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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.
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Storrs, Connecticut for an inside glimpse at a UConn men’s basketball practice. Follow along as former head coach Jim Calhoun leads his squad through a variety of team shooting and fast break drills.
The legendary basketball coach announced his retirement on September 13 after 40 seasons. Calhoun has racked up 873 wins and three national titles during his illustrious career. In 2005, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The team starts off by shooting 10 two-shot fouls against a partner and the winners move on. Players shoot two one-handed shots in the middle of lane, two one-handed shots at foul line, and then two foul shots with both hands. Coach Calhoun reminds players to get under the ball and use their legs. Players keep track of their makes. One-handers don’t count, but regular foul shots do.
For this full court fast break drill, offensive players will attack wide (in a 2-on-1 format) down the court while the big guy in the middle is trying to block shots and break up the play.
The team starts with three lines at the baseline. The bigs in the middle line start with the ball and throw it out in front. Meanwhile, the big man sprints down court and looks to stop the 2-on-1 break. One of the two offensive players will pick up the ball, pass ahead to his wing teammate, and look to finish. The bigs should look to defend and block shots.
This next drill starts with a coach shooting and missing. The defense then gets the rebound and sprints down court the opposite direction. Meanwhile, a team of two defenders is already set up and waiting for the offense. The simulation plays out from here. After the play ends, the two defenders now head down court and go up against one defender in 2-on-1 situation.
This final 2-on-2 drill focuses on boxing out and crashing the boards in a half-court setting. The coach begins by passing to one offensive player. This player will immediately shoot it. Next, defenders box out and look to get the rebound. The offensive players work on crashing the boards looking for the offensive rebound. Once you box out, you need to sprint to the ball and beat your man.
Use these three effective drills to help your team make strides when it comes to offensive fundamentals. Eight-time national championship coach Jim Berkman frequently implements the drills with Salisbury to replace ball drills and replicate offensive schemes. It’s also a great way to get in numerous reps, whether shooting, passing, or moving with the ball.
The first drill in the group focuses on offensive concepts when you are stepping opposite of a teammate dodging, looking for two quick passes to the backside, and then delivering an accurate shot on net.
At the same time, you can tweak the drill to implement movements that are familiar with your zone or man-to-man offense. The goal here is to practice those schemes, movements, and fundamentals, and get a ton of shots in. According to Coach Berkman, the more you practice getting the ball to the backside and moving it quickly, the better these repetitions get in games.
Coaching Points: This is also a terrific passing drill. Remember to pass the ball to the ear, make two quick feeds, and deliver a quality shot on cage.
Next, we’re adding a cross-crease pass to the repetition. In other words, you’re looking to go wing to wing on the skip pass. Make sure that players get all the way to the outside on their cuts.
Coaching Points: Make your drills more than one-dimensional. Look to find new ways to do things that reinforce your offensive shooting drills and passing. There’s no substitute for an abundance of shooting.
Finally, start things up top with a dodge. From here, the pass will go behind the net to a cutting X. Next, there’s a quick pass out in front to a crease teammate before this player shoots on net. This drill is ideal for working on inside shooting, cuts, and plays.
Coaching Points: Get the ball high to low and look to spin the ball faster than the defense can rotate.
Know of any more effective offensive drills that reinforce offensive fundamentals? What specific drill works best with your team? Share with fellow coaches below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The previous drills can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Drills to Reinforce Offensive Concepts” featuring Jim Berkman. To check out more videos focusing on offensive concepts, click here.
In the latest edition of All Access, we head back to Williamstown, Massachusetts for a behind-the-scenes look at a Williams College men’s basketball practice. Go behind closed doors as head coach Mike Maker sits down with his assistants to devise a practice plan for the day. Later, Maker and company hit the hardwood with “Popeyes” and their popular “Moneyball” shooting drill.
The Ephs continually rank as one of the national top basketball programs at the Division III level. In addition to Final Four appearance in 2010 and 2011, Williams most recently finished 17-8 overall last season.
