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3 Individual Drills for Shooting on the Move

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Follow along with Johns Hopkins offensive coordinator Bobby Benson as he reveals three effective individual lacrosse drills focusing on shooting on the run. Coach Benson will first walk through each drill before having his team run through live simulations at game speed.

On the Move

This drill is a great way to practice shooting on the run while getting in some conditioning. Start with a pile of balls up top and have just one player go at a time. To begin, have the player dodge down one alley and shoot and then dodge down the other alley and shoot. If you’re on a football field, stay inside the football hash marks when sprinting and shooting the ball. If you don’t or have trouble getting your hips to the goal, you can always put cones down to run within.

The player should start each rep by splitting to the right before shooting the ball. After the shot, he/she should come back to the top and get the next ball. From here, the player will go down the left side alley, shoot it, come back, and then go to the right side. Go for 60 or 90 seconds for each player and look to implement this at least a few times a week in practice.

Shooting with Two Players

Now let’s add two people to the drill to really increase the speed. This time, we will have one player go down the left side as the opposite player goes down the right side. Players go alternate back and forth for the duration of the drill. Meanwhile, it really forces players to pick up their speed of play and to get off hard shots on goal. Remember: This drill does you no good if you don’t practice it at full speed! 

Up the Hash

Finally, here’s another great individual drill that simulates coming around the goal from behind. It also simulates those situations when a base defender comes sliding up the field in any kind of adjacent slide package.

A coach will stand with a pile of balls up at the top of the box. One at a time, players will sprint toward the coach from behind the goal (start at GLE on one side of the net). As the sprint toward the coach, they will catch a pass, turn the corner, and then finish the ball going towards the front of the cage. Coaches: Remind your players to catch it first, then turn the corner and get off an accurate shot. Also, it’s critical to practice this on both the right and left sides.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” with Bobby Benson. To check out more shooting-oriented videos, head over to our lacrosse library.




3 “Must-Use” Offensive Drills to Improve Inside Production

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The following drills are effective tools at improving inside production on the offensive end of the lacrosse field. After incorporating these drills into your practice plan, look for major strides in cutting, catching, and finishing with midfielders and attackmen alike. 

Give and Go Drill

Put all the lacrosse balls in one spot. Get one line of players positioned up top and about 20 yards from the cage. This line starts with the ball and immediately passes it down low to a teammate. This down low player then feeds right back to the original passer as he/she is cutting towards the cage down the middle. The drill finishes with a quick shot on cage.

Notes: Put your passes right on the ear. Always be moving your feet and get the ball in and out of your sticks quickly. Be sure to make a good hard cut to the goal. When you catch the ball, get those shoulders turned and finish strong.

 

Flare Cut Drill

This flare cut drill is perfect when working on cuts away from the goal and to an open area. The balls will start in the back right. As the ball is exchanged behind the goal, we’ll have one guy on offense and one on defense. The offensive guy works on sealing his defender and getting to an open area for a spot feed and shot. Meanwhile, the defender will try and fight around him.

Notes: The defense will become offense and offense to the end of the line. Look to get off a quick release on your shots. There should be no delay. Look for quick reps here, one after another.

 

Back and Forth Shooting

This is a terrific drill for working on in-tight finishes and cutting down low among traffic.

One player will start in front of the goal about five yards away. He will face the opposite end of the field and not the cage. Next, this player will turn one way and catch the ball (from a back GLE feeder) and finish it. Immediately after the shot, he will stop, turn to the outside, and then go the other direction with a catch and shoot from a second GLE feeder.

Notes: By turning to the outside, this will really help protect the stick and force you to get the shoulder turned when catching and shooting. Look to shoot low and away. Keep the feet moving at all times. Feeders, pass the ball as soon as shooter player turns his head.

 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD  “Essential Skills for Inside Play” with Bobby Benson. Got any  inside shooting drills that really pay dividends for your squad? Let us know by posting below or e-mail us at info@championshipproductions.com




Shooting on the Run: 6 Drills that Yield Results

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The majority of shots that players take in a game are on the move in some way or form. Therefore, it’s important for players to become comfortable and proficient with shooting on the run from a number of different positions on the field.

With Johns Hopkins University Offensive Coordinator Bobby Benson as your guide, you’ll learn about different techniques for shooting on the run. Coach Benson first breaks down each drill before having his team run through multiple reps at full speed.

Shooting on the Run: From Up Top

First, no matter where you are a player on the field, you must always move your hips toward the goal. This is how you generate the most power and accuracy. When it comes to practicing it, set up cones down the middle of the field (about 5 total, with the second cone being about 10 yards away and slightly to the right or left) starting at the midfield line.

