Two Competitive Team Lacrosse Drills to Improve Transition Play

Add a spark to your team’s transition game by adding these two effective transition drills to your practice plan. Follow along as Cortland women’s head lacrosse coach Kathy Taylor breaks down the action via whiteboard diagrams before moving out to the field for live simulations. These game-like drills are also ideal for getting players to think two passes ahead and learning how to play under pressure. 

Princeton Drill

This is a terrific drill for putting players under pressure while on transition. First take the field and divide it and play it across (versus lengthwise). Look to divide it between the restraining line and the 50-yard line.

Split up the team into two colors or units (red and white for this example). We will then get a variety of red lines and white lines set up on the sideline within the playing space. The three red lines and three white lines are lined up on BOTH sidelines.

Meanwhile, a coach will stand in the middle and toss out a ball in the air or on the ground. The team that gains possession first is on the attack. The goal: Get three passes consecutively as your team moves across the field. Be sure to count out loud.

If the ball is dropped or hits the ground, you must restart your counting. The goal is to transition the ball across the field as and quickly as you can. If you are successful, pass to the same team color on the opposite side to continue with the drill.

If a mistake is made, the other team will transition and look to pass it to a teammate on the opposite side. Push the speed factor and really get the players to move the ball. Make it up tempo. The players should enjoy this one as it’s competitive, features a lot of touches, and uses full team involvement.


On the Field

Remember that we are dealing with tighter quarters here, so it’s key for players to keep moving to stay ahead of the pressure. If the ball goes out of bounds, be sure to change possession. Players really must work hard. It’s easy to get tired with the three pass rule in play.

Triangle Drill

This is one of Coach Taylor’s favorite drills. It’s a hard working drill but extremely effective. It’s similar to Princeton, but now we are working in triangles. Players must work together to break out and away from defenders in a triangle formation. Also, look to switch directions periodically. If the other team gets the ball, simply switch from offense to defense.

Tips: Look to run this outside the big circle. You will want a lot of space to get open. Remember, break out and away to receive the ball, not right to the ball.

This is also a great drill as it forces players to think two passes ahead, get open into space, and learn how to handle pressure.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Building Your Team’s Transition Game” with Kathy Taylor.” To check out more videos focusing on transition lacrosse, visit our lacrosse video library.

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