Get a glimpse of John Danowski’s clearing system in this segment. The 2x NCAA Championship coach provides you with drills that focus on basics in a live clearing situation. Although appearing to be very basic, these drills teach numerous skills that can lead to winning at any level.
Player Movements: In the first part, the defense is breaking out or “banana cutting” to receive a pass. In the attack segment of this drill, the ball side attackman learns the skill of V cutting and pulling the defenseman AWAY from the area which the ball is coming toward. Move the X attack to the ball, as opposed to standing still and waiting for a pass. A quick pass attacking the backside completes the segment.
Drill Essentials: Ensure plenty of lacrosse balls are available for younger and lower skilled players. Using repetitions, muscle memory is created and lacrosse IQ is increased.
Drill Tips: Keys to observe are the goalies counting 3 seconds, the way the long sticks break out, watching the ball the whole way and the backpedal at the restraining line to “front” the ball. Also note the tempo of the goalie’s passes, which are hard low arc passes.
In this drill, the crucial element of making the correct step to the ball is reinforced by Phil Barnes, Assistant Coach for the 2013 NCAA Championship – University of North Carolina Women’s Lacrosse team. You will learn a simple, yet effective workout that involves many repetitions to create muscle memory.
Player Movements: Breakdown begins with the first step or lead step, then by the back foot following and finishing even with the lead foot. This teaches the goalie to be in a ready position after each save.
Drill Essentials: Notice the proper form is displayed, then repeated multiple times to create “muscle memory”.
Drill Tips: Make sure the stick head and foot arrive at the same time. It’s fundamental in getting to the ball and making the save.
Mark Petrone, Assistant Coach at the Haverford School, puts the team through a great pre-game warm-up drill to tune up the sticks. This drill is intended to strengthen shooting fundamentals, passing, and shooting with constant motion. Here you will get a fast-paced shooting drill that is easy on the legs due to limited running.
Player Movements: Divide the players into three spots in the shape of a triangle above the cage. The passing order is right-side to middle and then left-side to the right-side (you pass and then you get a shot).
Drill Essentials: This drill relies heavily upon proper player movement and rotation. By rotating positions, the players get the opportunity to work on shooting with both hands.
Drill Tips: Remind the players to get the shot off quickly.
Check out an additional clip from the Championship Productions’ DVD “High School Coaching Academy: Efficient Shooting Drills for Lacrosse Practice.” If you’re interested in more Shooting drills, click here.
Jason Breyo, Lambert (GA) High School Assistant Coach, shows you a 1 vs. 1 defensive drill that will help athletes learn the basics of playing good individual defense. This will also lead to developing the skills needed to play good team defense. Coach Breyo begins by teaching the developing defenders the importance of quick footwork in order to play solid defense.
Player Movements: This drill begins by having a defensive player take on an attackman without using the long pole. As the drill progresses and the player now uses the D-pole. The defenders are instructed again on proper positioning, using an effective poke check, staying on the attackman’s hands, and keeping the stick in front of the man.
Drill Essentials: For the attackman, emphasize the importance of beginning a drive with their off-hand, switching hands, and roll dodging. For the defender, focus on proper stance, direction that he wants to drive the offensive player, use of the drop step, shuffling his feet, and effective pushing.
Drill Tips: The defender should work on cutting across the crease to get a better angle on the attacker and keep them from getting closer to the goal.
In this behind-the-scenes session, we visit Williamstown, Massachusetts for a Williams College men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Mike Maker leads his squad through a series of game-like ball handling and shooting drills, including “Fast Stop Fast” and “Alleys.” Take this opportunity to pick up some new offensive drills for your upcoming basketball practices this season.
Fast Stop Fast
According to Coach Maker, it’s critical to work on this opening drill in order to be a good ball handling team — especially since (at the time of filming) the team has three guards out of the lineup with injuries. The team picked up this drill from Chris Mooney at the University of Richmond.
For each player in the drill, the key is to change speeds in the backcourt, going fast, stopping, and then going fast again. Look to make a simple move when you crossover/slow down. Down the length of the court, players (one at a time) will make a series of three moves before making one final move against a coach waiting at the opposite foul line. After that final move, players will then take it in strong for a layup. The next player in line goes when the first player gets to half court.
Tip: Remember to land on two feet on the layups. Also, while waiting in line, work on your stationary ball handling. It can be a combination of anything really. Just keep active and working on your skills.
*Note early on that players are not going hard enough or fast enough through the drill. It’s essential that you go at game speed at all times. Meanwhile, don’t get yourself into trap areas (e.g. the sideline). Use your imagination and make this drill as game-like as possible.
Players start at the top of the key and will go one at a time. Players will dribble drive and make a strong move to the basket for a layup with a coach/defender in the paint initiating some contact. It’s a very realistic drill that simulates players driving to the hoop and making contact along the way. The series begins with straight line drives going to the right side of the rim.
Tip: Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, make sure players are not “banana-ing” when driving to the hoop.
Players should then switch to left-side layups now. Notice that they are using a dominant hand finish though. Coach Maker firmly believes in shooting layups with the dominant hand unless someone proves they are very proficient using their off hand. It may be a new concept, but it’s works well for the program and the players learn to adapt.
Finally, the series wraps up with drives from the wing area or slot. Players start on the left wing, drive into the lane, and then finish on the right side with a layup.
Tip: Coach Maker believes the three most important shots in basketball are the layup, free throw, and making 6 out of 10 baskets unguarded. Maker’s squad has adopted this philosophy. For the program, this third shot would be an open three-pointer.