Championship Productions Blog

Archives by Tag 'John Danowski'

Get Better at Shooting with Momentum Near the Goal!

By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In the Duke offense, players often start on one side of the field, cut across to receive a pass, then step down to take a shot. Ron Caputo, assistant coach for the Blue Devils, trains players to mimic this crossing motion in the “Step Down Shots” drill to help prepare them for games.

Step Down Shots

Drill Summary: Form a line of players about five yards from the side of the goal, and form another line about 10 yards in front of the goal on the opposite side. One at a time, players in front of the goal take a banana cut and receive a pass from the player at the front of the other line. After receiving the pass, fire a shot at the far side post. Be sure to switch lines after passing and shooting.

Keys to the Drill:

1) Take a banana cut. Don’t run straight across the field.
2) Catch and shoot the ball with your momentum going toward the goal.
3) Aim for the far side post.
4) It’s okay to miss wide – focus on instincts, not on accuracy.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video “15 Drills for Building a Successful Shooting Program.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!

Learn a Face-Off Tactic with this Drill from Duke University!

By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Duke University assistant coach Ron Caputo shares one of the drills that he and head coach John Danowski use to control as many face-offs as possible. The Dead Stick drill is a precision drill that requires players to use sound technique to make sure they retain possession of a face-off.

Dead Stick

Drill Summary: Two players get in a stance as though they were about to face-off. The first player’s job is to clamp the ball, put it between their legs and behind them on the ground, stay in the crab walk position when turning around (with their butt and back to the other player) and corral the ground ball. The second player assumes the face-off position, but doesn’t try to steal the ball until the first player puts it on the ground behind them. Another variation of this drill is to have the second player stand up at the start instead of getting in the face-off position. This forces the first player to explode out of their stance and concentrate on boxing out.

Keys to the Drill:

1) First player’s chest should be directly opposite the second player after the turn.
2) Exaggerate putting the other player on their back.
3) Get big on the box out.
4) Practice jamming.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Face Offs: Drills and Strategies.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!

Create a Powerful First-Step with Danowski’s Speedskater Sprint Drill

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 NCAA Championship Coach, John Danowski, ensures his teams are in excellent shape.  In the following drill, Danowski has his team performing the Speedskater Sprint motion on each leg, followed by a sprint to finish the drill.  This drill will strengthen your players’ legs, create a powerful “first-step,”  and will allow them to change direction at full speed without losing their balance.

Speedskater Sprint

The concept of the drill is to have the player jump to their left or right from a static position, and land on the outside leg. With the inside leg never touching the ground, the outside leg is taking the force of the jump along with the body weight. This strengthens the legs, hips and balance of the athlete. This drill does not require any accessories and the players should be aligned in rows with spacing of 5 yards in between them.  As a group, the players will perform a combination of 3 steps, “Jump right, jump left, sprint right” and for the opposite direction, “Jump left, jump right, sprint left.”  The team should alternate these combinations with a brief moment between repetitions.

This excerpt came from Championship Productions’ lacrosse video, Speed, Agility & Strength Training for Championship Lacrosse!  To view more instructional lacrosse videos, click here!

Get Shooting Instruction from the 2014 NCAA Championship Coach!

By dustin.moscoso - Last updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In this segment, Back-to-Back NCAA Championship Coach (2014 & 2013), John Danowski, teaches the mechanics of a quick catch and shot. The two keys of this drill are for the player who is shooting to catch the ball behind his head with his hands all the way back and then to transfer his weight from his back foot to his front foot as he shoots. The drill reinforces the concept of quickly catching and shooting.

Time and Room Shooting (Swat the Fly)

Athlete Movement: Have a coach or a player toss a ball in the air to the shooter. Toss the ball behind the player so that he can catch it behind his head and immediately shoot the ball while transferring his weight from his back foot to his front foot. The shooter should not cradle the ball.

Drill Benefits:

  • Good way for players to get a high number of reps without missed opportunities due to bad passes
  • Can be used by the Box lacrosse player where catching and shooting quickly is a must.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Technique & Drills for Championship Lacrosse.” View the latest videos on Lacrosse Shooting Drills.

Create More Scoring Options by Setting Good Picks!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The 2013 NCAA Championship coaching staff at the University of Duke along with Head Coach, John Danowski, provide you with a more advanced drill that incorporates setting a pick, which then creates two players that can be options for the feeder. This will also teach the player that uses the pick to not take off until the picker is set and stationary.

Pop/Slip Shooting

Drill Setup: One player sets up about 5-7 yards above and outside the crease. The second player that will set the pick is also about 5-7 yards above the crease and about 10-15 yards outside the other pipe. The feeder is a couple of yards below GLE about 10 yards away from the pipe.

Athlete Movements: The player runs and sets the pick, the other player runs off the pick and has his stick up ready for the pass. But as soon as the player runs off the pick, the picker turns to face the feeder for a quick pass (Pop) and shot. The feeder has two options to pass to for a shot.

Teaching Points:

  • Remember the phrase “Pick, Pop, Shoot” from Coach Danowski
  • For the pick sequence, if the athlete leaves too soon, the pick can be ineffective, but more importantly, the picker can get called for a moving pick/screen and can result in a penalty.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Technique & Drills for Championship Lacrosse.” View the latest video selections on Lacrosse Shooting Drills.


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