The Stanford women have been a dominating force in the NCAA since the mid 1980’s under legendary head coach Tara VanDerveer. In these two Basketball DVDs, you will see why the Cardinal have had so much success. From warm-ups to shell drills, Coach VanDerveer demonstrates over 25 of her favorite practice drills. Whether you are looking for a passing, shooting, ball handling, rebounding, offensive, or defensive drills, it’s all here.
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This week’s player development feature emphasizes ground ball skills and individual stickwork. The following drills will get your players a lot of touches on the ball, tons of repetitions, and should help them build a strong aerobic base. The drills are first diagrammed on the whiteboard and then carried out on the field by the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team.
This drill replicates situations when you are getting pursued on a ground ball. It’s different than facing uncontested ground balls, as now you have some pressure from behind or the side. It’s also about being able to scoop and escape from a variety of different ways and then finding your teammate.
The four players involved are the Roller, Scooper, Chaser, and Baseline. Start this drill at the top of the box or midfield line. Get your roller up top and then the rest of the players almost stacked together.
The roller has all the balls. His job is to roll balls toward the scooper and to control the placement of balls (mixing it up quite a bit). The scooper’s job is to scoop the ball up, but he must feel the pressure behind. Then he must explode on the ball, listen to his baseline teammate, escape, get his hands free, and then throw a possession pass. Making that first pass after the pressure is really critical. Meanwhile, the relationship between the two is crucial to success and escape. The scooper often powers through it with communication from his baseline man (saying things like, “Roll right” or “Pressure on left hip”, etc.).
The baseline man is movable and vocal. The decision now is: Can I throw this ball without being checked? Can I throw it without having to pass through the chaser’s stick? If he can’t, look to split dodge or turn to elude the defense. Then it will be easier for the player to make the pass to the baseline man. The scooper now reads the chaser and can make jump cuts and backdoor cuts to get open.
Get a line of players ready to go. Next, get a coach with a ball and a stick, plus some spare balls back behind the players. “Around the Clock” is a rapid fire drill designed to get a lot of repetitions and touches.
Have the coach set up in the middle of the field by himself and with a ball. He will start by rolling out an uncontested ground ball towards the first player in line. This player will then come up with the goal to pick it up as fast as he can, move his feet, and get the ball back to the coach. The coach will adjust his position and then roll out another ground ball, this time to the next guy in line.
Like a clock, the coach will move all around the field, switching from the left to the right, or moving out in front or to the side. Players should get the ball in and out of their stick as fast as possible. The great thing about this drill is that it allows for creativity on the player’s part. Look to implement a variety of different stick skills and maneuvers, like goosing, rollaways, and more.
Tip: Get your hands in a good position on the stick. Your top hand should be at the top of stick and your bottom hand should be at the bottom of the stick. Come up with a nice cradle, get in a protect position, and quickly move the ball to the next open teammate.
This week’s team development feature focuses on improving offensive output through a series of high-intensity shooting drills and team plays. Led by Salisbury University men’s lacrosse coach Jim Berkman, the following drills focus on dodging techniques, shooting on the move, accuracy, and getting a lot of reps in a short period of time. To finish up, we’ll reveal five offensive plays from the Salisbury playbook that have paid dividends for the squad in recent years. Then look for ways to incorporate these effective plays with your own squad as well.
Hitch and Shoot – In this drill, one player will throw across for the shooter, who makes a little hitch move, quick sweep, and then shoots on cage. You should be looking to a get a good hitch every time, aiming to freeze the defenders. Try to get from 13 to 11, i.e. shooting the ball inside 11 yards after the hitch move.
Dodge, Hitch, and Shoot – This is similar to our previous drill where the passer dishes to the shooter across. The shooter then catches the ball, hitches, dodges, and fires it on cage.
Roll Back Catch and Go – This particular drills works out of Salisbury’s “22 offense.” Try to implement this drill on both the right and left sides of the field. Here’s how it works. The shooter comes across to the middle of the field, receives a pass, sprints straight for about five yards, makes a quick stutter step, and then shoots it on the run.
Roll Back, Catch, and Step Out – This is a three-man drill that reinforces Salisbury’s offense. The ball moves around the horn until a player makes a little step-out move and then releases a shot on the run.
Wing Dodge and Roll Back – This drill mimics the situation when you are driving down the side and make a dodge to try to get back to the high side. Practicing stepping away from the defender and getting your hands free. It’s key to practice this so it becomes second nature in a game. Run this drill on the right and left sides — even at the same time.
Check out these effective offensive plays from Salisbury’s playbook and see how you can incorporate certain elements with your own squad this season.
23 – It all begins with a hard wing dodge and the ball swings to X. Next, there’s an option for an ISO from the wing. You can then swing it to the backside and get an effective pick for a quick-hitter coming off the backside. The player that picks should open to the ball.
24- The key to this play is picking the picker on the inside. Swing the ball to X, bang it right back, and then look inside for a shot.
25 – The “25” play involves a double pick for a lefty coming off. Then there’s a re-pick on the inside for a curl. If nothing develops from those looks, you can take those guys to the ball side and swing to the backside for an ISO centering on the middie stepping off the crease.
Bishop – The key here is a wing undercut and backdoor option for a player who’s opening up the backside.
Bluejay – Finally, with “Bluejay”, there’s a double invert behind and you can make it look like you’re setting a pick with an attackman and swinging it to the backside. You then have a pick-the-picker play available on the crease.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “How to Create a Great Shooter and Individual Player” featuring Salisbury coach Jim Berkman. To find more shooting videos, check out our extensive lacrosse catalog.