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Archives by Tag 'Transition Drills'

Two Competitive Team Lacrosse Drills to Improve Transition Play

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Add a spark to your team’s transition game by adding these two effective transition drills to your practice plan. Follow along as Cortland women’s head lacrosse coach Kathy Taylor breaks down the action via whiteboard diagrams before moving out to the field for live simulations. These game-like drills are also ideal for getting players to think two passes ahead and learning how to play under pressure. 

Princeton Drill

This is a terrific drill for putting players under pressure while on transition. First take the field and divide it and play it across (versus lengthwise). Look to divide it between the restraining line and the 50-yard line.

Split up the team into two colors or units (red and white for this example). We will then get a variety of red lines and white lines set up on the sideline within the playing space. The three red lines and three white lines are lined up on BOTH sidelines.

Meanwhile, a coach will stand in the middle and toss out a ball in the air or on the ground. The team that gains possession first is on the attack. The goal: Get three passes consecutively as your team moves across the field. Be sure to count out loud.

If the ball is dropped or hits the ground, you must restart your counting. The goal is to transition the ball across the field as and quickly as you can. If you are successful, pass to the same team color on the opposite side to continue with the drill.

If a mistake is made, the other team will transition and look to pass it to a teammate on the opposite side. Push the speed factor and really get the players to move the ball. Make it up tempo. The players should enjoy this one as it’s competitive, features a lot of touches, and uses full team involvement.


On the Field

Remember that we are dealing with tighter quarters here, so it’s key for players to keep moving to stay ahead of the pressure. If the ball goes out of bounds, be sure to change possession. Players really must work hard. It’s easy to get tired with the three pass rule in play.

Triangle Drill

This is one of Coach Taylor’s favorite drills. It’s a hard working drill but extremely effective. It’s similar to Princeton, but now we are working in triangles. Players must work together to break out and away from defenders in a triangle formation. Also, look to switch directions periodically. If the other team gets the ball, simply switch from offense to defense.

Tips: Look to run this outside the big circle. You will want a lot of space to get open. Remember, break out and away to receive the ball, not right to the ball.

This is also a great drill as it forces players to think two passes ahead, get open into space, and learn how to handle pressure.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Building Your Team’s Transition Game” with Kathy Taylor.” To check out more videos focusing on transition lacrosse, visit our lacrosse video library.

A Pair of Effective Lacrosse Drills for Up-Tempo Defense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pick up two efficient defensive drills this week that reinforce fundamentals and will improve your team’s transition game. The Bulldog Drill and Intercept Pass Drill are both staples for the Tufts men’s lacrosse program, Div. III’s national champs in 2010. From clearing to team communication, these drills cover many facets of the game and will be huge additions to your practice plan this season.

Bulldog Drill

This first drill is a fine tool to encourage good habits for defenders. It also works on getting up the field and using an over pass as a part of a circuit of passing drills.

Start with a coach or goalie rolling a ball out to an open side. Then have an over pass where the ball goes to the other side of the field before two more upfield passes are made. As you roll the ball out, look to run through the ground ball. As you start your transition, try to push up the field and get a fast break. If it’s open, take it. If it’s not open, reverse the ball. Look for a break out pass and then a pass on the other side of the field to finish the drill up.

Coaching Tips: When it comes to the ground ball and driving up the field, we want an explosive move up the field. Sometimes in practice, we have the tendency to go slow. You must go at full speed. Once players get the hang of the drill, look to get more than one ball going at once.


Intercept Pass Drill

The “Intercept Pass Drill” focuses on improving on-ball to off-ball communication, using both ends of the field, and having a continual rotation. Coaches, make sure that the prime defender in the drill intercepts the pass at some point.

The set-up has three offensive players making sure the defender is playing at least two of his main roles on defense: being in the hole, on ball, or adjacent.

To begin, our defender is either in the hole or adjacent. As adjacent, he goes out to play the ball and now he’s on ball. As a new adjacent, he’s working back inside to help out and play team defense. His primary purpose now is to take away the skip pass. You can do that by working back inside. Be sure to look over your shoulder to find the skip lane. Do not blindly look inside.


Alright, so let’s put this all together now. Start by working out to play the ball and apply pressure there. As you work back inside, open to the ball, peak over your shoulder and get in position to get that interception. If you take away that skip pass, you can be in a great position to play great team defense.

Coaching Tips: Don’t leave the drill until you make an interception, even if it takes awhile. Coaches, make sure that players are constantly communicating out there. Also, you can go both sides of the cage at the same time to increase team reps.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Fundamental Defense Drills for Winning Lacrosse.” To check out more defensive-oriented videos in our lacrosse library, click here

All Access Duke Lacrosse: Ball Handling and Transition Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Durham, North Carolina for a behind-the-scenes look at a Duke University men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as head coach John Danowski leads his squad through a number of competitive drills, including ball handling, full field transition, and 4 v 4 half field drills.

