Website Manager

Play Box! Get Better! Have Fun!

Play Box! Get Better! Have Fun!

News Detail


Aug, 2023

Small Sided Lacrosse Strategies

1. Understand the Purpose:

Small-sided games are not just scaled-down versions of the full game; they serve a specific purpose in player development. These games emphasize skill execution, creativity, communication, and situational awareness. Recognize that the goal is to create an environment where players can learn and apply skills effectively.

2. Define Objectives:

Clearly outline the objectives you want to achieve through small-sided games. Whether it’s improving passing accuracy, enhancing defensive positioning, or promoting quick decision-making, having specific goals will guide your coaching approach and help players understand the purpose behind each game.

3. Focus on Skill Development:

Small-sided games provide an ideal setting to refine core skills such as shooting, passing, dodging, scooping and defending. Break down these skills into manageable components and encourage players to practice them during games. Emphasize the importance of using both the dominant and non-dominant sides for well-rounded skillsets.

4. Promote Decision-Making:

The fast pace and limited space of small-sided games force players to make quick decisions under pressure. Use this as an opportunity to teach players how to assess situations, identify the best options, and act decisively. Encourage players to adapt to varying scenarios and read the game effectively.

5. Embrace Creativity:

Smaller game formats allow players to experiment with creative moves, tactics, and strategies. Encourage players to think outside the box, try new techniques, and express their individual playing styles. This freedom not only boosts confidence but also enhances overall player development.

6. Foster Communication and Teamwork:

Effective communication is essential in small-sided games, where players must coordinate their movements and actions closely. Encourage players to talk, “call for the ball”, “I got your back”, and provide support to teammates. Stress the importance of teamwork, as it’s a cornerstone of success in any sport.

7. Rotate Positions:

Rotational coaching is beneficial in small-sided games. Encourage players to experience different roles and positions, allowing them to gain a holistic understanding of the game. In SI6XES Lacrosse, players play both offense and defense.  This approach enhances player versatility and helps them appreciate the challenges faced by teammates in various positions.

8. Adapt Rules:

While maintaining game realism, consider adapting rules slightly to suit the format. For instance, adjust the number of touches or passes allowed, or implement rules that encourage ball movement. These modifications should enhance the learning experience and promote essential skills.

9. Provide Constructive Feedback:

Offer constructive feedback during and after small-sided games. Point out areas for improvement while highlighting strengths. Celebrate players’ successes and progress, creating a positive atmosphere that motivates them to continuously strive for excellence.

10. Incorporate Game Scenarios:

Integrate specific game scenarios into small-sided practices. Focus on situations such as counter-attacks, set plays, or defensive transitions. These scenarios simulate real-game experiences, preparing players for challenges they’ll encounter on the larger field.


Coaching small-sided games is a valuable tool in player development that nurtures essential skills, teamwork, and decision-making. By understanding the purpose, setting clear objectives, and focusing on skill refinement, coaches can create a dynamic learning environment. Embrace the creativity that small-sided games offer, foster effective communication, and adapt rules to enhance the experience. Through these strategies, you’ll unlock the full potential of your players, preparing them to excel in the broader context of the sport. Remember, coaching small-sided games isn’t just about winning the game; it’s about developing well-rounded athletes who can thrive in any situation.

Copyright © 2024 Oregon Box Lacrosse Association  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In