Players should initially make a dodge at the initial cone. At the next cone, concentrate on turning your hips and going to the pipe. The last two cones are set about five yards beyond the third cone, about 3 yards apart from each other, and 12 yards away from the cage. Run between the two cones so you make your move toward the goal and not running away from it.

Remember, your shot should not be much different than other shots: Keep your arms back, keep creating tension, and keep swinging through.

Note: Coach Benson likes to have players practice spinning around as they shoot so they are facing the other direction. This helps with follow-through and swinging that opposite hip into each shot.

 

Wing Dodges and Behind the Cage

The next dodge is from the high wing. After making an initial move, players should split down the side in this case, turn their hips to the pipe as they shoot, and finish between the two cones. Concentrate on getting those hips toward the goal as you shoot.

Now start from the mid or low wing. Too often when guys dodge from the wing, they end up drifting away from the cage. We want to make sure we are going towards the goal with these shots.

Finally, we are coming around from behind the goal. The biggest mistake guys make when dodging from behind or when shooting around the cage is that they drift and don’t turn the corner. The first cone is placed where we want to make our move, the second is at the goal line, and then split the last two cones when coming around the edge. When you get to the goal line, it’s key to turn those hips and make a beeline for the front of the cage. Your back should be facing the opposite side of the field when done. Swing the right hip into the shot and bring the back around.

 

Pass Across Dodge Opposite Drill

This drill is perfect for practicing dodging on the run. It forces you to shoot the ball out of your split dodge. Players will catch the ball inside the box and won’t have a ton of time to shoot the ball at 10-12 yards. Therefore, focus on staying inside the hash marks and moving north-south. That means we are going to the goal.  Work on spinning around with each shot and getting your hips into it.

You can also do the same drill from behind the goal. Start with a pass across, split the top side hard, and work on turning the corner and finishing in front of the cage. If you do this drill correctly, you should finish in front of the cage and move right into the opposite line.

 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” with Bobby Benson. To check out more shooting-oriented videos, head over to our lacrosse library.




2-v-2 Breakdown: Tips and Drills for Playing Inside

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It takes a very specific skillset to be able to play on the inside effectively. After all, this is where the action off the ball really takes place. Players must demonstrate an ability to be accurate on net, have a quick release, take hits from the defense, make convincing cuts, and get open.

In this week’s skill development feature, Johns Hopkins assistant coach Bobby Benson reveals key tips and techniques when playing on the inside. This breakdown places a particular emphasis on 2-v-2 play with two crease attackers. Then, learn two new drills that focus on catching the ball inside, setting effective screens, plus making good cuts and finishing on cage.

Playing on the Inside: Tips and Techniques

Often when we play inside, we feature just one crease attackman. However, there are a variety of offenses used today that implement two crease attackers, like the 2-2-2 offense. With two attackers in the mix, the ability to play together effectively is key if you want to have success on the crease. It’s vital that players communicate so they can cut and get open on the inside together. You must talk in order to be successful.

A slide by the defense can often make life a lot easier for the offense. For instance, when the ball is behind the cage and the defense slides, and we haven’t yet set a screen, we can now just separate and try to find a gray area. If we already went through a screen, we can then screen the second slide and come right off of it. But we also need to get open when the defense isn’t sliding at all.

 

When the Ball is Back Right

When the ball is back right, our crease guys have options on what they can do. First, if the defense is inside one of our crease guys, we can try to seal the ball-side defender that gets caught inside. Now our opposite crease guy can cut right off what is now a double screen. If his defender follows him, he will curl to the ball and make a sharp cut. However, if his defender ducks underneath, he can flare or fade into the open area for a spot feed. This happens most frequently on passes across X behind.

When the Ball is Back Left

When the ball is back left, the defense is taught to be ball-side of their man. Therefore on that pass, we can often screen our own guy before he can get outside of us. Now we can come off and play. If we can’t get outside of our own guy, and the defense does a good job of forcing us to the inside, then we can go ahead and screen across.

Setting Screens

When setting screens, we need to make sure that we are square to where the cutter is going. Don’t set a screen with the shoulder. These screens are too easy to get around. Instead, set the screen with your chest, back or butt, and facing where the cutter is going. Just make sure you’re square to where he’s going to cut.

If the defense doesn’t switch on the screen, then the read is the same. If the defense comes around and follows, we should curl and cut to the ball. If the defender ducks underneath, then we should step away to the open area for a spot feed. Also, if the defender tries to jump to the top-side of the screen early, we can go backdoor.

Be sure to notice where the screens take place – always about 7-8 yards out and to the opposite pipe. If we don’t do this, we won’t have enough room to operate effectively. Also, if we set our screen and the defense switches screens inside, look to flare or feed into that open area. There’s no point in cutting to the defender. After the seal, we should go right to the ball.

