U.S. Naval Academy assistant women’s lacrosse coach, Josh Dionne, takes you through a drill that will help your attackers recognize when the defense slides up to defend the ball. By timing a pass correctly, the attacker should be able to dump the ball off to a teammate and give them a great shot on goal.
Drill Summary: Set up with a goalie in the net and three pairs of offensive and defensive players. There should be a pair of players on both sides of the goal (about five yards on either side) and one pair about five yards in front of the goal. Once those players are in position, another player takes their spot 10 yards away from the goal at a 45 degree angle with their back turned to the rest of the drill. Each pair of players is assigned a number 1-3. As the coach blows the whistle to start the drill, they hold up one of the numbers and the defender whose corresponding number is picked must slide up and attack the ball carrier. As the defense slides up, it’s the ball carrier’s duty to throw to the offensive player who was just left open, and that player tries to score a goal. Note that this drill can be altered depending on where your offense usually gets doubled around the goal.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Recognize where the slide came from on offense.
2) Harass the ball carrier on defense.
3) Accurate passes.
4) Communicate on offense and defense.
Jack Kaley, German National Team head coach for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships, presents a practice drill that pits two defenders against three offensive players in a numbers disadvantage situation. Defenders will work on sliding up to stop the ball and rotating accordingly.
Drill Summary: Set up with a goalie in the net, an offensive player and a defensive player five yards in front of the goal, another offensive and defense player 10 yards in front of the goal, and a midfielder at midfield with a ball. On the whistle, the midfielders sprints directly toward the goal. When they’re about 20 yards away, they must choose to go right or left. After the midfielder has chosen a side, the defender closest to the ball must run up and take the ball while the other defender rotates. The midfielder should attempt to throw a pass to the offensive player who’s open, and they try to score the ball.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Top defender picks up ball.
2) Defense needs to rotate.
3) Offense passes to the open man.
4) Defense needs to get in passing lanes, if possible.
If you’re looking to build faster, more agile players, the “Cut Drill” from Lehigh University head strength & conditioning coach, Eric Markovcy, is an exercise you’ll want to learn. By working on speed, footwork and direction, your athletes will be able to maneuver around the field and improve all aspects of their game.
Drill Summary: Set up six cones in a zig-zag formation. There should be about four yards between each cone. Coach Markovcy uses resistance bands with his athletes in this drill. Players start at one end of the cones and run from cone to cone, zig-zagging and focusing on planting their foot, pivoting, squaring their shoulders and accelerating toward the next cone. Do reps with resistance bands first, then without bands second.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Pivot on outside foot at each cone.
2) Bend at the hips when pivoting.
3) Square shoulders after pivoting.
4) Explode to the next cone.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Speed, Agility and Explosiveness Training for Lacrosse.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!
Two time All-American defenseman at Georgetown University and Schmeisser Award winner as a senior, Brodie Merrill, runs through the three different ways to defend a pick & roll. The offense’s actions determine which method of defense is the most effective, and Merrill demonstrates how to pull off each one.
Drill Summary: The first defensive option against the pick & roll is staying. To stay, have the defender guarding the screener push the screener forward so the on-ball defender can get through and stay with their man.
The second option is switching. The key to switching is communicating between teammates before opening up and swapping the person each defender is guarding.
The third and final option is jumping the ball carrier. To jump, communicate between teammates, then double the ball as the screen is being set. It’s important to deny passes to the roller while doubling, so be sure to harass the ball handler’s hands after jumping them.
Keys to the Drill:
1) For “staying,” push the picker through.
2) For “switching,” communicate and open up to the ball.
3) For “jumping,” double the ball carrier.
4) For “jumping,” harass the ball carrier’s hands.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Brodie Merrill’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Skills and Drills.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!
Jerry Petitgoue is truly a coaching legend for high school boys’ basketball not only in the state of Wisconsin, but also in the country. When instructional videos first began coach Petitgoue was one of the first coaches to exhibit the skills and drills coaches could implement for success. Years later, coach Petitgoue is still at it! In this passing drill, coach Petitgoue puts all of the essential elements together to properly push the ball up the court. Coach’s design allows his team to work on not only pushing the ball up the court with quick outlets, but getting the ball to the middle of the court in order to break any press.
Drill Setup: This drill is a full court drill that is continuous with groups of five players.
Athlete Movements: The drill starts with an outlet pass to the sideline and a quick relay pass to the middle of the court. The player receiving the ball in the middle of the court looks to pass the ball ahead for a quick layup. This process continues consistently until the next group is designated to be in.