Speed is an essential skill in lacrosse and there are multiple training exercises that can help players achieve that goal. What’s important to understand is that speed alone won’t make someone a great player. It’s a combination of elements that individuals must combine and integrate into their overall training that helps them become faster and better players.
Footwork plays a large part in lacrosse – being able to run at full speed and pivot requires strength, speed, and agility. Cone and ladder drills are the most often utilized exercises to help with all three of those objectives. There are multiple ways in which the exercises can be conducted.
With ladder exercises, players can place one foot in each square, picking up speed with proficiency. It’s also beneficial for teaching players to pick their feet up so they don’t trip. Using the ladder, players can also practice placing both feet in each square of the ladder.
An even faster exercise with the ladder is placing one foot in the square, placing the other foot in the square, then stepping out and beginning the process again by leading off with the other foot. A more strenuous exercise requires jumping back and forth into each square from one side, hopping out on the other side and then repeating the process along the length of the ladder.
Cone work is also effective and they can be set up in a variety of patterns. Players then run from cone to cone as fast as they can. The best incarnation of this is to set cones up in a diagonal pattern in which the player zig-zags back and forth to reach each cone. An additional benefit is that players learn to turn and pivot quickly.
Speed requires practice and it’s built on a foundation of strength that can be gained in a variety of ways. Jumping rope is another effective method for increasing speed and coordination. Players will need to develop forward, backward, lateral, and rotational speed to be the best they can be on the field. Cones and ladders are two of the best ways to achieve that goal.