Coach Jason Balistreri of Valhalla High School (San Diego, CA) has been using this lacrosse drill at the middle and high school levels for years and it’s always one of his team’s favorite drills. It utilizes team communication, field awareness and balance, scramble offense and defense, clearing and riding, and can also focus on specific coaching points.
Create Chaos Drill – Brief Overview
Split the team into two equal sides with different colored pinnies. Have the players line up on the separate corners of the end line, with one team in each corner. Have four players from each team line up staggered (white, dark, white, dark, etc.) around the crease line of the goal. Make sure they are spread out equally with their toes on the line and facing in towards the goal. Also, have the players close their eyes and have their heads looking down.
Now it’s time for the chaos. To start, a coach lobs a ball in a random spot of the box. On the bounce, the goalie calls out the position of the ball on the field and all the players have to react and fight for the ball. Whichever team gets possession first plays offense 4 v 4. The defensive team must always clear the ball with any save or stop of play. After the clear, the players go back to their respective lines and four more players from each team lines up around the crease for another rep.
Coaching Points and Variations
– Not everyone should fight for the ball at once, have far side players stay back to defend the goal and balance the field.
– I prefer 4 v 4, but you can go 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 with a smaller roster, or even go 5 v 5 or 6 v 6. Just keep the same format and even mix up the numbers if you want. It’s great for the kids to adjust to the different numbers and adjust their structure/responsibilities on defense and offense.
– Make sure to have at least one pole on the field for each team. It allows them to learn offensive principles, which ultimately makes them better defenders and become more complete lacrosse players. In 4 v 4, I actually like to have have two poles and shorties go together. This is terrific for the poles to get low on the clears and practice a mini 3 v 2 clear with the goalie as the shorties break up top to get free.
– The offense should focus on moving the ball quickly after the ground ball and dodge the weak side. This keeps the reps quick and high tempo. However, the coach can slow things down by having the offense focus on certain points.
– Find the short stick matchups or utilize big-little picks to get a shorty on a good dodger.
– Get in a box and focus on picks up top, down low, or on the wings.
– Box again and focus on adjacent slides from up top or COMA slides down low.
– Get in a “Y” formation with either two down low or up top, just have one on the crease. Now you can practice crease slides from either picks from the pair or from the iso dodge by the lone offender on the perimeter.
– Put two on the crease and work on inside two man games.
– Run any part of your offense; 4 v 4 options are endless or go full out 6 v 6.
Just use this drill as a fun start and enjoy the chaos!