box out on their bellies. As a coach, let it go. They are having fun and conditioning at the same time. After five minutes, reverse the two sets of players to have the defensive group move to offense and so on.

We often conclude the drill by doing it as a 1V1. Whoever gets the ball is on offense, and we keep score between the two groups with just two players as the others cheer on their teammates. The winners are done, and the losing team collects the balls and/or cages.

Have fun and remember to keep the Four Keys in mind when planning your practices, even your conditioning. is a unique site for lacrosse coaches, offering drills and ideas from the greatest coaches in the country. E-mail your comments to

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