Defense Footwork and Ground Ball Drill
This is a classic drill that many coaches use in practice and pregame warm ups to get their Defenders' feet and sticks moving, ready to play good 1-on-1 Defense, and also to pick up loose balls and move them down the field right away.
Every good coach knows that Ground Balls Win Games. Use this great drill to imitate game situations right before game time. You can use it with your Long-Pole Defenders, Short Stick Defensive Middies, really any of your players that you want to be able to play good Individual Defense and pick up loose balls. (Hint: All of them.)
This simple drill starts with some Defensive Footwork for guarding the man with the ball. It then becomes a ground ball, passing and communication drill. These are the exact same fundamental skills and concepts you want your players to use during the game, so they better get plenty of reps and practice with them beforehand.
This drill is so simple you can run it anywhere on the field, and you can have your players run this drill themselves in small groups or by position (Midfield, Defense, etc.) in practice or before game time.
Here's THE DRILL:
Each rep should take no more than 5-8 seconds.
Figure 1.) Put your players in two lines, with the first two players in each line out in front facing Coach. Start in a good, athletic defensive body position with hands and sticks up. On the whistle, these first two Defenders will back-peddle to stay in between the imaginary man with the ball and the goal.
- Teach your players to move their feet to stay in between their man and the goal. Maybe Don't Teach the Poke Check First.
- "Scoop it and Move it!" Move the ball right away after loose balls to get it away from trouble.