Lacrosse is now an increasingly popular sport, especially across North America. Although it might not be as well-known or widely played as sports like soccer and basketball, lacrosse offers a wealth of benefits that make it the perfect addition to physical education programs in schools everywhere. Introducing lacrosse into your physical education curriculum offers an outstanding opportunity for students to be active and involved in their learning. Moreover, you can easily modify the lesson plan to suit different age groups or skills levels.
Lacrosse is a highly engaging sport, allowing for learners to quickly become familiar with the game through participating in modified activities, stations and small-group games within a safe environment - like PE class. There are several lacrosse skills that can easily be utilized and taught inside a PE unit both develop student’s expertise in the sport, while also helping them stay active and engaged. Cradling, passing, catching, scoping, and shooting, can all be easily incorporated into a lacrosse lesson plan. Students can refine their competencies through station-based challenges and then move on to small-sided games for even more enjoyment!
Pic by JenksWEPE 2 @JenksWestPE
With this article, you'll get practical strategies on how to successfully incorporate lacrosse into your lesson plans for the most effective engagement. Furthermore, I will provide you with ten engaging activities to liven up your lacrosse PE unit through challenging stations and small-sided activities! Ready to get your students fired up? Let lacrosse be the spark! An exciting and dynamic sport, let's ignite their passion for this thrilling game.
Can physical education classes use lacrosse as an effective tool for meeting educational standards?
Incorporating lacrosse drills, skill stations and small group activities into physical education not only makes it more enjoyable for students but also meets district, state and national standards. This is an excellent way to engage the students in a meaningful learning experience. Teaching lacrosse offers excellent opportunities to children for developing their fundamental motor skills and cultivating manipulative skill capabilities, which are critical elements of any quality physical education program.
This blog post's highlighted physical education activities are directly linked with SHAPE America Standard 1, which stipulates that: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.*
How do I set up and manage lacrosse stations in my PE class?
Are you searching for the best ways to make your PE lacrosse lessons captivating and successful? Here are some great tips on how to get started with organizing and running high-impact lacrosse stations and small group activities!
Plan Appropriately: Before you start the lesson, make sure to take some time to plan the activities and create a detailed timeline. A well-thought out lesson plan should include directions for each activity, detailing how it will be organized and run. This way, you won't find yourself scrambling during the unit!
Create Challenging Tasks: Create challenging, yet achievable tasks for your students. This will help them develop their basic skills and confidence in the gym or on the field. For example, you can introduce tasks that increase difficulty as students become more competent in the task.
Pic by Mr. Bricker @IBES_PE
Use Appropriate Equipment: Make sure that all the equipment is safe for use in a PE class, is well-maintained and suitable for your students. The lacrosse activities should be adapted to suit the age group you are teaching, as well as their skill level. Use indoor soft lacrosse balls, or a tennis ball in each lacrosse drill (station).
Be Prepared: Preparing your learning area is the most important step in any class. This includes gathering all of the equipment you need, such as soft sticks, targets, lacrosse goals indoor soft balls, appropriate markers, nets and flags (depending on the game) and having students break into teams or groups depending on how many students are participating.
Pic by Andrea Haefele @andreahaefele
Organize Groups Effectively: Divide your class into groups of no more than six students per station if possible. Use visuals to help students understand the stations skill or task. Assign one particular station to each group, and rotate them throughout your class period.
Review Safety Rules: Before starting any activity, it’s important for you to review all safety rules and regulations with your students. Remind them to avoid physical contact during the activities and enforce the rules if necessary.
Pic by JenksWEPE 2 @JenksWestPE
Provide Instruction and Demonstrate the Tasks: Make sure to provide clear guidance and instruction to students so that they can better understand the task. Demonstrating the task will also help to ensure that students understand what they need to do.
Be Mindful of Time: During any lacrosse station or activity, it’s important to be mindful of time. Make sure to keep the activities moving, transitioning between tasks when necessary. Track the time for each activity and ensure that your students are able to complete each task before it is time to switch stations.
Pic by Mr. Bricker @IBES_PE
Provide Feedback: It is important to provide feedback to your students as they work through each lacrosse station. Encourage them and give them positive reinforcement when they have done something well.
Monitor Progress: Monitor the progress of the class and make sure that all of the students are on task. This will help you to identify any areas where they may need additional assistance or guidance.
When done correctly, lacrosse stations can be an effective teaching tool in physical education classes. Remember to plan ahead, provide clear instruction and feedback, use appropriate equipment and monitor progress. With these steps in mind, you’ll be sure to set up and manage successful lacrosse stations for your physical education class!
