Florida State head coach Bill Harkins loves to incorporate drills that simulate game situations. Here are three drills from the Florida State repertoire that you can use during your next practice to get your squad better prepared for game action. As coach Harkins always says, remember to do drills with enthusiasm, speed and commitment. The goal is to push yourself to get better. Everyone is good in the first quarter, but the key is to be good for all four quarters.
Ground Ball Roll Outs
In this effective ground ball drill, once a player picks up a ground ball, he will sprint away from trouble, turn, free his hands and then quickly get rid of the ball. The goal is to simulate ground ball situations that typically happen during a game — and this is the ideal drill to work on them.
In the Riding Drill, the ball will start with the goalie. After shouting, “Clear”, he’ll throw the both to a defender on either the left or right side of the field. From here, a low attackman will attack either side, and then a high attackman will follow suit. The goal is for the defenders to catch the ball, get by two riders (while staying within the restraining line) and then reach the 50-yard line.
This drill is perfect for working on rides and clears simultaneously. For the attackmen, once there’s a shot, it’s their task to immediately start riding, transition from offense to defense, and to get out and be physical. Remember to use the sideline as another defender. Getting a player out of bounds is as good as stripping the ball from him. As for the defense, they must know that the second a save is made, it’s all about transition and the time to get into an offensive mindset.
Osceola Passing Drill
The goals with the Osceola Passing Drill are to practice scooping ground balls, rolling away from pressure and making good passes out of a ground ball situation. It’s perfect for working on ground balls, passing and player movement, and even involves some conditioning as well.
The set-up has an inner-diamond of four cones and then outside of that, a larger box of four cones. Altogether, there will be one player at each diamond of cones and then one player at the outside box of cones. One player will start by throwing a ground ball out and another player from the diamond comes in and scoops it up clearly, rolls away from pressure, comes around the cone, and throws a pass back into the middle. This movement will come around the entire rotation of the diamond as players replace each other. Depending on your level, you can even work up to four balls at once in the rotation.