ground ball defense approach practice drill

Figure 8 Approach Ground Ball Drill for Defense

This is a simple variation on one of our favorite classic Line Drills. It gives your players, especially your Defenders, tons of ground ball and stick skill work, with a focus on "Defensive Approach" to the ball!

We got this one when we were lucky to do some preseason work with one of the coaches from Boston University, who are having a terrific season right now, sitting at 6-2. Almost all their games so far season have been close and exciting. They take on Army at West Point this Saturday. They are definitely one of our favorite teams to watch right now. LET'S GO TERRIERS!

Maximize Touches and Repetitions in all your Drills!

This is another great small group drill you can do any day at practice, anywhere on the field. It keeps all your players active and involved, and combines multiple skills for game situations that every high school and college player definitely needs.

"Approaches" are SO HOT Right Now!

"Defensive Approach" to the ball is such a critical skill in games, that many teams are almost designing their entire Offense around it. Everybody's doing it. After all, "Approach" is the "A" in the ABCD's of Individual Defense! And everyone knows, "Defense Wins Championships!"

Defensive Approach means- getting in to help cover the middle, AND being able to get back out to cover your man when he gets the ball; getting to the ball quickly, but under control; getting a stick in the gloves of the Ball-Carrier without sacrificing good body position, ready to drop step and pursue the Dodger.

These are all critical skills that every Defender needs every time the ball moves. You better spend a lot of practice time on it! Top College, High School and Club Coaches definitely are.


We like to do this drill across the field or on the sides of the box while we warm up our Goalies. This is also a great positional drill to do with your Defenders and SSDM's during Shooting Drills for your Offense.

figure 8 ground ball defense approach practice drill

Figure 1.) Start your players in groups of three in one line, about 20 yards apart. Start one player (Blue 1) in the middle with the ball. Make sure you have back-up balls for each group to keep the drill and your players moving!

Every player in each group of three will be in the middle for one minute. Each player should be in the middle 2-3 times, so you can do this drill in 6-10 minutes of practice.

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