Lacrosse Footwork and Agility Drills
In lacrosse, having proper footwork is essential to becoming an elite dodger, defender, and overall player. Footwork and agility training can mean the difference between scoring the game winning goal and getting the ball stripped from your stick. It is critical to include footwork training during your workout routines to become a better player. Here are several exercises you can do to increase your foot speed and agility.
I absolutely love jumping rope because it helps with agility, stamina, muscle endurance and strengthening, and so much more. It’s the best “bang for your buck” you can get with an exercise. Whenever someone asks me how to train for lacrosse, I always point them to the jumprope. It’s also super portable, so you can take it with you on vacation or work or school.
The biggest obstacle with jumprope is that it takes a bit of time to learn the form. In my opinion, the time spent learning is 100% worth it. If you want the fastest way to be a better lacrosse player, jumping rope is certainly one way.
Start by trying to do intervals of 30 seconds and work your way up to 2 minute intervals. If you’re really hardcore, try to do 10 rounds of 3 minutes w/ 1 minute rest in between each round. I tried this last week and I was EXHAUSTED. Here’s a good video for starters:
Dodging Through Trees
You did not read this wrong! Dodging through trees is a great way to increase your speed and agility. Some of my favorite memories were spent in my yard with the lacrosse stick in my hand, dodging around trees like they were defenders.
On a nice day, go outside with your lacrosse stick and find 3-5 trees that are a several feet apart. Do a different dodge around each tree: start with a split dodge, then a roll dodge, then a face dodge, then another split, and then another roll. Just make sure you don’t hit the tree.
There are many great lacrosse players who have said that they used to dodge through trees growing up. One of the coolest lacrosse videos out there is a video made by GoPro and Paul Rabil, a professional lacrosse player. They have some amazing shots of Paul going through a forest, improvising as he runs by different things. Mix up your training and get creative.
Footwork ladders are a staple in many different sports, notably football and basketball. You often see world-class athletes training with footwork ladders because they are extremely effective. My favorite workouts were when I went out to a grass field, set up a footwork ladder, and went back and forth doing different drills.
My favorite thing to do with footwork ladders is to actually have my stick in my hand when performing drills. You can do a split dodge between each “rung” of the ladder which will help with your dodging ability.
One thing to keep in mind is to always have your head up when doing ladder drills. One mistake I always see younger players doing is looking down at their feet while performing the movement. If you look down in drills, you’ll look down when you are playing lacrosse which is not good. Always keep your head up.
Cone drills are another staple in a wide variety of sports. The great part about cones is how versatile they are. You can set them up in hundreds of different ways to customize your workout.
In practice, we often did the “5-10-5” drill, where we set up 3 cones, 5 yards apart from each other. We would start in the middle cone, run to one side, run to the other side, and then sprint back to the middle cone. This is great for speed and agility and something that I highly recommend doing.
My favorite cone workout is the “3 cone drill.” Players in the NFL combine must do this drill, and I really like it because it helps with speed and change of direction. There’s no better way to explain it than with a short video:
There you go. Use these footwork drills to become a better lacrosse player. Make sure to always keep your head up and be safe when performing each movement. Use your imagination and come up with workouts that are fun and exciting to do. Get a few friends and make it a competition. Enjoy!