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The Tufts men’s lacrosse program is known for its high-tempo attack and effective transition game. The Add It Up Drill is one of several effective transition drills that the team relies on in order to prepare for game situations. Meanwhile, this continuous practice drill moves at a rapid pace and gets the entire team involved. With Tufts head coach Mike Daly leading you through the drill, be sure to pick up some tips and insights before seeing how you can implement the drill into your own practice plan.
The Tufts lacrosse program is built on keeping pressure on its opponents. The team looks to keep the ball above the GLE on all transition breaks. Also, the squad is looking to attack in space and in transition before the opponent can set up on defense. This is part of every drill and decision that the team makes. They don’t believe in possessions just to have possessions. Rather, they believe in lots of pressure in the midfield having the face-off guys involved in setting the pace. Instead of slowing down, the team looks to attack.
While this philosophy can certainly test the nerves, it can also reward your team quickly and immensely. It also helps for teams that may not be as talented as its opponent. It provides an advantage in space to score goals.
This drill is a continuous transition drill that starts 4 on 3 and ends up 6 on 6. The goal is to dictate pace and increase tempo.
We have two teams. The brown team is the unsettled side first. They will have all the uneven breaks. The goalie starts with the ball. The white team will not be riding on the first pass, but will ride on every pass after that. Then the brown team will take it down on a 4-on-3 break.
As we push it on transition, we are always communicating. For every fast break, we are looking to attack the cage. We want to force the defense to stop the ball. Players with the ball should look diagonal or to the point man.
As we make a save or make a mistake, we will then transition up field into our 4-on-4 up-tempo break with an outlet. The brown team is now riding and getting back on defense. Now, what we are looking for is everything Tufts lacrosse is about when it comes to the transition game. We are pushing it down the wing hard and attacking. We will clear through to our pop cut. Once the clear is through, we have an offensive midfielder against a defensive midfielder in space (one of our better athletes) without slides in place and attacking the opponent and putting pressure on them.
We really like South-North passes. As the player is dodging, we are looking to dodge and score. After another shot and save, we are going from a 5-on-4 break to a 5-on-5. The same concepts mentioned before now apply (curl pop and stop). If we draw slides, we get the backside opportunities. Remember, always keeping the ball above the cage. Now it’s 6-on-6 and we want to get a shot within 15 seconds of that possession. We should always be dictating and displaying how we want to play the game.
We want this to be six possessions under a minute and a half. And the entire time we are playing up-tempo. Let the drill play out. The drill continues live even on turnovers. It will cause a lot of chaos and test your nerves, but it will pay dividends for your team. The only time you stop the drill is after the full cycle is complete. The goal is to not micromanage here.
The clips above can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Transition Drills for Building an Up-Tempo Offense” with Mike Daly. To check out more offensive videos in our lacrosse library, click here.