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McDonough girls’ lacrosse coach Chris Robinson demonstrates an effective drill that’s ideal for teams to open up practice with. This competitive series is a terrific way to build individual skills, particularly when it comes to passing proficiency. Follow along as Coach Robinson leads his team through the drill series before finishing with an exciting team competition.
Pair Passing – Overview
Coach Robinson is a big believer in starting practices with this particular pair passing drill (rather than shuttle lines) because it gives players more opportunities to touch the ball. It really helps them build their skills.
First, we’ll have the players work on passing with both hands. Each player will get a partner and start about 7-8 yards apart. Players will begin using their right hand and make 10 passes each while moving their feet. It’s important to get in some nice clean passes. After you get 10, switch over to the left hand.
Tip: Always try to do things in practice equally with the right and left hands to help develop skills and get your players to become multi-dimensional.
Next, players will catch with their left hand and throw with their right. Look to implement a little face dodge in between as well. After 10 reps, it’s time to catch right and throw left. Try to get a nice little wrist snap with each throwing motion.
Now, it’s time for “Pass Under.” Start with your strong hand. Here we want to simulate passing under the defense, so we need to drop the head of the stick and bring it down to knee level. Once here, look to pass up to shoulder level
Tips: Move around a bit. Don’t stay stationary. Also, make sure you pass with both the right and left hands. Try to push the pace a bit. It’s okay if you make mistakes. The goal is work hard and get better.
Next up, move in closer for “quick sticks.” With this, the ball should barely stay in the stick. It’s simple touch passes back and forth with no cradle involved. Move the ball back and forth as quickly as you can and be sure to go right and left.
To add a little competitiveness to the drill series, try to see which group of players can get the farthest apart without dropping the ball. If you drop it, you are out of the drill. You can have the players throw and catch however you’d like. Mix it up in each practice if you’d like. After each successful catch/throw, players should keep backing up.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Skills & Drills to Develop the Complete Lacrosse Player“ with Chris Robinson. To check out the latest skills and drills videos for lacrosse, click here.
An excellent drill for youth players, the “Passing Tree” involves a series of passing and catching drills to emphasize the importance of the top and bottom hands in lacrosse. It’s also a key drill used to reinforce the use of off-hands. Watch as former All-American midfielder Steven Brooks (Syracuse) and former Chicago Machine (MLL) head coach John Combs lead youth lacrosse players through this instrumental drill. Then look for ways you can incorporate the “Passing Tree” into your own practices this season.
The Passing Tree – One-Handed Part-Whole
Start by getting your players to partner up. We’ll begin by going one-handed part-whole. In other words, if I’m right-handed, my left hand is on the bottom of the stick and my right hand will be up towards the middle part of the stick.
Now remove your bottom hand. At this time, we just want to use one hand to produce a typical passing motion. It’s similar to throwing a baseball or football.
When it comes to the entire passing and catching motion, players will want to catch the ball with two hands, get the stick back, and then throw with one hand. Remember, your left foot should be leading forward with toes pointing towards the target. Also, stand in a “70-30” position and be up on your toes. Check out the video below to see the 70-30 position in action.
After about 10 reps, look to switch hands and then proceed with your left.
Passing Tree – Part II
Next up, we’ll move to the opposite of what we just did before. After using our top hand, we will now use our bottom hand. So remove the top hand and use your bottom hand to throw. You’ll also want to be throwing across your body.
The catching and throwing series goes like this: Catch the ball and shuffle your feet, let go of your top hand, and then flick your wrist. After a few minutes, switch hands.
Coaching Points: It’s vital that players learn to adapt with just one hand. The goal is to become dominant with both hands eventually. This is exactly the time (and age) to work on these areas and build the foundation of a highly-skilled lacrosse player.
Finally, we will finish things off by catching the ball with two hands, making a split, and then throwing with one hand. So if you catch lefty, you will then split, shuffle, and throw with one hand.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Fundamental Skills and Drills for Youth Lacrosse” with John Combs.” To check out our more videos in our youth lacrosse section, click here.
In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Evanston, Illinois for a behind-the-scenes look at a Northwestern University women’s lacrosse practice.
Follow along as the Wildcats begin with a high-intensity training session in the gym that includes rapid-fire agility moves and boxing. The practice finishes up on the lacrosse field as head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller leads her squad through multi-purpose drills focusing on feeds from behind the net.
The Wildcats secured their seventh national championship in the last eight years back on May 27 with a comeback victory over Syracuse.
We begin with a typical Northwestern team training session as the squad gets warmed up with indoor agility and conditioning drills. Players jog indoors while alternating moves like cariocas, skips, air punches, and floor touches. The team eventually moves into a round of boxing training using gloves and punchbags.
Next, the team moves indoors for feeding, cutting, and shooting drills. These effective drills incorporate every position on the field and replicate typical game scenarios.
The Set-Up: Two feeders will be positioned behind the cage, two defenders will set up on the crease, and two lines of offensive players will be positioned up top.
The Action: Feeders will scoop up a ball and come around a side of the cage where they will be met by a defender. The feeder should look to pass to the opposite-side offensive player cutting in for a catch and shoot opportunity. Work on making in-and-out movements, leaving room for the stick, curling away from defenders, and making an accurate feed.
