One of the funnest ways for your team to get better on the defensive end of the field is to use a drill that has been around forever — keep away. 2015 NCAA Champion head coach, Bill Tierney, has his defense work on moving around and keeping their feet moving while down one player to the offense.
Drill Summary: Set up with anywhere from 5-7 offensive players within a rectangle that’s about a third of the entire field. Next, add defensive players (always one less than however many offensive players there are). The offense gets the ball, and their goal is to keep the defense from gaining possession. Go for a set amount of time, then switch offense and defense.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Move around.
2) Keep feet active.
3) Accurate passes.
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After weeks of hard work and grueling practices, Bill Tierney’s Denver Pioneers captured the 2015 NCAA D-1 National Championship. In this clip, you’ll learn a drill from Coach Tierney that the whole team can use to get better at passing and communicating on the field.
Drill Summary: This is a drill for the entire team. Set up with lines of at least three players staggered down the length of the field every five yards, on opposite sides. The first player at the front of the first line begins running and throws to the player at the front of the next line on the opposite side of the field. Then, that player runs out and throws to the next line, etc. After throwing, players go to the back of the line they threw to. Players in the last line on the field run through all the other lines and go up the field back to the first line once they’ve received a ball. Get at least 4-5 balls going at the same time.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Throw the ball hard.
2) Catch the ball without twisting the stick.
3) Don’t move until thrown to.
4) Call out the name of the person you’re passing to.
University of Denver Head Coach, Bill Tierney, explains one of the most well known defensive methods: the “slide if you must” defense. This defense is popular due to its flexibility and ability to make adjustments with ease. This defensive method allows a coach to make simple game time adjustments, vary his defenses slide scheme, and find advantages within individual match ups.
“SLIDE IF YOU MUST” DEFENSE
Tierney shares the major adjustments that would be effective responses to common offensive strategies. Defensive skills usually seen in this defense would include shutting off, early slides, on-ball aggressiveness, and fake sliding. Coach Tierney will then give more detailed explanations of this defense against different offenses.
In this insightful clip, 6x NCAA Championship Coach, Bill Tierney, guides you through defending carry roll-offs and overloads. Coach Tierney provides excellent explanation on team defensive systems that will shutdown your opponent’s attempts to score. You will learn simple descriptions that any coach can reiterate to their own players to make them smarter athletes.
In this behind-the-scenes glimpse, we visit Denver, Colorado for a look inside a recent University of Denver men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as head coach Bill Tierney leads his staff through a typical practice planning session before heading out to the turf for half-field drills.
It’s the third day of practice and the Denver men’s lacrosse program is getting prepared for its season opener. We pick things up at a coaches meeting where the staff works together to devise a practice plan for that afternoon’s session.
Highlights: The roundtable discussion highlights the need for the team to go through as many specific scenarios as they can before moving into full-field work, including 6-on-4 and 7-on-5 situations to simulate challenging transition play.
Says coach Tierney, “We got to make sure we’re not extending to the ball because the opponent will skip the ball or take a shot on us coming down.”
Once out on the field, about half the team moves into a pressure passing drill. According to Coach Tierney, the drill will help the players get used to catching and throwing under pressure.
On the other end, the players (mostly defensive) work on a keep away drill. In this particular scenario, there will be one more offensive player than total defensive players, so it’s imperative for them to move around and keep their feet moving as they catch and throw the ball. It’s also crucial that players work hard on putting pressure on the offense as they catch the ball.
3-on-3 Defense Behind the Goal
Finally, practice wraps up with a 3-on-3 drill that initiates from behind the cage. Defenders specifically focus on making fluid switches behind the goal and being able to cover any cutting offensive players around the crease.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Lacrosse Practice with Bill Tierney.” To check out our entire All Access lineup, including new additions featuring Amy Bokker, John Desko, and Kelly Amonte Hiller, click here.