This is a simple passing and catching drill we have been using with our boys’ and girls’ teams for years. It’s not fancy or modern, but it’s great at maximizing touches for building stick skills and muscle memory!
This drill is a great way to create traffic in front of your players as they catch and throw, just like they will see in games. They must look and think when they throw the ball to make sure it reaches their teammates. Turnovers on Offense can become Fast Breaks and goals for the other team in game situations!
We use this drill any day at practice with our youth and high school players, boys and girls! It keeps them engaged and active, moving their sticks and feet. You can do this drill to develop stick skills for passing and catching with both hands, ground balls, dodging, anything!
Do this drill in one big group, or smaller groups of 10-15 players. The point of your warm up drills is to give all your players as many repetitions ("reps") or "touches" on the ball, so they shouldn't be standing in line for longer than a few seconds. Maximum repetitions for muscle memory and movement!
Time your Drills! Make sure you time your drills for your players' age and attention span. Even with our college players, we don't do the same thing for more than 15 minutes very often.
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Start your players in four lines facing each other, 10-20 yards apart. Place the lines at whatever distance allows your players to be successful! Shorter distances for youth and beginners, farther apart for older and more experienced players.
Balls start with the players at the front of lines 1 and 3. Make sure you have back up balls at each line! Don’t let bad passes kill your drill. Remember, you are building muscle memory for catching and throwing, so keep the repetitions and your players moving!
- "Righty Outside": When players run past each other to the right side of their teammates, they should have their sticks in their outside hand, requiring them to throw the pass across the body to the next player. This also requires the passing player to "lead" the catching player, with the pass out in front where he can catch it.
- "Lefty Inside"/"Lefty Outside": Make sure you work on developing stick skills for both sides equally. Do this drill with lefty passes with sticks in the middle and across the body.
- "Ground Balls To"/"Ground Balls Away": Use this same setup to work on Ground Balls. Players can roll the balls towards the line in front of them, or run to the next line and roll the ball back out in front, away from the next player in line.
- Use Four Balls! Two for each line to add more traffic and chaos. The player with the second ball must communicate and pass to the second guy in line each time. More touches, more reps, more work!
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- College Extra-Pass Warm-Up Line Drills: We got these great warm-up drills from top NCAA coaches to get more work done and extra touches on the ball in less time!
- "Hamster" Passing & Catching Line Drills: These small group passing and catching practice drills give all your players more touches, more reps, and more conditioning during your warm-ups and line drills!
- "Figure 8" Passing & Catching Drills: This is another great small group drill to keep all your players' sticks and feet moving while you work on muscle memory for catching, throwing and ground balls!
- "Inside-Out" Passing & Catching Warm-Up Drills: We see more high school and college teams using this realistic game-situation and spacing drill for practice and pregame warm-ups!