University of Maryland two-time national champion coach Cathy Reese presented on advanced lacrosse stickwork at the 2015 US Lacrosse Convention, alongside Team USA athletes and Terps assistant coaches Caitlyn Phipps and Alex Aust. Watch the full nine-video playlist below, or visit An edited excerpt from the first video, titled “The Basics of Lacrosse,” follows below.


This is what everything else is built off of. These are the fundamentals that are going to help your kids take their game to the next level. We even say it all the time with our girls at Maryland, “If you can’t catch, you can’t play.”

We have to bring it back to basics. Sometimes, I think we all jump into the next thing and we’re super excited to put in this offense…well, an offense doesn’t really work if you can’t catch the ball. We spend time every day in practice working on stick work.

My 10-year-old will say to me, “Mom, I already know how to catch and throw.” So we go back to the basketball analogy and I say, “Do you think LeBron James doesn’t practice shooting?” Yeah, he knows how to shoot, but this is something that’s super important to your growth as a player.

One of the cheesy sayings I like to use is “We’re going to put the fun in fundamentals.” I’m really big on being creative. That’s one of my favorite things as a coach, allowing our players to freelance, to play, to have fun with lacrosse. Stick work is a great avenue to do that. The more you have a stick in your hands, the better your stick work is going to be.

Reese goes on to detail some of the building blocks of great stick work, including:

  • 3:00 – Holding your stick
  • 3:35 – Cradling
  • 4:50 – One-handed catching and throwing
  • 6:40 – Two-handed catching and throwing

Later, she progresses to advanced stick work topics like practicing bad passes, fakes and stick tricks, behind the back, sidearm passing and more. The full playlist covers about 50 minutes of high-level instruction.

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