With a focus on results, lacrosse practice can easily become an avenue for coaches to target their top athletes for improvement. Recruitment has become the goal of athlete development which can ensure some gifted lacrosse players get the opportunity to play at the next level. But, it can also severely limit the opportunities for other athletes who may be late bloomers and could really benefit from some extra attention on the field.
Due to this current environment, US Lacrosse has made it their mission to redefine lacrosse practice through the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM). Earlier this year at LaxCon, US Lacrosse teamed up with STX to present some drills and exercises that adhere to LADM and ensure the larger majority of athletes are staying engaged and having fun.
By no means are we or US Lacrosse saying all coaches should toss their practice plans out the window and adhere strictly to the LADM. But the principles of the LADM allow more players to get involved on a regular basis which will in turn help develop the skills and enjoyment of the game for your entire team versus a select group.
A major focus of the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model is to delay the involvement of real 11 v 11 game play until the athletes are older and more developed. Having actual game insight is crucial to developing lacrosse IQ, but the LADM insists that younger athletes starting as young as 5-6 years old should be focused on fundamentals of athletics. Activating drills that focus on running, jumping, cutting, scooping and throwing will keep the youngsters engaged not only in practice but engaged with the sport.
So, as you are writing out your next practice plan take a look through to see how you can implement the LADM into your routine. If you’re looking for more team drills to run, make sure to also check out our library of team articles.