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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 Pittrone, 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.
Member of the US Women’s Lacrosse National team coaching staff, Amy Bokker, has her players demonstrate a 3v3v3 Draw Drill. This is a great drill for lacrosse players of all levels to develop their offensive and defensive skills. Your offense will improve on maintaining possession while the defense will learn to work together to close down space.
Player Movements: Begin the drill with 3 teams (Pinnie Dark/Light/No Pinnie or 3 different colors if you have that option). Dark and Light will begin by taking the draw with No Pinnie close by in the circle (each team will rotate to take the draw control). Each team will have 2 teammates outside the draw circle ready to get the draw and maintain possession for either 5 passes or 1 minute within the parameters. The two teams that do not get draw possession will work together and immediately double the ball.
Drill Essentials: The attack focus on the drill is to keep your feet moving to maintain position and moving to space. While the defensive focus is to double team the ball as well as her teammates, and maintain good communication to quickly identify where to double team.
Drill Tips: Although this drill has a collegiate focus with only 2 teammates on the draw circle this makes for a great progression opportunity for youth/high school level athletes. After each team gets 3 to 5 draw control attempts you can progress to a 4v4v4 and 5v5v5 environment.