Lacrosse Zig Zag Drill
Lacrosse players need powerful agility in the legs and core in order to execute rapid direction changes on the field, and in order to develop this power, successful teams rely on drills that target strength in the quads and hip flexors. The most effective drills are the ones that attack key muscle groups while also allowing players to focus on balance, speed, and stick handling technique.
This drill, called the lacrosse zig zag drill, keeps the entire team in motion from the beginning of the drill to the end. This can help players focus on strength building and endurance while also targeting technique, agility and body position. This drill can be modified to meet the needs of both beginner and advanced players. Less experienced teams can start with shorter sprint distances and fewer reps, while more experienced teams can spread out the distance between the cones and keep the reps continuous, placing the maximum amount of tension on core muscle groups.
In both cases, this drill is easy to set up and simple to execute, and it can easily be worked into seasonal lacrosse training program. Players will need to stretch and warm up beforehand, and then they can jump in and incorporate the drill into a regular practice session.
Lacrosse Zig Zag Drill: Setting up the Drill
The set up for the lacrosse zig zag drill is very simple, and will require a section of the field for each group executing the drill at the same time. The team can attack the drill all at once with multiple cones set ups, which will leave small breaks and rest periods, or teams can divide into smaller groups and move through the cones continually without a pause.
First, coaches will need to place seven, eight, or nine speed and agility cones in two parallel lines down the field. Players will zig zag back and forth between one line and the other, so the entire set-up should cover a 15 to 25 yard spread.
Each participant should have a complete set of lacrosse equipment including a stick, and each player should also have a set of Kbands resistance training bands. Before the drill begins, players should attach the straps of the Kbands to their upper legs and clip the resistance bands to the straps.
Lacrosse Zig Zag Drill: Executing the Drill
Players can start at the front of the lines of cones, and one at a time, each player can begin the drill by moving back and forth between the two lines in a zig zag motion.
The first round of the drill will involve a lateral movement of the body. The participant will start at the front of the line with the stick in an upright position. The player will plant the feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, bending at the knees and keeping the center of gravity low. He will then move in a backwards direction from cone to cone with a fast, lateral stride, keeping the shoulders square and the body facing forward. At each cone, a change in direction should correspond with a shift in stick position, so the stick is always aligned with the direction of motion.
After reaching the back cone, players will wait until the line is cleared, and then will move through cones again in a forward direction. This will place a strong degree of tension on the upper legs, especially with the Kbands in place. Players should make the most of this tension and drive the knees against the resistance of the bands in order to gain the maximum benefit from the drill.
After this first set of lateral moves, players can move to the second round of the drill, which will involve a straight sprint rather than a lateral stride. The stick will remain in position, but the athletes body will be turned slightly in the direction of motion instead of staying parallel to the front of the line. Again, players will start by moving backwards in a zig-zag fashion down the line of cones, and then forward.
During the first lateral sets, athletes should focus on body position rather than speed. During the sprint sets, speed and rapid direction changes should be the primary goal. During both rounds, players should drive the knees and build strength by working against the resistance of the bands.
Athletes should also concentrate on stick handling and arm position, and should keep the attention focused forward, even while the body is aligned with the direction of motion. The drop step and sprint should be executed as if an offensive player has just taken position of the ball. Picturing game-like situations in this way can help players stay focused and get the most out of every rep of the drill.
As for body position during the drop step and sprint portions of the drill, players should concentrate on keeping the center of gravity low on the approach to the cone, both forward and backward. During the forward sprint, this will mean a fast patter-step at the turn. During the backward sets, this will mean dropping the hip and moving explosively at each new acceleration.
Lacrosse Zig Zag Drill: Final Notes
This drill will involve 2 to 4 lateral executions with the bands in place (resisted). These will be followed by 2 to 4 resisted sprint-drop step combinations. After all of these reps with the bands attached, participants will remove the resistance bands and complete 2 to 4 final reps of the sprints and drop steps only. During the final unresisted reps, players will focus on speed and rapid direction changes.
For more lacrosse drills and video demonstrations like this one, players and coaches can visit the training tab above. The site offers drills covering every aspect of the game, including offensive and defensive maneuvering, passing and scoring, agility, technique, and ball handling skills. Most of the drills are easy to set up and execute and require only a few simple training aids that can be found on the site, including speed and agility cones, agility ladders, and Kbands resistance training bands.
Lacrosse Training Equipment