10 Lacrosse Activity Stations for Physical Education
Inspire your students' love for lacrosse with these ten engaging lesson activities - Ideal for encouraging and motivating your students to learn!
1: Self Toss and Catch- Students practice tossing a lacrosse ball up in the air and catching it in place. They can attempt the following challenges while they work on the task:
In personal space, toss the lacrosse ball up in the air and catch it. Cradle the ball in between tosses. If the ball drops, catch it from a bounce. Scoop a non-bouncing ball up from the ground and then toss it up. Toss quick and low and then slow and high. (beginner lacrosse drills)
2: Circle Jog Cradle- Students refine their cradling technique by weaving in and out of cones while traveling around a circle pattern. They can attempt the following challenges while they work on the task: Cradle a lacrosse ball around the outside of the cones in a counter-clockwise direction. Cradle inside and outside the cones (zig-zag motion). Walk first and then jog while traveling around the circle. At the half way point of the station, everyone at the station should switch and go in a clockwise direction. (lacrosse cradling drills) (lacrosse dodging drills)
3: Partner Passing- Students, in pairs, perform lacrosse passes back and forth to each other (using proper throwing/catching form). They Cradle “in place” first, then perform a lacrosse pass to a partner. Students should be reminded to push with their top hand and pull with their bottom hand when executing a pass. When receiving a pass, they should keep their eyes on the ball and give with the stick when it comes into the cross head.
4: Cradle and Wall Pass- Students take turns cradling a lacrosse ball through a set of cones and then throw it towards a wall and then catch it after it bounces (wall ball). They first cradle the ball and weave through the cones and stop at the throw line. Students then throw it off the wall and catch it 3 times before cradling it back to the beginning of the line.
5: Target Throw- Students take turns throwing a lacrosse ball at a target on the wall from different distances. They first choose a distance they want to throw from- either distance 1 or 2. Students will use the correct throwing methods and try to strike the target with the ball. Each student can throw two balls before retrieving them and returning to their starting point in line - ready for their next round.
6: Shuttle "Drop and Scoop" Relay- Students cradle a ball to a “drop line” and leave it for another student to scoop coming back. That student then drops it for the next person in line (they practice scooping ground balls). Each student takes a turn to run and scoop up the ball on the 1st Drop/Scoop line and drop it at the 2nd drop/scoop line for the next student who is waiting on the other side. The next student does the same thing coming back the other way: Run, scoop, cradle and drop (rest) the lacrosse ball. Students work back and forth across the court in shuttle lines.
7: Circle Star Lacrosse Catch- In a STAR formation, 5 students throw and catch a lacrosse ball across a circle. They are not allowed to toss the ball directly to their neighbor or back to whoever just passed it to them. For added excitement, try using 2 balls at the same time.
8: Lacrosse Bowling- The student's challenge is to take turns throwing a lacrosse ball from various angles and distances in order to knock down a set of bowling pins with only two shots. At each set of pins, someone should take the initiative and clear away any fallen pins after the first shot is thrown. Every student should play as they would in a normal bowling game, taking two consecutive shots.
9: Shoot on the Goalie- Students take turns shooting and defending the goal with a lacrosse net or by using an improvised tri-folded gym mat as their target. The shooter should begin by cradling the ball from a starting point to the goal-shooting area before taking a shot on the goalie. After a set number of shots, the shooter and goalie should switch roles. Spice it up some and have students play 2 vs 1 and a goalie (defense drills).
10: Hit the Targets- Students test their aim and accuracy by attempting to strike a large ball off a variety of cones lined up along a middle line. Each player must first scoop & bring the ball back across their end line before they can take a shot at the ball and cones. Each team gets a point if they knock a ball off. A scorekeeper can be used to keep up with the earned points. (lacrosse shooting drills)
If you want to keep your students active, build their skills and maintain their enthusiasm in PE class, introducing fun lacrosse drills in a station format is an excellent solution. Your kids will be captivated by the challenge of learning a new sport while enjoying their skill development and physical activity! Students of all ages and skill levels can benefit from the variety of lacrosse stations outlined in this blog post. Whether it’s practicing cradling, scooping, catching, passing, shooting or goalkeeping, these tasks will help students improve their skillset while having a great time.
Lacrosse is an exciting sport with lots of potential for growth - so physical education teachers, what are you waiting for? Grab some soft LAX sticks and get started! Good luck!
Please share with me any engaging lacrosse activities or fun youth lacrosse drills that your PE students enjoy in the comments section below - I am eager to be inspired by all of your creative ideas!
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.
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