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Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 11.39.16 AMShooting, Conditioning, Transition and More…
Coach Andrew Fink

Coach Andrew Fink starting a new DIII Program at University of St. Joseph in Connecticut following a great run at Mt. Ida shared his practice philosophies in a recent podcast.

I loved interviewing him and was intrigued by his practice philosophies that open with a lot of stickwork/touches both short and long passes, and conditioning all combined together. And the he uses this same 40- minute script to begin each practice. Although it is not as monotonous as it sounds, as he is very tuned in to making sure the players are looking forward to a shooting finish in may cases. And he emphasized each drill or element of the script including the one we highlight below is only 6-7 minutes, with only one or two exceptions.

This lacrosse drill is a great example…

OK, this is a Shooting Drill, but even after ten years of podcasts I have not heard anything like it, I can imagine the players love it. And it has so many benefits.

Picture this: We have two lines at the midfield line. As in almost all of his initial drills these lines include attack, middies, D Mids, LSMs and poles all mixed together. This is a point of emphasis for Coach as he is transition based, and wants his LSMs and Poles to be aggressive carrying into the offensive end… all the time.[private]

We have a pair of now offensive players (including Poles) beginning at the midline, coming / sprinting towards the cage. But, at the goal line we actually have two cages and two goalies. In addition, we have a coach initiating the lacrosse drill at the midfield line with a ground ball or pass, as well as perhaps a coach or two, and a pile of balls, at the goal line, just outside of each cage.

The “Pair” (this is a huge element in Coach Fink’s philosophies) run to the “cage” staying within the hash marks on a football field. As they run they are passing back and forth, throwing and catching while running close to full speed. Following at least three passes down one of the players shoots (while on the run) at one of the cages with a goalie.

His partner then receives a pass from a coach stationed in the corner (GLE,) and shoots on the other cage/goalie, then the two run back to the midfield line.

This drill runs very fast. One of the key elements is “how fast,” — and the coach up top controls all this, initiating the drill he waits till the third pass, or roughly 30 yards, and then starts the next group or “pair.” But remember this drill needs to run fast. This timing or initiating is critical, as although the goalies are seeing pretty rapid continuous shots they need a moment to get re-set.

Outside of each cage they position cones at 10-12 yards out so that the shots need to be outside the cones and are not full force right on top of the respective goalies.

It is a 50-yard sprint with passing and shooting. Often the result is almost a give-and-go type of look, but I love the fact that all the throwing and catching is on the run, and at the same time reinforcing the players keep their “heads up” to look for the pass. Then we have a 50-yard run back to the midfield line to get in line again. We also discussed the players switching sides to insure right and left hand touches as well as shots in this lacrosse drill. I also love to incorporate conditioning directly into the practice, and having the players get familiar with playing “tired” and the increased need for fundamentals in technique at that point.

I am anxious to try this! We spend a lot of time with our midfield shooters coaching them to “open their hips” and get an overhand shot feet directed at the cage. Actually coach mentioned initially there is a lot of “missing the cage” … so this can be a great teaching tool as well.

Just Click Here to listen to Coach Fink describe all this in his own words, much better than I…. this is for all free members, just click Preview, please leave your comments below, or email me, mike@laxcoachmike.com

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