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Current UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is a huge advocate of drill work that translates from practice to the game. In the latest team development feature, learn how to be a force offensively via transition while playing to create more possessions. The following drills and concepts are frequently used by Auriemma and the Huskies, who are fresh off winning the 2013 NCAA National Championship.
Transition Offense Mentality
The overall idea with this transition offense is to move fast. For instance, as soon as ball comes out of the net, your squad should be off and running. Coach Auriemma wishes that more offenses ran this way and carried this mentality. It really makes the kids play where all five players are involved. The bigs are involved and the guards are creating. This is real basketball.
Fast Break Drill
In terms of implementing this strategy/mentality, we can begin by putting our offense together. Start with a point guard, two wing players, and two bigs down low. The drill starts with a coach throwing the ball off the glass. Next, one big guy will rebound it and the other guy will run the floor. As for the player who doesn’t get it, it’s their job to beat the guy who’s guarding them down the floor. If they do, his teammates will pass it to them and they’ll get a basket.
After the rebound, there’s an immediate outlet pass to the wing. Kick it ahead again and then throw the ball down low to the sprinting big man for a layup. This is exactly how Coach Auriemma teaches all of his team’s options off the fast break.
There are a number of things you can do out of the transition break. First, look to pass to the wing player as you are coming down the floor. Once within the half-court area, look inside while the original passer cuts to the corner.
Now, the trailer comes into play. You can hit him with a pass up top, look inside, reverse the ball, and then the original trailer and farside wing player can set a double screen in the corner. The corner player comes off of it to the top. So now you are looking for a quick post up and a jump shot up top right out of transition.
From here, you can go with a ‘High/Low‘ scenario where one big man screens across for the other, he flashes to the ball, receives it, and then passes high to low to the other big for a layup or lob play.
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you to Stanford, California for a behind-the-scenes look at a Stanford University women’s lacrosse practice. Follow along as head coach Amy Bokker leads her squad through a 3 v 3 v 3 drill before getting into a favorite half field dodging drill.
3 v 3 v 3 Draw
For this first drill, three separate teams of three face off in a fight for possession. The drill begins with a face-off and then immediately transitions into three-team battle. It’s really an ideal drill for working on fundamentals and improving confidence against a wide range of pressure.
Look to really work on possession of the draw and then maintain possession with your team for 40 seconds. Also, look to move to space and always keep your feet moving. Don’t get stuck in one corner. After 40 seconds, the team with the ball at the end of possession gets a point. Play to five points.
Coaching Tips: It’s key to get high pressure on the ball and the feeling that’s there always going to be a double team on the ball (so it makes it harder to possess).
In “52 Dodging”, you’ll start with a dodger across the top, a receiver sweeping across middle, and a feeder down low. Start on the left side of the field before moving over to the right side.
The drill begins with one dodger making a move against a first defender. As she is dodging, the sweeping player will slot through, and then pass to the feeder. The feeder will curl as if coming up. Meanwhile, the middle player will flash up, catch the pass, and then shoot on net.
Coaching Tips: Work both sides of the field and look to get off a ton of shots. Also, start by dodging to the outside at the onset. Eventually, switch to dodging to the inside.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Stanford Lacrosse Practice with Amy Bokker.” To check out the entire All Access lacrosse lineup (featuring the likes of Kelly Amonte Hiller and Bill Tierney), click here.
According to Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, it’s critical that basketball players can score in the paint with proficiency — and that goes for guards just as much as centers and forwards.
To work on your offensive efficiency down low, add this highly effective “Scoring in the Paint” drill to your practice plan. Coach Collins first walks through the drill for you before having his players run through it at full speed.
Scoring in the Paint – Overview
All basketball players need to be able to score in the paint. This is a huge skill to be able to do this, especially for guards. While it’s easy to make an uncontested layup, it’s far more difficult to make layups from different angles with defensive pressure or floaters in the lane over helping defenders. These are the kinds of shots that players need to work on consistently.
