At this practice, we'll continue to reinforce the fundamentals of stick
skills, ground balls and shooting while letting the players get plenty of
repetition. In addition, we'll focus on stick protection.
First 5 Minutes (Review)
Bring all of the players and coaches together. Begin the practice by
reiterating what was conveyed at the end of the last practice, including the
hard work of the players over the first two practices (stick skills, ground
balls and shooting). You can continue to explain the fundamentals to the
game, including the number of players on the field, different positions,
Explain the plan for this practice. Address any
questions the players may have.
Next 10 Minutes (Warm-up)
The warm-up will be a consistent beginning to each practice session. Divide
the players into several lines on the midfield line facing one of the restraining
lines. Go through repetitions of the following between the mid line and the
restraining line: 50 percent run with high knees, butt kicks (lifting the
legs up high in the back), side shuffle, running backwards; then 75 percent
run; and 100 percent run.
Then lead the players through a quick stationary stretch. Here's a new
Sit in an Indian-sitting position, with legs bent and the soles of the feet
touching in front. Gently press the knees toward the ground. This stretches
the groin muscles.
During the warm-up, pull the goalies aside and have them work with one or
two of the coaches. It is important for the goalies to be properly warmed up
and comfortable taking shots before the real action of practice begins. Also,
it is a great opportunity for the goalies to get some one-on-one instruction
and will help them develop as players.
Next 20 Minutes (Stick Skills)
Bring all of the players into a huddle again. Have
the players explain the keys to passing and throwing. Reinforce whatever
points the players miss. Then perform the following drills:
Line Drills: Review how the drill works again. As this is the third time the
players have done this drill, they should be familiar. Then run the line
drills in the following sequence: right hand to right hand, left to left,
catch right – throw left, catch left – throw right.
Then introduce ground balls into the line drills. Have
the players roll the ball to one another, pick it up, and roll it to the
other line (instead of passing). Reinforce the fundamentals of ground balls
that were learned in the previous practice. After some repetition, have one
line roll the ball and the other line pick it up and pass it. It is important
that players get used to picking the ball up off the ground and passing
Three-Man, Two-Balls Drill: Divide the players into groups of three and
provide each group with two balls. One player stands on the mid line, one
player stands on the restraining line and the third player stands in the
middle of the other two players. The balls are with the players on the
outside lines. The player in the middle will receive a pass from the player
at the mid line and then throw a pass back to that player. Then the player in
the middle will receive a pass from the player on the restraining line. This
will repeat, back and forth, for a number of reps. The player in the middle
should be on the move continuously. Feel free to shorten or lengthen the
distance between the players if necessary. At one-minute intervals, switch
the players and get a different player from each group to be the middle
As you are talking to players individually, get down on one knee to be
face-to-face with him.
Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)
Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back to
Next 10 Minutes (Ground Balls)
Repeat drills that were introduced during the first practice. They are as
Single line: Line all players up in one line and roll the ball out to the
first player in the line. Have the player scoop the ground ball and then make
a pass back to you. Repeat this for all the players and get it going at a
One v. One (trailer): Keep the players in the same line; however, this time
the first and second players in line will be competing for the ball. The
player who comes up with the ball makes a pass to the coach to complete the
One v. One (side-by-side): Have two equal lines and the players compete for
the ball. The player who comes up with the ball makes a pass to the coach to
complete the drill.
Two v. One: Go to three equal lines. The two players on the outside are on
the same team against the player in the middle. Explain how the two players
should work together as one player should take the man and the other player
should go after the ball - the communication is referred to as 'man' and
'ball'. Then, as the player picks up the ball, be sure to explain that the
other teammate cannot interfere with the player without the ball. If one of
the players from the outside line picks up the ball, he has to make a pass to
the other player from the outside line before the ball is passed back to the
coach. If the player in the middle line wins the ball, all he needs to do is
pass the ball back to the coach to end the drill.
Next 10 Minutes (Shooting Drills)
Review the fundamentals of shooting that were learned in the previous
practice. Have the players explain the keys to shooting. Separate the players
into two groups and take each group to one end of the field. Then take time
to go through the drills from the initial practices. They are as
Catch and Shoot: Players are in two equal lines – one
on the right of the net and one on the left about 10 yards above the goal
line. Two coaches are the feeders and are located on the goal line on both
sides of the net with all of the balls. One player at a time cuts toward the
coach, receives a pass and shoots the ball into the net. Then that player
goes to the back of the line. The drill is repeated with the other players in
Criss-Cross and Shoot: Again, two lines of shooters and two coaches feeding.
This time the players cut diagonally and receive a pass from the feeder on
the opposite side of the net. The drill is completed with the player
shooting. The drill is repeated with the other players in line.
Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)
players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back to the
Next 15 Minutes (Stick Protection)
Take some time to demonstrate to the players the keys to protecting the ball
on offense and how to play individual defense.
Offensively the keys are as follows: cradling the stick with one hand and
two hands, holding the head of the stick close to the player's head and
keeping the stick close to the body in general, RUNNING, and infractions such
as warding off.
Defensively the keys are as follows: poke checks on the bottom hand, define
what constitutes a penalty (slashing, cross-checking, pushing, etc.), good
After explaining the keys, get the
players in single file lines. There should be one line for each coach. Have
the players run one at a time with the ball, make a move, and protect their
stick from the coach. The coach should play very light defense but work with
each player on critiquing the way he is handling his stick. After the player
gets by the coach, he circles back and passes the ball to the next player in
line and the drill is repeated. Smaller groups and lots of repetitions are
keys for this drill and developing stick protection.
After the players get some water, end practice with a team huddle. Review
what was learned and congratulate the players for their hard work. Reinforce
the goals identified at the beginning of practice. Also, establish the next
practice time with the players and parents, and follow up with an email.
Don't forget to keep ending a practice with a cheer like, '1, 2, 3 (with the
team name)!' You will do this before game action, too.
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