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Archives by Tag 'Team Drills'

Two Competitive 3 v 2 Drills that Emphasize Fundamentals

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

North Carolina head women’s lacrosse coach Jenny Levy uses 3 v 2 drills every day during practice. These specific drills teach players the fundamentals of the game, put them in a competitive arena, force them to execute, and create an environment that is fun and creative. Check out these competitive and highly effective drills and look for ways to implement them into your own practice plan this season.

3 v 2 Ground Ball Drill

Pick a line on the field. Separate opposing teams into distinct jerseys. Place a coach in front of the players with a bunch of balls. The five players are all set up on the line. The coach will roll out a ball in front of the players and they are forced to use their skills to pick up a ground ball.

Players should focus on choking up on their sticks and boxing out. If the team with two players gets the ball, they must get out of the double team by making a good pass across the line they started from. If the team with three players gets the ball, they must make two passes before the ball comes back over the line.

Coach Levy runs this drill on a daily basis. Not only is it competitive and fun (keep score), but it also forces the kids to pick up ground balls under pressure and to make good passes to get out of the pressure, either man up or man down.

Note: The two-player team can choose to outlet to another player behind the line if their in-drill teammate isn’t open.


3 v 2 DOM Drill

Coach Levy credits Virginia coach Dom Starsia for this drill. You’ve got three attackers on the baseline and they step into play. You’ve also got two defenders in front of the cage waiting for the players to step in and play. The ball starts with the middle line. This player must pass to either wing and then get the pass back. Once it gets passed back, both of the wing X’s must try to hit and stay at the elbow, but also must move to get up to these elbow positions. The player with the ball is in the middle and must read which defender will pick her up. For instance, maybe she works one side to go the opposite way. Perhaps the defense stays or maybe one defender will play her.

In this situation, if the defense switches, the defenders must communicate to see who will pick up the ball. Coach Levy encourages players and attackers to be aggressive. Remember, this is a shooting drill. We don’t want two or three passes here and moving the ball around too much. We want the players to be courageous, aggressive, and to make a hard move on cage.

As X moves around the crease to the right-hand side, she will be picked up by one of the defenders. We want her to be a threat but also to read the rotation of the defense. If she passes to a wing player that’s open, we want them to immediately attack the cage.

Note: The two wing players must maintain their space. The tendency is to crash the middle but that enables the defenders to play a small amount of space and guard two players. Wing players will create bigger slides for the defense by maintaining space.

DOM Drill – No Switches

In this situation, the attacker behind the cage must read the defenders, especially the one going to mark the ballside. We want to train the offense to recognize the defender that is on her but also the second defender who is sliding and where she is sliding to. This will leave the backside player open. We want the players to look backside for a cross-post feed. That open player can step into space and score an easy goal.

Defensively, the player on ball is really working on her movement around the crease, depending on which side the ball goes to. The off-ball defender is critical here. This player must communicate effectively and anticipate that next pass. Her recovery to that next pass is really important. We want to teach that as the backside defender slides, the front defender should take a higher angle so the only place for the attacker to go is down the line, which creates a lower shooting angle (and much better for the goalies to pick up).

Recap: This drill is very competitive, very fast moving, and trains attackers to read space and read the defense sliding. Also, it trains defenders to communicate and cover a lot of space in a limited amount of time.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “6-Minute Competitive Drills for Lacrosse” with Jenny Levy. Check out more competitive lacrosse drills by visiting our video library.

Reader-Submitted Drill of the Week: “Sage 4-on-4 Cutthroat”

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Submitted by Brian Barnes, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, The Sage Colleges

The Set-Up: Divide into three teams with a coach on the baseline with a basketball. Four defensive players will start underneath the basket. Four offensive players will start out on the perimeter. Two will be in each corner and two will be about three feet off the lane-line and outside of the three-point line. Finally, the third team fills in behind the offensive players and will wait to come on.

