The lacrosse practice plans we present here can be used in many ways:
- You can follow these practice plans like a script.
- You can use the structure of these practice plans to help organize practice time, and then substitute in other favorite drills. The lacrosse drills we include are meant to be "modular" or "plug and play" so that you can interchange drills you want to use.
- You can pluck specific drills or formats and incorporate them in as pieces of practice plans you developed on your own.
- You can scroll through the practice plans for new ideas or thoughts or just ways to keep the practice time fresh -- maybe it's not as much to keep things fresh for your players but if you have been coaching lacrosse long enough you might like some ideas to keep things fresh for you.
The Practice Plans consider different player skill levels, different amounts of time and time structures for a practice, different numbers of players, various numbers of coaches, field constraint issues, weather, and reference a wide variety of lacrosse drills.
Many coaches figure out the lacrosse practice plans for their whole season before the first whistle blows. Along with predicting weather weeks in advance, this is an inexact pursuit, but it is worthwhile to know points of focus for topics and lacrosse drills you want to spend time on during different weeks of the season. Even a very general season guideline will help with preparing practice plans for individual days, and it is never too late to do the long-term planning even if the season starts tomorrow or has already begun.
The parameters for each Practice Plan -- number of players, field space, etc. -- are approximate. You will certainly need to alter and adjust some things about the plans to fit your situation, so please just consider these Practice Plans as tools in your coaching toolkit and remember that making adjustments is a hallmark of great coaching. Be willing to innovate. Invent Drills. Invent Plays. Sure, if you are a new coach or a coach new to the game you would probably be smart to learn traditions and use standard drills to keep life as simple as possible, but if you notice something you might be able to do differently that makes things better, as long as it is within the rules you might give it a try.
The game itself is almost a living, breathing thing that evolves. You might be the one to develop the next step.
Some examples impact the whole community -- for example, somebody had to invent the West Genny Drill.
Other innovations are very specific to your situation and your team. For instance, there is the lacrosse coach who brings his baseball mitt to lacrosse practice. He did not play lacrosse as a kid (wishes he did) and knows he is not throwing and catching with a lacrosse stick at 100%, but knows that he can feed the ball spot on every time if he just throws it with his hand like a baseball. He still brings and uses his lacrosse stick but for those shooting drills where he is passing his players the ball and wants the boys to make best use of their time he plays to his strengths.
As long as your focus is on the best interests of the boys you will be okay.
While looking for those new ideas, recognize what was best said by a famous college coach at a coaches clinic a few years ago when he stood in front of us and said "I am going to share with you a lot of great lacrosse ideas and strategies and drills, and I will not be telling you anything that someone somewhere did not tell me throughout my career -- even the original ideas." The game is steeped with traditions and passed to the younger generations by caring coaches, yet as tightknit as the world-wide lacrosse community is, we live in a great big world with plenty of room for new ideas and all kinds of new technologies and plays and drills and innovations that have not yet been invented.
Players: Your brain will become rewired through daily workouts. Your daily lacrosse practice will give you the physicality, dexterity, stamina, mental toughness and work ethic to be top of any field you choose to go into. The lacrosse drills you do will require all of your effort and will reward you based on how much you apply yourself.
Coaches: You too will learn, develop, and grow as a coach. One of the simplest favors you can do for yourself and your players to make your coaching better is to prepare. Have a solid practice plan with specific lacrosse drills going in to every practice.