As a player, I was always taught that superior stick skills win games. It’s hard to beat a team that can consistently catch and throw under pressure. As a coach, I try and pass on that knowledge to my players. When coaching young girls who are still developing skills, you want to emphasize the basics. Here are three drills that I use to better my team’s stick skills:

#1: Stickwork Inside the Center Circle

This drill is a great warm-up drill that focuses on improving stickwork and quick decision-making. This drill require players have their heads up and eyes open so they can see open players to pass to, as well as anticipate a pass coming to them.

Begin the drill with one ball between every two players. On the whistle, players begin moving and passing to open teammates inside the center circle. When you receive a ball, you cannot return the ball to the person who passed it to you. This forces the player receiving the ball to look up, see the field and anticipate the open player. If a player does not have a ball, she wants to pop towards a player with the ball to receive a pass.

#2: The Waterfall Drill

The Waterfall Drill allows players to work on short and long passes on the run. This drill includes some conditioning work and also includes the goalies.

To begin the drill, players form 2 lines. One line has the balls. A player from each line runs up the middle of the field while passing ball back and forth. When they get to opposite end line, players fan out to the sideline and run back while making long cross field passes. Adjust distance for your level of play.

#3: The Give and Go Drill

This drill is an excellent tool for teaching players to give and go on the run while also under pressure.

Have your players get in two lines at the top of the 12 meter arc. One line has the balls. Have a coach stand in front of the players with the ball. That player will feed the ball to the second line and then sprint towards the goal. The second line player will catch, switch hands and throw a lead pass to the player breaking towards goal. A catch and a shot should occur and the players should return to the back of the lines.