We first saw this high-speed practice drill at training camp for one of the NLL teams this year. Even though this is a drill that Pro players do, you can use it to improve your players' stick skills, quickness, and Lax IQ, no matter what level you coach.
Box Lacrosse players have a reputation for attacking the goal quickly and for scoring in tight spaces. There's a very simple reason- Canadian and Box coaches tend to go more directly into dodging and finishing drills and 2-on-1 situations, instead of spending tons of time on Line Drills.
This drill is a great tool for working on both stick skills and game situations at the same time. You can use it for both indoor and outdoor practices. Beginners and first-year players will learn offensive and defensive strategies, plus a little catching and throwing as a bonus.
Here's THE DRILL:
Split players evenly into two teams. Set up two goals roughly 40 yards apart, with goalies in each cage.
Figure 1. Start with 3 players from each team on either side of the field in a triangle. Players should be standing roughly 5 to 10 yards apart from each other.
The player at the point of each triangle will start with the ball.
- Stay spread out. Attackers should keep a 5- to 10-yard distance to pull the Defender out and create space in front of the goal for an open teammate.
- "Play Defense from inside out." Teach your Defenders to stay in the Hole to cover the middle of the field. Step out to stop the ball, then Recover quickly to the middle to help. The Goalies should be communicating when to "Hold!" and when to "Go!" stop the ball.
- Be loud! Players should be communicating on Offense and Defense throughout the drill. Make sure they know what to say.
- Keep the intensity up by keeping time and keeping score for each game. The losing team should do some full-field sprints, hill sprints, Up Downs, Push Ups, etc. Invite the winners to get in some conditioning too!
- Make sure that all players are getting a chance to play both sides, Offense and Defense, which is crucial to developing well-rounded athletes.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- 2-on-1 Crossover Drill: Another NLL drill we saw this year, practice some different ways to move the ball, and imitate game situations.
- 2-on-1 Man/Ball to Goal: This classic drill teaches your players to work together to get ground balls and attack the goal quickly.
- 3-on-2 "West Gennies": Another Classic. If your players understand the 2-on-1, try this 3-on-2 drill for more reps and more challenge.
For youth teams all the way up to the Pros, this fast-paced, high-intensity indoor/outdoor drill is great for ever player. Try it at your practice and let us know what you think!