Ball Handling

This first ball handling drill focuses on defenders only with no opposition. Players work on handling the ball in their typical positions and look to spread out in their own defensive end. The goal is to mimic typical passing situations in your own zone, improve on passing and catching (especially long outlets), and move the ball efficiently up the field.

Passes go from the goalie to each of the defenders and then up to the nearest midfielders around the midfield line. The drill forces players to change directions, make quick decisions, and work on key fundamentals such as catching, footwork, and passing. Notice that players are always moving with the ball and that quick, seamless transitions are made between groups.


Full Field Transition

The following transition drill starts with the coach rolling out a ground ball to the face-off players at midfield. The players fight for possession and the team that comes up with the ball transitions to offense.

A three second rule is implemented in the drill to promote quick decision-making, solid ball movement, and constant attacking at a rapid pace. If a player holds possession for more than three seconds, a whistle is called and that player must drop the ball at that spot. The closest player picks up the ball immediately (AKA a “free scholarship”) and starts up play for his side.


4-v-4 Competition

For this 4-on-4 half field drill, the team is now split into two groups, a white team and a black team. Each side takes turns going on offense. The goals are simple. The defense must make stops and offense must score goals.

Teams can tally a point by scoring. It’s a two-ball drill for each set of groups, meaning there’s two main possessions for each rotation. The balls initiate once behind the net and then once from up top. You can get two points for each group of four guys out on the field. Meanwhile, the defense needs to clear cleanly to get out of the drill.

This is a terrific team-wide drill that promotes competition while focusing on half field skills.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Duke Lacrosse Practice: Individual Skills & Full Field Drills – Volume II” with John Danowski. To check out more videos in our All Access collection, simply head over to our lacrosse library.

2 Full Court Drills to Improve Your Squad’s Transition Game

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A squad that’s proficient in the area of transition basketball will have a vital advantage over its opponent during the course of a game. The following team drills are ideal for working on typical transition game situations and promoting healthy competition during practice. Read through the details below and then watch the video clips to see how each drill should be carried out on the court.

17 Seconds Drill

Submitted by Richard Dardenne, Northeast Christian Academy, Kingwod, TX

Overview: This is a terrific drill to develop trapping abilities and defensive footwork among your defensive players. It also focuses on transition offense and getting players to pass the ball effectively under heavy defensive pressure.

The Set-Up: A coach will inbound the ball on the baseline. Two defensive players (X1 and X2) will start off in the lane near the baseline. Have them disrupt the inbounding of the ball by the coach. Offensively, player 1 is off on the wing to the right and near the sideline. Player two is on the nearside of the court, just over the midcourt line, but on the opposite side from 1. 3 is on the same side as 1, but just over the opposite midline. 4 is on the opposite low block and 5 is in the nearside corner on the same side as 3.

The Action: The coach inbounds the ball to 1. X1 and X2 immediately sprint to player 1 and form a double team trap. Player 1 must hold the ball until the trap arrives. Player 1 passes out of the double team to player 2 on the opposite side. The two defensive players sprint to trap player 2. 2 passes to 3 and the two defenders sprint toward 3 and form the double team trap. 3 must wait to throw to either 4 or 5 until the trap has arrived. Once 4 or 5 have the ball, they begin a quick 2-on-0 fast break transition going the other way down the court, passing the ball back and forth until they make the layup.

Recap: The goal is to do this entire drill under 17 seconds. Come up with a reward system for any steals, deflections, or forced turnovers that X1 and X2 get. Rotate the players after each drill simulation. X1 and X 2 become 4 and 5. 4 and 5 become the next two defenders on the baseline.


Paint Drill

Submitted by Gary Williams, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

The Set-Up: The drill begins with five offensive players (“O”) lined up around the perimeter of the three-point circle. They are paired off against five defensive players (X) and are lined up against each offensive player but inside the three-point line. All players should be facing the basket. O1 and X1 must always be at the top of the key, but it doesn’t matter where the other player start. Three coaches are standing behind the players, each holding a ball.

The Action: To start the drill, one of the coaches shoots and misses a jumper. The offensive and defensive players must battle for the rebound. If an offensive player secures the board, they must try and put the ball back up and score. No tip-ins are allowed. Players must secure the rebound, land with both feet, and put up a strong power move to score. This puts the players in game-like situations when it comes to getting the board, drawing the foul, and looking for the three-point play.

If a defensive player gets a rebound, that player throws an outlet pass to a teammate on the wing and the X team runs a fast break down the other end of the court. The O team must hustle back on transition and try and stop the score. If the O’s stop the initial fast break, they must get back to defend the paint and set up into whatever man or zone defense you want them to apply. To improve team communication, have your point guard call out the defense during the transition. If the X’s don’t score on the fast break, they must run a secondary attack until they score or the defense gets completely set up.

Run the drill to a set number of scored points or have a set time limit as the goal. Whichever team has the most points at the end of that time is the winner.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Aggressive Transition & Conditioning Drills” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more drills in the Winning Hoops collection, visit our basketball library.


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