Watch as Assistant Coach Jason Breyo, at Lambert, Georgia High School, teaches the basics needed for good defensive play. It begins with a Five Yard Side-to-Side drill (without sticks). The next progression of this drill is to incorporate the players stick called the Five Yard Side-to-Side drill (with sticks). The conclusion of this progression adds an attackman.
How it Works: Cones are placed on a line about 5 to 10 yards apart. The player is to step behind the first cone, stand in an athletic stance on the balls of his feet, with his hands out front; Then shuffles to the other cone and back. The next progression of this drill now incorporates the player’s stick. The player is to lift their stick in the air, because of the uncertainty which direction the offensive player will go.
The last step is to add an Attackman. The defensive player is to keep his stick in front of the offensive player, lift it at the end, and place it again in front of the offensive player as he changes direction. This part of the drill also gives the offensive players an opportunity to practice cradling with one hand and changing hands in order to keep their body between the defender and the ball.
Drill Tips: When shuffling to the cone, be sure that the players do not cross their feet.
Jason Breyo, Assistant Coach at Lambert High School in Georgia, introduces the youth players to the concept of transition defense, otherwise known as stopping the fast break opportunity. The goal here is to slow the fast break to allow the other defensive players to get back and help.
How it Works: In this segment, he stresses to the defensive player to play the man with the ball.
Drill Tips: Do not commit too early or over commit so that the offense can recover and play the pass to the other player and be in a position to play that man.
Two different and effective dodges are covered in this segment by former collegiate player and current high school coach, Jason Breyo. These drills are great for developing the stick work and cradling needed for long poles. Practice maintaining possession of the ball while executing the dodges and improving your player’s agility.
Goalies can participate in these drills along with the defenders. These dodging drills can be used with Attack and Middie players as well.
The defenders are in a traditional line drill, facing each other, while Coach Breyo demonstrates how to perform each dodge and then the players practice the moves.
Don’t expect perfect execution, but with emphasis on the proper principles and techniques, the players’ skills will develop over time.
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 segment Jason Breyo, Lambert (GA) High School Assistant Lacrosse Coach, teaches the defenders how to catch the ball over their shoulder while on the run. This drill helps to improve clearing the ball after a goalie save and also addresses player safety.
Player Movements: To make the drill even more challenging, you can have the defensive player take a few steps after catching the ball and then pass with the same hand to a Middie or Attackman further up field.
Drill Essentials: Players must try to catch the ball without turning, slowing down, or stopping.
Drill Tips: The goalie has the important task of throwing a leading pass to the player, not behind them. If the player has to turn to make the catch, it not only slows them down, but also raises the risk of getting hit.