In this week’s skill development feature, we reveal a pair of game speed drills that replicate game situations and are ideal for efficient and production practices. Watch as Stevens head coach Gene Peluso and assistant coach Matt Madalon break down each drill using whiteboard diagrams before heading out to the field for live simulations.
Overview: This first drill is a high energy anticipation ball movement drill used during offensive position work. The drill teaches players how to transfer the ball effectively, focus on ball protection, put the ball into the right spots, and moving the ball efficiently and effectively within offensive sets.
Rules: Break up the team into groups of three players. Each group should have four cones and 3-5 balls. Cones are set up in a box (10 to 12 yards apart). The drill runs in intervals of 30-45 seconds at full speed. The players must remain outside the cones at all times.
The Action: You’ll have players at three of the four cones. At the whistle, the first player with the ball passes to his adjacent teammate (up top left). As soon as he transfers the ball, he will get right to the open cone. The player now with the ball turns to the outside and then passes it to the next adjacent player (or top right). As this next player receives the ball (with his right hand), that previous player will sprint to the open cone. And hopefully, we get a continuous flow out of this drill. Get crisp passes and work hard before a 15 second break. The timing of cuts and receiving/passing the ball is crucial here.
Coaches can really tweak this drill. For instance, you can focus on strong or weak hands, rolling to the outside, same-hand transfers, and much more. Also, be sure that players are working on giving good targets, talking, and moving, timing cuts efficiently, and not standing around.
As you can see, the drill starts slow but eventually builds up and ends up going quite fast. Players, make quick turns when you turn to the outside. Also, remember that communication is key to this drill and get constant movement. You shouldn’t ever be standing around. Explode to that open space.
In case of loose balls, be sure to reload with extra balls nearby. This drill really transfer over to 6-on-6 offensive sets as the players can get comfortable in this format getting the ball in and out of their sticks and playing together.
This is a terrific drill to get the entire team a ton of touches. Set up four lines of midfielders (1 through 4) in front of the cage and two lines of attackmen behind. Midfielders 1 and 2 are up near the restraining box. Meanwhile, 3 and 4 are about 10 yards up and close to the alley lines on the sides of the field. The attackers are close to the endline but a few yards away.
After the ball gets up the field and to the attackers, they will immediately scissor/crisscross behind and then look for the middies, who are looking to receive the ball and get a quick release on an 8-10 yard shot. After the attackers make that pass, they’re going to finish their cut up field, and A1 will receive a pass from M3 and A2 will receive a pass from M4. After a shot or pass, A1 and A2 switch sides and M1 and M2 switch sides and go to the cage. We are looking for quick releases and accuracy with each shot.
Run this drill for 10-15 minutes and your players will get 30-40 shots each. It’s great for stick handling, ball movement, and finishing in tight. It can also act as conditioning drill if you split up your team and run this at opposite ends of the field.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Game Speed Drills for Creating Game Like Practices.” To check out similar drills, head over to our video library.