The Action: The coach throws the ball to one of the offensive players and yells “Close Out.” The defensive team will close out hard to the ball or help. Play is now live.

How to Award Points: A point is awarded for a defensive stop. If the defense gets a stop, they stay on defense and the new offense comes on. If the offense scores a basket or gets fouled in the act of shooting, they will become the new defensive unit.

There will always be a new team on offense after each possession. As for fouls on the ground, we check up with the same two teams and close out again. Also, if there’s one offensive rebound in a possession, the defense cannot be awarded a point. However, if they get a stop, you can play the same two teams again. If there are two offensive rebounds in a possession, this will send the defensive group to the end of the line and the offensive group becomes the new defensive unit.

The Kicker: Additionally, the coaching staff can kick off the defense at any point for not executing any of the defensive principles you are looking to use to build your man defense. For instance, our coaches will kick off a defensive unit that doesn’t close-out properly, doesn’t apply strong ball pressure, lacks communication, allows dribble splits or dribble penetration down the middle, or doesn’t defend screens properly.

Summary: This is a terrific drill to build your man-to-man team defense. It’s competitive and the players love it – especially the aspect of removing a team from defense for not executing what you are looking to implement. In other words, it creates a great learning environment. Rarely do we kick the same team off twice in a row for making the same mistake.

Know of an effective basketball drill that really improves the performance of your team? Send us an e-mail at

All Access Maryland Women’s Basketball: Position Work and Shooting Technique

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In this week’s edition of All Access, we head to College Park, Maryland for an exclusive look inside a University of Maryland women’s basketball practice. First, the Terps run through a series of shooting drills on the heels of a midweek workout session. Then, watch as the squad focuses on position-specific drills.

With this inside look, we hope that coaches, players, and parents alike can get a glimpse at how a Division I basketball program prepares during the season. Also, it can be an ideal way for fellow coaches to take notes on certain drills, strategies, and methods that might be useful for their own squad.

Shooting Technique

After a lift session for about 45 minutes, the team hits the hardwood for some shooting drills. First, the squad runs through the four shooting steps: sit, present, pocket and shot. This will go on for 25 reps.

It’s key that the players are put into positions where they will take shots in a game. The squad will do 150-200 shots every day that they lift, which is three days a week. The shooting segment will usually take less than 30 minutes. Notice as the team counts their makes and charts the misses. It’s key that they know what they are shooting each week.

As mentioned previously, the players go through four different steps on how to shoot the basketball. First, there’s sitting. They are sitting in their invisible chair and getting down low. Remember, everything starts with your legs and footwork.

Next, they are presenting their hands to receive the pass. After that, they are taking the ball from the pass and into their shot pocket. And finally, the last step is shooting the basketball. They are picking spots high up on the glass to work on their form, technique, follow-through, and full extension of their hand.

The goal here is also to work out the sores and stiffness after just working out. They also learn how to communicate with each other.


Position Work

First for the bigs, the players work on their hands. When a player’s name is called, they must be ready at all times. In this first drill, they must turn around, find the ball, and work on their handwork. Post players will focus on catching tough passes in traffic, finding the ball, tracking it, and making ball fakes.

As for the guards, they’re also focusing on passes. In this case, it’s bounce passes. The players are stepping to every pass and getting low. Notice that the fundamentals are being preached here, even with a Div. I basketball program. The fundamentals need constant tuning throughout the season, even for a talented program.

Next, it’s tight curls with the guards for jumpers. A chair is placed where they must make the tight curls. For the bigs, it’s on to catching the ball in traffic with the defense on their back. It could be a good or bad pass.

Finally, it’s on to outlets. There’s a rebound first and then an outlet pass to a guard. The players quickly get out into transition. There should be three quick steps and players exploding out in transition. Players must maintain proper form and hustle up the court. Notice that players will run the floor, circle around a chair and then back before trying to beat the defense and score on the fast break.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Maryland Women’s Basketball Practice with Brenda Frese.” To check out more All Access videos, visit our extensive basketball library.


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