Survival Drill

For this drill, we’ll get four guys on the perimeter. These guys will be skeleton players. There’s also 2-on-2 action on the inside and this is live. As the ball moves around the perimeter, the guys inside are constantly moving around and getting open with the goal to score. This is the perfect opportunity for inside players to work on their communication, cuts, working off the ball, and finishing on net.

 

Circle of Truth Drill

This drill really helps with catching the ball inside and finishing. We’ll have one player inside and five feeders around the perimeter. Number the feeders 1 through 5. 1 will be lower right, 2 will be lower left, 3 will be top left, 4 will be top center, and 5 will be top right.

Whichever number the the coach yells out, our crease player will then have to go get the ball from that number and finish it. This inside player will be continuously cutting in the circle, back and forth, and finishing as many balls as he can in a certain period of time. Each perimeter player will have three balls, so it’s 15 total shots per player.

Notice that the inside player is working on catching the ball, getting it in and out of his stick quickly, and putting it in the goal quickly — all while keeping his feet moving the entire time. Don’t catch the ball with your feet still. Keep the feet moving so that defenders will have a tougher time checking you.

 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Essential Skills for Inside Play” with Bobby Benson. To check out more videos focusing on skill development, click here.




Scoring on the Run: 6 Dynamic Shooting Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The following shooting drills work on players moving to an area, catching the ball with their feet set, and getting away a quick release and hard overall shot. With Johns Hopkins University Offensive Coordinator Bobby Benson as your guide, you’ll learn about turnaround shots, shots for mumbo drills, and shots off of quick screens. Coach Benson first breaks down each drill step-by-step before using on-field demonstrations to illustrate how the workouts should be carried out.

Turnarounds

In this drill, our shooters will start out by facing in one direction. On “Go”, they will then turn to the outside, catch a feed from a teammate, and then fire a shot on net. As soon as the player releases his shot, he will then replant himself, turn to the outside again, approach the next feeder, catch the pass, and release another shot on cage.

Two feeders will start in the wing areas of the field with the shooter in the middle of them. Each player should look to get 10 to 15 shots before switching out.

Remember, it’s key that we turn to the outside so that we can turn our back to the goal and get our body set to receive the ball. On the other hand, if we turn to the inside, we are much more likely to catch the ball square to the goal where we can’t get that good hard shot off.

Two-Man Turnarounds

Now add a second player and move the feeders down to the GLE. With players criss-crossing, it will make them push a bit harder now. Be sure to have players working at a good pace. It’s key that the participants communicate constantly so they don’t hit each other as they run across.

Two-Man, Two-Goal Turnarounds

Now for this drill, we’ll implement two goals on opposite sides. Shots should be taken from about 12 yards out. Each player will do the same semi-circle move as before, just working on opposite sides of each other now. Coach Benson finds that involving two players at once makes participants play at a faster pace. Remember to keep good form at all times and that each respective player should only shoot on one specific goal throughout the simulation.

 

Mumbo Drill

It’s important to practice the shots that you’ll typically get in the game. At Hopkins, Coach Benson likes to devise shooting drills that will look like some aspect of his own offense, whether it’s utilizing a wing-to-wing skip, rolling off the crease, or a mumbo.

This drill emulates a mumbo. A mumbo is when a wing player heads into the crease area and sets a screen and the player on the crease comes off the screen to catch the ball and take a shot. This drill will force shooters to get off the crease, get their feet set, catch the ball back, and shoot it hard.

Above the Goal

It all starts with a dodge from up top. We’ll then set the mumbo and do it over and over again with the two participating players to really practice their shooting. It’s key that we get the timing down between the dodgers and the screeners. Remember to try and create shooting drills that will emulate the parts of your offense. Thus, when players get into a game, they are comfortable with specific kinds of shots.

Behind the Goal

This time we’ll start with a dodge from behind the cage, make a screen to the crease, and then come off that screen and look to throw a good feed behind with a catch and finish. Look to get those feet set so that you can catch the ball with your weight back and arms back in order to get a good release and hard, accurate shot.

Quick Screen

Here’s another shooting drill that involves two players making a quick screen with a pop out, but no dodge this time. One player will come down for the quick screen about 10-12 yards in front. The other player will curl off of him, catch the pass and shoot. That same player will then immediately turn into the screener and the previous screener now turns into the shooter. Remember to curl into the area just behind the screen. This will give you the time necessary to get set and then have the open space to deliver.

 

The preceding clips can be found on Championship Productions’ DVD 35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse featuring Bobby Benson. Click here to check out our extensive video collection highlighting additional shooting drills.




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