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Learn a drill that Limestone College head coach J.B. Clarke uses nearly every day to enhance his players’ improvisation and communication. Clarke’s Saints lost only one game in the 2014 season en route to becoming the NCAA D-II National Champions.
Drill Summary: Offensive players form three lines: one about 10 yards in front of the goal and two about ten yards off of each pipe, even with the goal. Defensive players form a line next to one of the lines even with the goal, and a goalie is in the net. To start the drill, one offensive player steps in from each line and two defensive players race out in front of the goal. The coach rolls a ball to one of the offensive players, then it’s three on two with complete freedom.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Take chances on offense.
2) Goalie works on “pipe to pipe.”
4) Move to the ball.
Limestone head lacrosse coach J.B. Clarke reveals one of his most effective drills for practicing high-tempo offense in game-like situations. Follow along as Coach Clarke breaks down the drill for you in the film room before heading out to the field for live action with his team.
In “Lines to the Goal”, each scenario consists of an odd-man situation favoring the offense. For instance, in 3 Lines to the Goal, it will be a 2-on-1 situation. In 5 Lines to the Goal, it will be a 3-on-2 situation; and so on. Meanwhile, Coach Clarke’s team will practice these drills from all over the field, whether it’s behind, up front, or the sides, so there’s a great opportunity for variation here.
You may also put restrictions on the drills as well. For instance, if you do 5 Lines from Behind, it would consist of three offensive lines and two defensive lines below the goal line. Look to put cones down about five yards above the goal line so that players can’t go higher than that in order to score.
Coaching Tip: Make sure your players practice drills running into position.
A coach will generally start each rep by throwing out a ground ball. Players should look to pick up the ball and move it quickly. Do not carry the ball.
The action begins with “5 Lines to the Goal from Behind.” Cones are set up so players don’t go too high and get out of position. Each rep goes quickly and coaches should aim to get their players through each rep fast and efficiently. The more reps you can get in, the better. A major key here is to make things happen fast.
In the video clip below, notice how many offensive and defensive fundamentals and principles are at play here, which makes it no surprise to see why this drill is so effective.
Player Tips: For the offensive players, make sure you always have your stick ready to score. Get creative and work on your give and gos and fakes. Also, don’t forget to look back to where the ball came from. This can lead to a high-percentage opportunity. Finally, with an offensive advantage, don’t be careless. Make fast but smart decisions out there.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Unsettled Drills for Up-Tempo Lacrosse.” To check out more videos featuring drills and up-tempo lacrosse, stop by our lacrosse library.
The following drills are perfect for coaches looking to implement a high-speed, dynamic style of lacrosse. Follow along as each drill is explained before Limestone head coach J.B. Clarke takes to the field with his team to simulate each one at full speed. Here’s your chance to practice unsettled situations, teach lacrosse fundamentals, and learn how to beat teams by being relentless on both ends of the field.
This 3-on-2 drill is one of Limestone’s favorite drills. The program believes that 3-on-2 teaches about the fundamentals of lacrosse, up-tempo lacrosse, and C.H.A.O.S. (constantly harass and create opportunity to score) better than anything else they do. Flying Rats is a great stickwork and shooting drill and also teaches a lot about unsettled situations.
First, get a coach with a full bucket of balls. This is an up-tempo and fast drill, so make sure your players are keeping up. A lot of goals will be scored, so don’t let the defense get too frustrated. This drill really teaches you to move to every pass and that you must score quickly, plus implementing ball fakes and getting the defense moving in the wrong direction, plus throwing to where the slide came from.
Defensively, spend a lot of time teaching the players to constantly have their stick out in front with the stick getting to the glove. So many turnovers are caused because you are poke-checking gloves. This drill requires strong communication between teammates and anticipating that next pass or play.
Tips: Don’t clear the ball in this drill. That way, you can get in a lot more reps. Also, be sure to point your off-shoulder at the feed. This helps protect your hands with your body (and makes poke checks less effective). Remember to move to the ball, move your feet, and anticipate the ride. For the defense, it’s about getting to the glove and forcing throwaways. By midseason, look to get this drill to 75 percent goals and 25 percent defensive turnovers. Keep score and add punishments to make it mean something.
The Cornell Drill is a 4-on-3 drill. Players will start in tight before a ball is rolled out from them. Players must pick it up coming out and then attack from there. So often we see offenses picking up the ball away from the goal and then they keeping running away from the goal. Instead, we want to attack the goal as soon as we pick it up. Defensively, this drill teaches playing from the inside out. Offensively, we want to attack the goal off the ground ball and attack the backside. This is a very versatile drill, so try some different looks and match-ups, such as 5-on-4, 6-on-5, etc.
Tips: The defense should look to clear the ball up to the midfield. Offensively, get some good looks on the skip. Look to be a threat to score as soon as you catch it and give the defense a reason to cover you. As a team, look to run this a few times a week and give it some new wrinkles each time out.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Unsettled Drills for Up-Tempo Lacrosse.” To check out more videos featuring drills and up-tempo lacrosse, head over to our lacrosse library.