Coaching middle school girls to play lacrosse takes a sound knowledge of the game and more than a little creativity, as young players tend to get bored easily. It helps if you can make your lacrosse drills fun, teaching players proper technique while still managing to be entertaining.
For this lacrosse version of tag, group the girls in pairs. The first girl attempts to run around a designated area of the field cradling the ball while the second girl tries to tag the first girl's stick head with her own stick head. After a few minutes, the girls switch roles. Not only does the drill provide a serious aerobic workout, it also teaches stick skills and proper defensive footwork.
This drill teaches girls how to scoop ground balls while on the run. As the coach, stand between two lines of players. Blow your whistle and roll a ball out ahead. The first girl in each line races out to try and gain possession of the ball. The girl who scoops it then breaks to the goal for a shot, while the other girl plays defense. For a different variation, you can stand opposite the lines and roll the ball toward the two players.
Divide the team into lines of four players each. Place four balls directly ahead of each line, with about 20 yards between each ball. On the whistle, the first player in line sprints to scoop the ball and then runs back to the starting point. As soon as the first player crosses the starting line, the second player sprints to retrieve the second ball. Continue the same pattern until the players bring back all four balls. The first team to finish wins. Relays improve fitness, teach cradling skills and promote teamwork.
Steal the Bacon
Divide players into two teams and spread them out in two lines about 40 yards apart. Place a ball midway between the two lines. Assign each player a number from one to 10 or however many players you have on each team. On the whistle, call out a number. The players from each team with that number must race to the center and attempt to gain control of the ball. Winning possession is only half the battle. To earn a point, the player must then bring the ball back to her team without dropping the ball or having the opponent steal it.
Stand behind the net with a supply of balls, and position the players in one line at the top of the arc. On the whistle, the first player in line sprints towards the goal while you lob a ball high in the air. The player must catch the pass and whip the ball on goal as quickly as possible. There should be no cradling or hesitation. You can even set targets in goal for an added challenge.