“There is a direct correlation between a lacrosse player’s ability to perform athletic movements in rapid succession and his on-field performance,” says Maryland lax S+C coach Michael Szemborski.
The Terrapin training leader believes lateral shuffles and hoop sprints are the two most vital athletic movements during a match—so that’s what he trains at College Park.
According to Szemborski, a good lateral shuffle is being able to shuffle while keeping your hips square to the opponent you’re defending. And since players rarely run in a straight line during action, they need to perform what Szemborski calls a hoop sprint— maneuvering in a circular fashion to get around defenders, wrap around the goal or dodge defenders when moving toward the net.
To maximize both, Szemborski uses the Y Drill, after weight room work, when the athletes are physically exhausted—a barrier they must overcome during a match.
Setup: Place 3 cones each in 3 rows, with the first and last cones in each row 2.5 yards apart and all 9 cones together covering a 5-yard box. Place another cone 45 degrees and five yards away from each of the top two corners of the box
• Start at Cone 1; sprint to Cone 2
• Sprint diagonally from Cone 2 to Cone 3
• Shuffle from Cone 3 to Cone 4
• Sprint diagonally from Cone 4 to Cone 5
• Sprint from Cone 5 to Cone 6
• Finish by shuffling from Cone 6 to Cone 1
Sets/Reps: 1×6 with 25-40 seconds rest
Adaptations: Obviously the Y configuration is open for a plethora of movements and patterns // Incorporate the second row for zig-zag patterns // Vary among sprints, lateral shuffles and diagonal sprints between cones
Coaching Points: Perform with precision and speed // Focus on correct form and posture // Stay low on lateral shuffles // Plant off outside foot when making tight cuts around cones // To emphasize proper running mechanics, perform drill sans stick