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Lacrosse Practice Faceoff Drills To Win Every Time

Faceoffs are one of the most important and crucial aspects of the sport of lacrosse. They can completely control a game and turn the score upside down after a good run of faceoffs Possession is key in lacrosse and that’s why there have been new stalling rules installed. As in most sports, the other team can’t score if they can’t get the ball, so that face off means a lot. A real talented face off guy can be a big difference maker on any team. In College lacrosse and most other levels, faceoffs directly affect possession which directly affects win percentage. A FOGO is a acronym for a Face-off specialist which stands for face off and get off. If you are a specialist of the X, then this article will provide valuable insight for you to practice lacrosse faceoff drills. 

Related Content: 2018 Lacrosse Face Off Rules & Changes

Every lacrosse faceoff is different and each one is a new battle.  Faceoffs are all about hand speed and reaction time to the whistle.  There are different styles and hand grips that players use.  A player should have several strategies to win the ball.  The common moves players use are the clamp, jam, and rake.  Practicing faceoffs are all about muscle memory, focusing on technique, and quickness.  You need to always have focused practice to improve your reaction time and abilities.  Also always practice legal procedures with a legal stick!

Solo Lacrosse Faceoff Drills

Use a Timer, Alarm, Stopwatch to simulate a ref’s whistle

    1. Good Warmup – A good quick warm up to get the body and hands loose is just setting up at midfield and do a bunch of GBs forward from a won face off and then a set of GBs won backwards.
    2. Quick Chops – For this one use a stopwatch and set up like you are going to take a faceoff and once you are down go back and forth over the ball as fast as you can without touching it for 10 seconds.
    3. Horizontal Rapid Fire – Set up around 10-15 balls across the line with just enough room for you to fit in between and get set.  Start on the one end and off the alarm or whistle go down the line as fast as you can.  Clamp the ball and toss it out forwards or backward quickly and get to the next ball.
    4. Fast Hands – Set the ball up a few inches from your hand as you would in a lacrosse faceoff, go down with no stick and have an alarm set for every 6 seconds and when the sound alarms grab the ball with your hand as fast as you can.  Put the ball back and wait for the alarm to go off again.
    5. Clamps – practice trapping the ball with a clamp in sets. Hold for a few seconds and try to really secure the ball.
    6. Ghost Faceoffs – practice as you would a normal face off at full speed.  Use an alarm system and go off of it as fast as possible.  You want to go through your entire arsenal of moves a few times each and recover the ball.

Lacrosse Faceoff Drills with a partner or coach

      1. Forward/Back – you start in the middle at x with a partner or coach on one side to simulate a full faceoff.  You get down, set, and once the partner blows the whistle, they call out forward or back. The faceoff guy shoots out the ball where the helper says and tries to then direct it towards them. The faceoff player should then try to recover the ball where it was directed.
      2. Whistle Patience – the coach or partner has a whistle and the player sets up without a stick like fast hands.  Every second whistle is blown by the partner you grab the ball as fast as possible and repeat. The objective is to work on reaction time without offending. If you mess up you should have a punishment, like push-ups or conditioning.
      3. Normal 1v1 – practice against a teammate or partner with a down, set, go cadence.  Work at full speed and use proper mechanics and procedures.

Being a great lacrosse faceoff specialist can open many doors and make you really stand out on any team.  It’s a difficult position and becoming great at it takes a lot of practice and grit. You need to use strategy, discipline, focus, speed, and power in each faceoff to be the best. It takes more than wanting to be the best when it comes to excelling at lacrosse faceoffs, it’s all about what you’re willing to do to win.

Here are more great resources for FOGO’s from The Lacrosse Faceoff Academy 

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