youth lacrosse bad pass

Teach Your Players the “Bad Pass” Game

The Bad Pass Game is a true lax classic, straight from back yards all over America. This is an easy practice game your players can use to learn to handle all kinds of different passes they will see in games.

lacrosse beginners pass box head shoulders stick skills

It's not really until high school or even college that every player on the team can throw passes right to the "Box" made by the head and shoulders all the time.

As beginners, your players will throw and receive thousands of bad passes in practice and in games- high, low, to the wrong side, straight at their chests or helmets, opposite shoulder, bouncers, etc. Sticks and gloves get checked, and passes get tipped all the time. This game teaches them to handle these "challenges" as a normal course of events.

Teach your players the bad pass game so they can play at home to develop stick skills and muscle memory for catching and throwing with both sides. All it requires is a couple of kids and some time outside with their sticks in their hands.

If you're a parent of a lacrosse player, this is a great game to play with your son or daughter. Play it with brothers and sisters, neighbors and teammates.

The Rule of Thumb is, "If it hits your stick, you should catch it."

Lacrosse players that want to be great are the ones that put in the time and the effort to develop their stick skills outside of practice, and the ones that have the right attitude to take a bad pass and turn it into a goal-scoring opportunity.

Here's a video of Maryland Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Cathy Reese explaining the Bad Pass Game at the US Lacrosse Convention this year:

Reese's Terrapins are 11-0 this season. She has won NINE National Championships as either a coach or player. Her team is currently being called "the best ever" by some people, with women's Tewaarton award winner Taylor Cummings poised to win the coveted award for the best college lacrosse player again this year.

"You have to practice bad passes. Not that you want to make them, but the reality is they happen." -Cathy Reese, University of Maryland

The game is super simple:

Have two players line up 10 - 20 yards apart and throw intentionally bad passes to their partner's off-stick shoulder, hip, or feet. Throw bouncers, grounders, etc.

  • Practice soft hands and coordination to catch the ball in unusual or uncomfortable positions.
  • Stay light on the feet to re-position the body if necessary to make an over-the-shoulder or over-the-head catch.
  • Throwers can work on placement to make their passes go to those "bad spots" on purpose, which will benefit their shooting accuracy later.
  • Every time they miss a pass, your players are getting ground ball practice. Ground balls win games!

Try it out with your players for something different and fun other than your normal line drills.

Definitely tell us if you see any of your players make a spectacular catch after the playing the Bad Pass Game at practice!