John Danowski lays out his strategies and approaches for teaching stick work. He starts in the classroom detailing practice strategies for stick work. Danowski believes it makes more sense to use drills that mimic game situations than traditional line drills. All of his stick work drills simulate some game situations.
At Duke, Coach Danowski breaks the drills into two areas:
Non-contact skeleton drills which emphasize fundamentals.
Live contact drills which allow the players to see the consequences of their actions.
These drills can be individual, group or team oriented.
Danowski believes that every player should have a high lacrosse IQ, therefore all positions (including the goalie) are involved in every drill; offensive and defensive. This helps each player understand exactly what is going on out on the field no matter their position.
Moving to the practice field, watch and listen as Coach Danowski explains each drill used to develop his players' stick work. He begins with individual skeleton drills - passing (2-on-0, 3-on-0) on the run, offensive passing, defensive breakouts, fast-break shooting, cutting, and full field breakouts. These non-contact drills mimic game situations while allowing players to perfect their stick skill mechanics.
Coach Danowski then moves into group drills, putting the individual drills together - breakouts, 3-on-2 scrapping, 4-on-3, full field transitions, 3-on-2 scrapping with a trailer, and half-field team offense.
Finally, Coach Danowski shares live full field team drills, putting all of the individual and group techniques to work. You will see how the individual drills are put into action in live game situations.
Developing stick skills takes time, but using game situation drills such as these will help your players improve as individuals as well as a team. Take advantage of these time-tested drills and implement into your program to enhance your players' stick work.