Championship Productions Blog

Archives by Tag 'Transition Drills'

Lacrosse Transition Drill of the Week: The Bez Drill

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Tufts men’s lacrosse program is well known for its high-tempo attack and effective transition game. The squad’s proficiency in these areas is a major reason why the Jumbos are regarded as one of the best programs in Div. III lacrosse — particularly after posting a 38-4 record the last two seasons and earning the 2010 national title.

The Bez Drill is just one of many effective transition drills the team uses to prepare for game situations. This continuous practice drill moves at a quick pace and gives players a number of reps in a short period of time. With Tufts head coach Mike Daly leading you through the drill, make sure that you pick up some tips and insights and then see how you can incorporate the drill into your own practice plan.

Bez Drill Overview

This drill is named after one of the team’s all-time favorite players, Alexander Bezdek. The Jumbos use it all the time. It’s not only a great competition drill, but it emphasizes everything that we do as a team — stylistically, tempo-wise, philosophy, etc. While it may be somewhat similar to what other teams may run, we throw in a few wrinkles.

Drill Breakdown

The Bez Drill is a constant 3-on-2. Each team will come down on a 3-on-2 break every time. For the team that comes down, the guy that ends the play (whether it be from scoring, turning it over, or whatever) is out of the drill, and the other two guys get back. Immediately, the other teams comes down on those two guys on a 3-on-2 situation.



There’s no time for a momentum mistake, no time to worry about a mistake. Instead, it’s back on defense or offense. No matter what happened previously, we’re focused on taking the next opportunity as it really mimics our style of play. There are a lot of things happening here, good and bad.

Meanwhile, this drill particularly helps with creating runs on offense and stopping runs on the defensive side of the field. It requires proper stick handling and a focus on fundamentals for our defensive personnel, especially because they are handling the ball and running the breaks.

For Tufts, the team is most successful when playing as a unit, sharing the ball, making that extra pass, and not settling for outside shots.

On the Field

Next, Coach Daly provides the play-by-play as the drill happens. It’s a constant 3-on-2, involves a ton of quick looks, and really develops confidence to shoot off the pass. It also develops confidence in defenders, like knowing when to cut or when to attack on cage. This is all developing here.

Also, it’s an effective drill because we can emphasize many of the little things we do on transition. It’s a very compettive situation. For Tufts, something is always on the line, like pushups, drink break, etc. Like in a game, it always matters.


The previous clips can be seen in Championship Productions’ DVD “Transition Drills for Building an Up-Tempo Offense” with Mike Daly. Check out more videos focusing on transition lacrosse by visiting our lacrosse library.

All Access Duke Lacrosse: Transition Drills and Defending Behind the Cage

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the latest edition of All-Access, we take you to Durham, North Carolina for an exclusive look at a Duke men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as head coach John Danowski leads his squad through a number of shooting and ball handling drills.

This exclusive access gives you a glimpse of how an elite Division I program prepares on a daily basis. Be sure to pick up some new tips, drills, and overall concepts so that you can implement them with your squad.

Execution Drill: Fire

Any time that we turn the ball over anywhere on the field and we are scattered, and someone yells “Fire”, that means we sprint and defend the paint. This drill starts with a loose ball in the defensive zone before the defense breaks out to midfield looking to push it up field on the transition break.

The defender moves it to the nearest middie and it transitions into three middies breaking up the field into the offensive zone. Then at the sound of the whistle and the call FIRE, the middies sprint back down field towards the defensive zone and they must defend the paint and find the ball. It’s a continuous drill. Once the three middies come back and finish defending the paint, they move the ball back up the other way, and new players rotate in from there.


Defending Behind the Cage

The next drill is a one-on-one drill. When behind the cage, we trail to the X ( the midpoint directly behind the cage). The defender will do whatever he can to keep the offensive player toward the X.

The first rule here is don’t get beat top side. For defenders, you want your stick in your left hand. Here’s why: It helps as a deterrent, you are a little bit stronger, and it reminds you of what you are trying to do. If the offensive player crosses the X and tries to go top side, you have the advantage of being able to run through the crease.

In this spot, it’s okay to be behind your man. If he takes another step towards top side, the defender will change hands and this will remind him of what his job is. The offensive guy can’t score a goal back there at X. He can feed, but your teammates will do their part. Remember the ultimate goal here: Stop the dodger from scoring a goal.