Tips: Shooters must time their cuts and this takes great practice. Remember to have patience until your teammates are ready to make the feed. Also, when you catch the pass, leave yourself a good angle to put the shot away.
Meanwhile, defenders should wait for the feeders to move before going out and pressuring them. Don’t get there too early.25
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Northwestern Lacrosse Practice.” To check out the latest All Access videos, click here. Recent videos feature the Stanford and Syracuse lacrosse programs.
With Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice as your guide, pick up two helpful passing drills to prepare for zone defenses this season. The following drills can improve overall decision-making, passing technique, player confidence, and moving without the ball. Also, Coach Rice details an effective baseline out-of-bounds play designed to beat zone defenses under the basket.
Zone defenses rely heavily on trapping and double teams in order to be effective. This first passing drill will teach your offensive players to be strong with the ball and make accurate passes when double teamed.
Start with a ball handler up top. Have them dribble as hard as they can inside the arc. Meanwhile, two defenders will set up on the elbows and then close in for the double team. Now the offensive player has three options (three players to pass to), two on wings and one down low. This player must pass out of the double team without turning it over. Don’t let the defenders deflect the ball.
Drill Tips: Remember, players can ball fake, fake high throw low, and step through to get out of the trap. Remind them of all of their options. Be strong with the ball. Don’t pass until the coach tells you to.
Also, you can practice this in a 1-3-1 zone defense set up where the wing and top players meet to double the ball.
This is a terrific drill to run with your bigs. It’s great for improving footwork and making passing instinctive out there.
Start with an outside pivot. When players get the ball, have them pivot, and then pass to a teammate. Get players to chase the ball. Players will receive it right back, pivot properly, and then pass to another teammate. Repeat. Be sure that players are really moving around the lane. Start in the high post, move to mid-post, and flash.
Now go with an inside pivot. Have players look down the floor. Give a pass fake to practice this concept. Then pass opposite.
Coach Rice is a big fan of this baseline out of bounds, especially against a 2-3 zone. This play really teaches your players how to read the defense. It also gives you four or five options out of one set.
Get players 2 through 5 in a stack, but have the first two separated a little bit from the back two. Have all players lined up on the ballside laneline. The first player in the stack breaks hard to the ballside corner. The second player breaks to the opposite low block and screens that nearest defender. The back two players will now attack the middle man in the defense, creating a 2-on-1 scenario.
Have the unit play things out from here, read the defense, and find ways to create mismatches in order to get high-percentage looks at the basket.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Drills and Concepts for Zone Offense Attacks” with Mike Rice. To check out our entire catalog of DVDs focusing on zone concepts, click here.
This week’s All Access pass takes you to Norman, Oklahoma where Oklahoma head women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale leads her squad through a variety of game-like shooting drills and fast break warm-ups. Feature drills include “Two-man Sideline Passing”, “USA Shooting”, and “Two-Ball Shooting.”
The behind-the-scenes session stems from the first few practices of the 2010-11 season. Most recently, the Sooners are coming off a 21-13 campaign in which the squad reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
In order to be effective on transition, players must be able to run, pass, catch, and dribble without making turnovers. This sideline passing drill incorporates chest and bounce passes as players (working in pairs) throw the ball back and forth down the length of the floor.
If a group drops the ball, they must go back and start over again. Midway through the drill, the middle line will start making a bounce pass. Remember that players should be running, not sliding, while passing and catching.
Tips: Do not travel. Stay wide and zip each pass. Talk to your teammate throughout.
Start out with two lines of players, one up top and the other on the wing. The player up top has the ball and passes to a teammate on the left. The passer makes a v-cut and sets a screen for the player on the wing. The wing player cuts hard off of that pick, receives a pass from the feeder just inside the far elbow, and takes a jumper. Follow your shot and get the rebound. The screener will now cut up to the free-throw line and receive another pass from a coach for a shot.
It’s key that players communicate on the screen and then cut after it. The second cutter should cut opposite of the first cutter. Also, be sure to mix your cuts up. See below for options.
Note: Screeners have the option to make at least three different cuts here. Coach Coale incorporates this drill with her team to simulate their motion offense. It gives players a chance to fill, curl, or to backcut off of the downscreen.
This is a terrific drill for working on post moves, entry passes, and shots off the pass. On each end of the floor, get a line on the wing and a post line under the basket. All post lines will go twice in a row. When feeding the post, always fake before you make. Be sure to deliver a good pass fake and then deliver the ball. Get the defender’s hands somewhere and make the pass, which should be quick and sharp.
Feed the post and the post will score. The next player up will feed the post and the post will score. After that, we will relocate. Now the wing player feeds the post and then relocates high or low, the post kicks it back out, and there’s a shot. Go twice.
Next up, change it to feed and re-post. Make a feed down low, kick it out, have the post go two steps deeper, have a re-feed, and then get a score. After two reps, feed and take a handoff. The feeder runs a cut, high or low, takes the hand off and scores. Every post goes twice. In the last sequence, feed the post, make a fake handoff, and the then post scores opposite. Do this on the left side of the floor on both ends.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Oklahoma Women’s Basketball Practice with Sherri Coale.” Be sure to check out the latest videos in our All Access lineup. New DVDs feature the following programs: Kentucky, Wichita State, and Iowa State.