No two lacrosse positions are the same. Each requires a unique skill set and a specialized mindset that suits the position’s challenges. Follow these position-specific tips and your team will be on its way to meeting its full potential.
The best midfielders are quick, tough, versatile and willing to do whatever is necessary to help the team. His hustle can make the difference between a win and a loss. Midfielders should always mind their legs. They have to run hard and fast all game long. It doesn’t matter if he knows exactly what his next move should be if he can’t get there quickly enough. Instead of focusing on sprinting on interval training, midfielders should head on out to the lacrosse field and run with stick in hand to replicate on-field action. Squat jumps and weight lunges will also help. In terms of mindset, the position requires mental toughness. Midfielders are constantly slashed so they need to keep their head in the game no matter how hard opponent hacks away. Midfielders should also practice the skills required of other positions as versatility is fundamental to the position. A midfielder has to clear the ball, ride, play defense and offense. This requires diverse practice drills and the assistance of coaches. Coaches should ask midfielders what their weaknesses are to help them round out their game and meet the extensive demands of the position.
Elite defenders use their feet. Good footwork is essential to positioning oneself between the goal and offensive players. Coaches should focus on training defensemen to dictate play in one-on-one situations. A defenseman must be a step ahead of attackers. He must have excellent body position. This can only be accomplished with elite footwork. Defensemen should center their practice routines on perfecting their lateral change of direction, the side shuffle and drop step.
Playing goalie is half mental and half physical. Superior goalies are able to maintain their cool when shooters are quickly approaching and winding up their shots. Training should be focused on seeing strictly the ball. Train to react to the ball and eliminate guessing. Goalies must keep their feet shoulder width apart and their hands away from the body so offside shots don’t handcuff them. The hands should be 12-18” apart. Most importantly, goalies should watch the ball all the way into their bodies and sticks until the save is made.