Defensive Tips and Drill Techniques

You need a lower center of gravity. When you stand up tall, you are not as quick or fast. However, when you lower your center of gravity, you are quicker. Defensively, we also want to be athletic, but make sure that you don’t lunge.

In the drill, we’ll first go right-handed and one time left-handed – at HALF SPEED. The key here is trying to understand what we’re trying to accomplish. Remember, don’t get beat top side.


Now, one player at a time, the players make their defensive movements behind the cage going 1-on-0 — at FULL SPEED. After this, players will go full speed in a 1-on-1 situation looking to keep their offensive counterparts around the X.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Duke Lacrosse Practice, Volume I: One-on-One and Team Drills.” To check out more videos in our All Access library, click here.

All Access Kansas Basketball: Passing, Rebounding, and Transition Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Lawrence, Kansas for an exclusive look at a Kansas men’s basketball practice. Head coach Bill Self leads his squad through a variety of passing and fast break drills during one of the first practices of the 2009-10 season.

First, the team runs through the Pioneer Drill, a fast-paced passing drill, before moving into 2-on-1 Passing. The Jayhawks eventually get into some transition drills like the 4-Man Break and then finish up with the classic Shell Drill.

Pioneer Drill

This is a quick passing drill set within the confines of the paint. There are five lines of players and one minute set on the clock. Players must keep the ball up and in the air, never letting it hit the ground. They can keep the ball up by slight jumps and meeting the ball in the air. Players must count out loud on each pass and move to the end of the line once they have made the pass. This continuous passing drill gets faster and faster until the minute on the clock is up.

2-on-1 Passing

This is a keep away-style drill where it’s just two offensive players going against one defender. The offensive players are stationary and must use proper footwork and pass fakes to pass around the defender and across the lane to a teammate. Meanwhile, defenders must work on their defensive positioning, hands, footwork, and getting down nice and low to defend the pass. The passer moves on to become the defender.


4-Man Break

A coach initiates the drill by shooting and missing. The players fight for the rebound before transitioning up the court on a 4-man break. Each player touches the ball on the way up the floor. Players mix it up when it comes to shots, from layups to elbow jumpers to lobs down low. The key here is for players to push the ball up the floor fast and finish on the other end. Each group goes up and back.

Dummy Secondary

One at a time, a team of five goes up against a dummy defense for three reps. It starts with a rebound off a miss and a battle amongst teammates for the rebound. Once it’s settled, they immediately push the ball up the floor.

This first time up the floor, players can score anyway they want. After they push it back up the other way, they must step back and set up a quick offensive play against a dummy defense. The particular play here is called Stagger, where a shooter will come off a screen and hit a quick shot at the elbow. Now on the third time down the floor, the unit must attack the elbow, reverse it, and then throw it inside.


Shell Drill

Even the top college basketball programs in the country practice this classic drill. It’s 4-on-4 drill that starts with ball movement around the perimeter. When the coach shoots the ball, each player must block off and attack the glass.

Meanwhile, the defense changes its positioning based on passes. After 10-15 seconds of passes, there’s a shot by the coach and everyone crashes the boards. This is where the drill gets physical. The defense finds the nearest player and blocks out. The offense crashes the boards and looks for the offensive rebound.

The Shell Drill is a practical, useful drill that’s been used for decades across all levels. Elements of passing, sound defense, rebounding, and boxing out are all covered here — all within a game-like atmosphere.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kansas Basketball Practice with Bill Self.” Check out more all access videos by visiting our extensive basketball library.

All Access Denver Lacrosse Practice: Pressure Passing and Transition Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Denver, Colorado for a behind-the-scenes look at a University of Denver men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as legendary head coach Bill Tierney leads his squad through a variety of team drills in preparation for an early-season match-up.

This All Access session is an ideal way for coaches to see exactly how a top college lacrosse program prepares for opponents during the week. In this instance, Denver runs through a variety of pressure passing and transition drills centered on game-like situations and quick decision-making.

Pressure Passing

The goal here is to get some regular stickwork in but while under some pressure. Coach Tierney believes that the team must get better under pressure at practice in order for the squad to be successful in games. This particular drill moves up the entire length of the field with 1-on-1 pressure passing situations, from one group of players to the next.


