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Five drills to improve your speed and agility for lacrosse.

Lacrosse has always been a game of speed and agility. When I began training professional lacrosse athletes over 10 years ago, a 4.8 - 4.9 40yd dash timing was blazing speed. Our players are now getting into the 4.7-4.5 range.

But does a 4.7 40yd dash time help you beat the double team, or help you set up your roll dodge? No. That is why training for specific lacrosse movements is needed.

At Devoe Human Performance, we split up lacrosse speed and agility into two categories:

1. Straight-Ahead Speed.

2. Small-Area Quickness.

In order to be an effective lacrosse player, you must be able to transition from straight-ahead speed and small-area quickness quickly. Transition is a key term that we use and hammer home to all of our athletes.


Smooth Transitions = Quicker Movements.

In order to get into the exercises, we must first define what straight-ahead speed is. We define straight-ahead speed as starting speed, acceleration, top speed, and deceleration to a space on the field.

We define small area quickness as any half--field or "tight" defended area that requires quick movements to navigate through.

Now that the vocabulary lesson is out of the way, lets look at five exercises that will help you with your straight-ahead speed and small-area quickness.

Lean-Fall-Run: The most basic of drills but the most important and sometimes difficult to master.

The Lean--Fall- Run puts your body in perfect position to generate explosive speed and power. The lean fall run puts you in position for what we call triples extension of the ankle/knee/and hip. Once you are in this proper alignment you generate more power to help with acceleration.


1. To perform this drill, place a lacrosse ball at 10 yds., 20 yds., 30yds.

2. Lie on your stomach with lacrosse stick in hand

3. On command "power up" and sprint to the 1st ball and pick it up--quickly drop ball and sprint to 2nd ball and pick it up--quickly drop and sprint to 3rd ball and pick it up.

This exercise trains acceleration and "deceleration;" we like to call deceleration--breakdown. The exercise helps you to breakdown pick up a loose ball and then re-accelerate quicker. This will help you handle loose balls much more effectively.

Cones Drill. This is a relatively easy drill but you must focus on your footwork and "smooth transition."

1. Place 4 cones in a square formation about 17ft apart.

2. Then work any 4 movements you want for each section

For example--

* Side Shuffle to 1st cone.

* Back pedal to 2nd cone.

* Sprint to 3rd cone.

* Carioca to 4th cone.

You can do any movement you want; let your imagination be your guide.

Just make sure you focus on the transition of your feet to the proper position during each phase. This drill is important for lacrosse players because lacrosse is a game that always changes direction in order to be quicker to the ball; smooth transitions are a must.

Sprint to Back Pedal W/directional changes. This is one of my favorite exercises; it literally keeps you on your toes, and ready to change direction.

1. Lean-Fall--Run for 10yds

2. After 10yds, transition into a "Good Position" back-pedals

3. A Coach or partner will then point in which direction they want you to go,

4. If they point left or right--you defensive slide to that direction.

5. If they point toward you--you change direction and back-pedal.

6. If they point towards themselves--you change direction and sprint forward.

Keep this up for 30 seconds

This drill forces you to stay on the balls of your feet in order to help you generate power to change direction. It also works on maintaining "core" stability; this will allow you to change direction quicker. If you are able to balance/stabilize and change direction quicker than your opponent you will be faster to the cage.

Krazy Kones. Or K-Squared as we like to call them

To perform this drill, all you need is some imagination. Take 10 cones and place them in positions that are game-specific, but make you plant and cut at odd times. Make sure you put some long spaces and short spaces to help "mess" with your stride.

This drill will force you to pick your feet up, accelerate, breakdown and more. When you get more advanced work on setting up your dodges when you get to each cone.

These are some of the drills we use at Devoe Human Performance, we hope you will take these ideas and incorporate them in your own workouts. If you have any questions please feel free to email: or check us out

Now get to work!

By Rashad Devoe, M.P.H, Devoe Human Performance Richardson, TX
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Title Annotation:LACROSSE
Author:Devoe, Rashad
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Dec 1, 2006
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