Drill Set-up: Start out with groups of three players and two balls at each basket. The first player up starts in the paint. Everything in this drill will be in the paint. The lane player should start by shooting any kind of different shot, like a running hook, spin shot, floater, shot with the left hand, a reverse layup, etc. Use your imagination. After one player shoots, the next player is under the basket to get to rebound. From here, a third player will go immediately into his shot. The flow continues like this. As a group, look to make 20 finishes.
Drill in Action
By implementing this drill consistently, players get a feel for where the basket is. You also learn how to make layups and other shots form a variety of different angles. In short, it’s a very realistic, practical drill.
Finally, look to make a competition out of it. This will help with getting your players to work at game speed/game intensity. Remember, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Looking to improve your offensive production? Implement these efficient mid-range shooting drills to your lacrosse practices this season. Follow along as Haverford School assistant coach Mark Petrone runs through each rep with his team at full speed. Great for midfielders and attackers alike, the following drills ensure players get a ton of reps in a short time while improving overall shooting accuracy.
Lacrosse teams often run shooting drills from the top down, but it’s also important to work on drills from the bottom up, especially for attackmen. In this drill, players will dodge up from the end line to about “7 and 7” or “5 and 5”, what we call the “island.” From here, players will roll back, curl off a cone, and get away a mid-range shot on the run or curling to the goal.
We will put a few cones on the island where the players need to get to. The next player in line should get moving as soon as the previous player starts his roll back to the goal. You can also add a second shot to this, for instance a curl shot right after shooting the first one.
Reinforces: Dodging from X, inside shooting, mid-range shooting, and coming from behind the goal to out front and delivering a nice accurate curl shot (with a second shot, which helps attackers be alert and think a little bit).
This is a versatile drill that’s helpful on seven-yard shots. It involves a lot of stickwork skills and is a great conditioner too. Also, it requires constant movement as players must catch a pass while running and then shoot it while running. Players will curl around cone and catch it right after the curl for a quick shot.
You can run this drill with as many players as you’d like to. For this example, we will proceed with four players: Two feeders and two shooters. When the players start to get tired, we will have them switch up.
You can also mix things up by going for long-range shots, mid-range shots, and tight space shots. You can even put feeders behind the goal so the players can step down and shoot it. Look to add some fakes to the shot before shooting, tight shots with both hands, and then shots using outside and inside hands. Clearly, this is a very versatile drill.
Follow along with Georgetown head women’s lacrosse coach Ricky Fried as he breaks down a highly effective 4 v 3 offensive drill. This particular “small” drill places an emphasis on good decision-making, getting solid movement around the goal, and improving fundamentals in compact scenarios. Coach Fried reviews the drill using whiteboard diagrams before moving out to the field for live simulations.
Get four attackers going up against three defenders. The offensive players will start in a box formation, with two players up top and two players down low near the crease.
As the player with the ball is getting ready to pass across, the low players should look to slide down and curl up. The ballside low player will make a C-cut or curl. Don’t go straight forward. The curl ensures you won’t cut right into the defender. Meanwhile, the offball diagonal player should stay tight to the crease. Move on a string together.
Next, hit the other up top player with a pass. As the pass comes across the top, attack the goal. Attack in a shuffling manor, not by squaring up. Shuffle towards the goal and read the defender. If no one comes at you, take the shot. If you can’t shoot, look to hit the diagonal. It’s all about reading the defense and making quick decisions.
Look to constantly stay in a box. This gives you an idea of the shape and spacing you want to maintain. Meanwhile, work on slides in and out as opposed to turning and running in straight lines.
Tips: Get movement down low. Don’t be stationary. Also, make quick, decisive, and direct passes, not lofty ones. Soft passes make the defense recover faster.
The big key to this drill is movement. While the low attacker curls up, the diagonal attacker sets up down near the GLE. As that top cross pass is being made, the low people are on a string. The low person slides down and the other one comes up. The group starts by passing and looking. Get the feel for the motion.
Every time you get the ball, think about shooting. Be willing to take that shot if the defense holds. Defensively, stay compact and rotate opposite.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Small Drills for Offensive Lacrosse Fundamentals” with Ricky Fried. Check out more skill development videos in our lacrosse library by clicking here.