Lacrosse Agility Z Cut
No matter how fast a lacrosse player’s sprint speed may be, and no matter how well the athlete handles passing, receiving and stick skills, a lacrosse player still needs to rely on agility and rapid direction changes in order to achieve success on the field. Speed is important, but in the game of lacrosse, it doesn’t amount to much without fast stops and starts.
It’s also important for athletes to focus on technique and position during rapid sprints and zig zag combinations. Because lacrosse players are holding the stick as they run, they tend to neglect the importance of the arms and arm engagement. But core and leg strength alone can’t maximize the full potential of the body during fast sprints and direction changes.
This video drill offers a relatively simple, high intensity drill that can allow lacrosse players to build both sprint speed and agility while staying focused on developing situations on the field. This drill also helps players maintain full speed while keeping the stick in an optimal position to pass and receive. This is called the lacrosse agility Z cut drill, and it can be worked easily into a regular seasonal training program a few times per week. It requires very little equipment and can be completed with a team divided into small groups.
Lacrosse Agility Z Cut: Setting Up the Drill
To set up this drill, teams will need to divide up into small groups of a few players each, which will allow everyone to complete the drill at once with sufficient rest breaks between each execution. Each small group will need four speed and agility cones and a set of Kbands resistance training bands for each player. Each player will also need a complete set of lacrosse equipment including a stick.
For each group, the four cones can be arranged in a large square five to eight yards apart. One player at a time will execute the drill pattern while a separate player, a passer, stands to the side to deliver the ball. At the start of the drill, the cones should be in place and athletes should be wearing the Kbands around their upper legs.
Lacrosse Agility Z Cut: Executing the Drill
As the starting signal is given, the athlete will leave the first cone at the back corner of the square and sprint full speed toward the front cone on the same side. Upon reaching the cone, the athlete will come to a quick stop using a patter step, and then execute a drop step to sprint to the second back cone. The sprint pattern will resemble a Z shape.
After reaching the back cone, the athlete will change direction again and sprint toward the second front cone. At this point, the passer will deliver the ball by sending onto the ground in the athletes path as a loose ball. The sprinter will quickly recover the ball in a scooping motion without losing sprint speed, and then will pass the final front cone and continue the sprint for another ten yards.
The actual sprint pattern of the drill is very simple, and will be interrupted only by the loose ball delivery in the final stretch. At the drop step, players will change direction, drop backward into the dig phase, and then get ready to explode forward at the third cone, working against the resistance of the bands at every stride.
During the entire drill, players will need to play close attention to stick position and handling, as well as foot placement during the direction changes and body position during the sprint. Younger and less experienced athletes will need to consciously focus on arm engagement, despite the challenges of maintaining controlled stick positioning.
Lacrosse Agility Z Cut: Drill Modification
After completing several executions of the standard drill, players can add a simple modification that will help players maintain speed while controlling lateral motion. In the modified version, players will begin at the first cone, sprint forward to the second, execute the drop step and drop back to the third cone as in the regular version. But at that point, instead of moving forward, players will cut to the side and return to the starting cone.
After reaching the first cone, players will continue the sprint in order to intercept a loose ball sent onto the field by the passer. As with the straightforward drill, players will collect the loose ball without losing stride and while maintaining proper technique. Coaches can provide pointers and help players make sure their arms and shoulders are parallel and their bodies are balanced as they reach down to recover the ball.
Teams should not neglect the loose ball recovery portion of the primary drill or the modification; if players don’t gather every loose ball correctly, they won’t be maximizing the full benefits of the exercise.
Lacrosse Agility Z Cut: Final Notes
Each player should have a chance to complete four total resisted reps of this drill, which means two reps of the straight version and two reps of the modification with the Kbands in place. After all four reps, players can remove the bands and complete one more rep of each version without resistance, followed by one more unresisted rep of each version with the player moving in the opposite direction around the square. At all times, players should focus on sprint speed, foot placement, and maximizing the benefits of the bands.
For more lacrosse drills similar to this one and for a long list of drills covering every aspect of a complete lacrosse training program, players and coaches can visit the lacrosse training section of Kbands Training.com. In addition to passing, scoring, offensive and defensive maneuvering, teamwork, and agility focused drills, the website also offers detailed drills for other sports training programs as well, including baseball, basketball and soccer. For questions and purchasing information about the Kbands, agility cones, and other training materials on the site, leave a comment or contact the Kbands trainers directly.
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