Assistants Kevin Snyder and Kyle Koncz join Coach Maker as they nail down a practice plan for that day’s particular session. Listen in as the coaches discuss different drills they want to implement, points of emphasis, and strategies for getting the most out of each drill.
Popeyes is a drill that Coach Maker adopted from Coach John Beilein that really helps with shooting form and overall accuracy.
Two players work together at a basket. One at a time, players start out on the right block before eventually moving over to the left block. Simply, get the players shooting bank shots one after another. Make sure players are moving at a rapid pace. In other words, be quick without being in a hurry. Pay attention so that players don’t get lazy here. This is a drill where you want to be on move and going quick at all times.
According to Coach Maker, the Moneyball is the best shooting drill that the team practices. Get players working in pairs and have them going all at once at different baskets around the gym. The drill features one rebounder and one shooter. Players will drive into the paint and then kick it out to their teammate for a shot. Shooters must look to change their depths at a 2 to 1 ratio. After about 90 seconds, move players to the left side of the court.
Rules: A regular shot = 1 point. A moneyball shot = 3 points. The first team to 50 points that touches the center court line is named the winner. As a consequence, every other team must run sprints.
Recap: This drill not only serves as a conditioning drill, but also focuses on getting players to deliver accurate passes, maintain good teamwork, and keep an emphasis on overall shooting. Meanwhile, it’s also very realistic and will pay dividends come game time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Williams College” featuring Mike Maker. To check out our entire All Access lineup, head over to our basketball library today.
The motion offense is a highly-effective system particularly useful at teaching the fundamentals of lacrosse. Suitable for teams at every level of lacrosse, this distinct pass and move system makes each player a threat with the ball and maintains optimal field balance. Led by Limestone head men’s coach JB Clarke, the following drills all revolve around the motion offense and will serve as perfect practice additions for your lacrosse team.
This is a simple catch and shoot drill focusing on accurate passing, catching, cutting, and shooting. Start with two opposite lines behind the net. One player has the ball and starts the drill by cutting up towards the GLE as his drill partner comes around a cone placed about 7-10 yards in front of the net. The ball carrier dishes to the shooter, who gets off a quick shot on cage in front.
Try this drill with only attackmen to start practice. Look to get a ton of shots in a short amount of time with this drill and switch sides each time with the catching and shooting. Also, shooters should aim low at the net, point their off shoulder at the feed, and choke up on the stick when down low.
Tips: Remember to communicate early so your teammate knows where to throw the ball. Shooters, turn your head, pick a spot, and finish hard.
This drill puts the motion offense in play. First, the ball starts up top with a middie and he will dodge hard down the alley before making a circle rollback. Next, try to square up in the top center and throw it to a teammate vacating out of the crease. for a high percentage shot. This is the motion that the offense takes when dodging down the alley.
It’s crucial to make a good hard initial dodge. One of the keys for the guy carrying the ball is that he turns and actually circles back. Otherwise, the defender will be right in his hands. When you roll away, you can get your hands free and this allows you some space from the defender and you can throw that feed.
Tips: Remember to run this drill in both directions and get a lot of realistic shots within the motion offense. Look to attack at the defense’s weakest, which is right after a dodge in this situation. You can add a hitch to the shot, too. This helps when defenders are flying out on the crease player and then you can hitch, step around them, and score.
This 1-on-1 drill puts the players in more realistic formats. Start by putting your crease guys in there as well so the drill takes on a 2-on-2 format. From wherever you start the 1-on-1, the dodger must go with his head up and can’t just go running through the crease. You can also put the players behind the net and on the wings to get a ton of reps from different angles. The crease guys have to anticipate what’s really going on.
Rules: The crease defenders are only allowed to slide but can’t double the ball. The dodger cannot throw the ball to the offensive guy in the crease until the defense slides.
Tips: The first part of any good motion offense is that you have to run by someone and force the defense to slide and that creates a 5-on-4 situation. This should be a main goal of what you do; creating unsettled situations behind the ball. Take the time to teach your players how to dodge, make good moves, and get in good positions to score.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Building Your Motion Offense” with JB Clarke. To check out more videos featuring offensive systems, head over to our lacrosse DVD library.