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Building a Strong Team Defense: 2 vs. 2 Drills and Tactics

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - Leave a Comment

As a former two-time captain and starter on defense under Dom Starsia, current Brown head coach Lars Tiffany has a fundamental understanding of what it takes to be proficient on defense as a unit.

This week, pick up some tips from one of the game’s sharpest minds as Tiffany highlights key defensive strategies in a 2 vs. 2 format. Tiffany first breaks down the 2 vs. 2 action using whiteboard diagrams before taking to the field for some live simulations with his squad.

The action focuses first on using no picks before eventually getting into screens up top and behind the net. Also, be sure to pick up more defensive tips and key terms from our previous feature starring Coach Tiffany.

2 vs. 2 Without Picks

We are adding to our team defense scheme development with 2 vs. 2 action, which really emphasizes on ball and off ball skills. This is more free-flowing than most other defensive drills. With the up top offensive player, we will say to them, can you beat your opponent? For the defensive player, we will say, can you prevent your opponent from beating you? For the two off ball players, can the offensive player rotate to a good spot to be an outlet and a scoring threat? Defensively, do we need the defender to slide? Should you slide?

In this first scenario, we’ve got a dodger up top and an attackman on the crease. But we will also put the offensive players behind the goal, too. Perhaps there’s a defender on-ball and then another defender ready to slide from an adjacent position.

 

On the Field

We do a lot of 2 vs. 2 work at Brown. Let’s start with an on-ball defender and a help defender (hot man). Defensively, do we need to slide? If so, can we do so in a way that won’t leave his man wide open? For now, there will be no picks on the ball.

On the field, players go 2 vs. 2 in live action. Meanwhile, Tiffany provides the play-by-play and uses slow motion replays to highlight his tips and suggestions.

Next, the players move behind the cage. Still, there are no picks yet. The key here is to really emphasize communication between teammates, plus slides and recovery tactics.

2 vs. 2 With Picks

Now, what happens if the offense brings a body to the dodger with a pick? There are three ways to counter.

1) Get Through. Our communicator is the defender off ball (D2). As the attackman approaches the pick, the defender says “Get Through” and he wants to be a yard or two off his man and a yard or so over, giving room for D1 to get underneath the pick and through it.

2) Switch. D1 is on the ball. D2 should position himself a little wide and off his man. D1 will let go of the man he was guarding, releasing him, and switching to guard the picker. D2 will now step up and guard the dodger.

3) Double. This is where we jump the pick. D2 will trail his man in initially. As the pick is set, he will jump up and attack the ball carrier. D1 will trail the dodger into D2, hopefully forming a closing-in tactic on the offensive player.

 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “How to Create a Strong Team Defense” with Lars Tiffany. Check out similar defensive videos in our exclusive video library.

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