Trilogy Lacrosse director Brian Farrell, a defenseman for the Ohio Machine who coaches at Salisbury (Conn.) School and will succeed Boys’ Latin (Md.) legend Bob Shriver next year, gave Lacrosse Magazine his advice on getting the most out of players during practices in the April 2015 edition. Here are Farrell's three indispensable pillars that should be part of every lacrosse practice.

1. Bring energy

One of the greatest pieces of advice I received as a coach is, “Enthusiasm is contagious.” If one person brings excitement and liveliness to an environment, the rest will feed off that energy. In a lacrosse practice, enthusiasm usually starts with the coaches. If we bring positive energy in the beginning of practice, it will rub off on the players and they will thrive on this passion.

2. Make the fundamentals fun

It doesn’t matter if you are a soft-stick little league team or the defending NCAA champion — fundamentals are vital to success. Stick work, shooting, ground balls and defensive footwork are some common fundamentals we must incorporate into every practice.

Spice things up a little. When doing stick work, put players on the clock and count consecutive passes without a drop. High focus plus more reps equals players getting better.

3. Compete

Bring the competition of games to practice? Keep score in full-field drills. Pit the offense against the defense and keep track of who wins. Play for rewards or punitive measures like running, pushups and burpies. Turn drills into competitions. It will bring out the fight in your players and will prepare them for game-like situations.

Tools of the Trade


If energy is the symphony and the coach the conductor, then the whistle is his wand. The sharp tweet of a whistle provides immediate results and keeps players on task, fired up and moving.


Track reps for time and build out mini-competitions and stay on schedule.

Money Ball

Throw the money ball in every few reps to give players the chance to double or triple their points when they score with it, keeping competitions close and enthusiasm high.