Keep Away

In this drill, there’s one more player on offense than defense. The goal is to quickly move the ball around the perimeter and have the players keep their feet moving when throwing and catching the ball. Offensive guys are working on their pressure passing around the horn and needing to pass and catch with a tight defense on their heels. It’s also a great drill so that players can work on their footwork and stickwork skills.



With “Hoops“, a ball is thrown out onto the field and it’s initially a 2-on-2 fight for possession. The direction of play depends on which team scoops up the ground ball. Whichever team scoops up the ball, they immediately transition down the field and look for the quick score.

Although not entirely realistic, the drill simulates a 5-on-5 situation that starts with a ground ball fight. The offensive team is trying to push the ball and score, while the defense is looking to get set and recover on the transition break.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Denver Lacrosse Practice with Bill Tierney.” To check out our entire all access collection, visit our extensive lacrosse library. Don’t miss our latest edition featuring Haverford (PA) head coach John Nostrant.

A Pair of Dynamic Team Transition Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A team that’s well prepared for transition basketball will have a vital advantage over the course of a game. The following team transition drills are ideal for working on typical game-situations and promoting healthy competition during practice. Read through all of the instructions below and then watch the video clips to see how each drill is carried out on the court.

The Outnumbered Break Drill

Submitted by Shaka Smart, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Overview: This drill is easy to learn and highly competitive. It develops both defensive and offensive execution in outnumbered situations. It’s also a terrific conditioner.

2 on 1 Initial Set: The drill begins in a 2 on 1 initial set. Start by placing player “O” at the foul line and then two defensive players (X’s) at the low blocks in rebounding position. All other players should start out at the FT line extended area of the floor and off the court to the side. There should be two defensive players on the left FT line area and three players on the right side. On the opposite side of the court, three more players should be on each sideline at the FT line extended area.

The action begins with “O” shooting a free throw. The two defensive players will take the ball off of the miss or make and then proceed down the court and finish with a 2 on 1 transition break.

3 on 2 Set: Once the 2 on 1 break is finished, the drill continues with two more players joining the outnumbered team on each possession. Therefore, 2 on 1 now becomes 3 on 2 as the ball is outlet to one of the two new players stepping onto the floor from the FT line extended area.

5 on 5 Set: The ball must be taken out after every make. Meanwhile, every outlet pass after a make or miss must be received below the FT line extended area. The drill continues as the 3 on 2 now becomes a 4 on 3, and then that becomes a 5 on 4. After the 5 on 4 possession, only one additional player enters the drill to make it a 5 on 5 drill. After the final possession, restart the drill by having X shoot a free throw with 2 O’s on the block.

Scoring: One point is earned for a made FT, two points for a made field goal, three points for a made three-pointer, and five points for any player who draws a charging foul. Play for five minutes with a continuous clock and keep a cumulative score for both teams.


Fastbreak Turnover Drill

Submitted by Eric Musselman, former head coach of the Golden State Warriors

This fastbreak drill improves a player’s ability to change direction quickly when in transition during a turnover. It also works on being able to catch passes on the move and make fastbreak layups at full speed.

Player 2 has the ball under the basket. Player 1 can stand anywhere on the floor. Player 2 then passes the ball to 1 and sprints toward him/her and touches the ball. As soon as 2 touches the ball, they will immediately sprint back towards the basket. Player 1 then lobs the ball over 2’s head. 2 must now get control of the ball and make a layup while going at full speed.

Player 1 will now move to another spot on the floor and 2 will grab the rebound after the layup. Player 2 will pivot, locate 1 and throw a pass back to him. He will continue the drill like before, sprinting towards 1 and touching the ball and then sprinting back towards the basket for the lob and layup.

The drill continues at full speed until Player 2 makes five layups in a row.


The following drills can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Aggressive Transition & Conditioning Drills” featuring Winning Hoops. To check out more drills or team plays, head over to our extensive Winning Hoops basketball collection.


Drake University Continuing Education Gold Medal Guarantee Sign Up for our Newsletter Request a Catalog Testimonials Career Opportunities
SecurityWorry-Free Shopping
Championship Productions, Inc. Follow danbergan on Twitter