north carolina lacrosse attack

3-on-3 North Carolina “Early Offense” Drill

What if you could get the ball up to your Attackmen right away when you Clear from Defense to Offense? Players that know how to use open space can turn a quick clear into a goal-scoring opportunity at the other end of the field. Inspired by North Carolina Men's Lacrosse, this fast-paced drill will teach your players to attack the goal quickly, Dodge in open space, and work unsettled situations. As a bonus, it's great for conditioning and stick skills.

Here at Lax Library, we're big North Carolina fans, and of UNC Head Coach Joe Breschi in particular. We especially like the Attackmen he recruits to Chapel Hill--explosive players like the Bitter brothers, Joey Sanke and Marcus Holman that are fast and shifty, and can do exciting things in open space. Whereas other coaches tell Attackmen to stay deep during clears, Breschi likes to get the ball to his Attackmen to generate quick goals without waiting for the Defense to get set up.

Playing just 3-on-3 Attack against Defenders is easier than playing 6-on-6 all the time. Use this 3-on-3 Drill to give your players plenty of space to Dodge to attack the goal quickly and create the numbers advantage.


3 on 3 early offense drill basic setup

Figure 1. Start 3 Attackers and 3 Defenders on Goal Line Extended. Split your team into two squads. Mix your Long-Pole Defenders in with everybody else. Make sure all your players get the chance to play both sides of the ball.

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  • Be loud! Make sure open offensive players are calling for the ball, and Defenders are communicating who when to help.
  • Add in a Clear: Let the Defense Clear the ball past the midfield line to pratice their man-up advantage. With 3 Defenders plus the Goalie (3+1=4) against 3 Attack, now the Defense has the 4-on-3 numbers advantage.
  • Keep the intensity up in your drills by keeping time and keeping score for each round. The losing team should do some full-field sprints, hill sprints, Up Downs, Push Ups, etc.


  • 3-on-2 West Gennies: This Classic Drill teaches your players to attack the goal quickly before the Defense can get back to help.
  • 3-By 3-on-3 Practice Game: This is the #1 best practice game we've seen in years. No joke. We play tons of 3-By at camp.
  • 3-on-2 from the Sideline: Practice this basic "Wheel" play to imitate common game situations.
  • 4-on-3 Fast Break Drill: If your players understand 3-on-2, make sure they can run this very common play correctly.