lax lingo bounce off defense pass shoot

Lax Lingo: “Bounce!” Away from the Defense to Pass or Shoot

Top college coaches use "Bounce!" to help players get away from Defenders to get their hands free to pass or shoot when under pressure. Players at every age and level need to know and practice this easy move!


The #1 most common problem we have with our beginning and intermediate players, boys and girls, is that they try to shoot or pass with a Defender (or two!) right in their faces and in their hands. It's almost impossible to make a good decision, or execute good fundamentals under pressure like that. In fact, most players will panic and just throw the ball away. Most of the time they also end up on the ground, frustrated and upset, while the rest of the team has to run back and play Defense. We've all been there.


Earlier today we were listening to Duke Head Coach John Danowski talk about how to "Bounce" in an old shooting drill video. We first heard about it in the gold classic Mark Millon's Offensive Wizardry video that we've all seen about a million times, right? Even though it's an old term, we're using it every day with all of our teams, from youth to college, men and women.

Just like a "Step Back" in basketball, "Bounce!" is a specific move that your players will need multiple times every single game and practice to create separation from a Defender or Defensive Double-Team. They need enough space to get their eyes up, and be able to see and recognize what to do with the ball, and have their hands free to successfully make the right pass or shot. Sounds complex, but it's actually very simple.

lax lingo bounce away from defense hands free pass shoot offense play practice drill


Below, we explain several game situations and locations where you and your players will recognize where and when they need to "Bounce!" away from the Defense in order to be able to pass or shoot. Use this specific terminology so your players know exactly what you mean and exactly what they should do in a given situation. The more specific you are with everything, the more success you and your players will have.

After that, we will direct to you to our favorite Dodging, Passing, and Shooting Drills we use to give our players the maximum touches and repetitions Bouncing and moving the ball in game situations.


lax lingo bounce away from defense hands free pass shoot offense play practice drill

Figure 1.) The good ol' "Alley Dodge" is a very common play that most teams use for their base offense, either out of a standard 2-3-1 formation, or more commonly now out of a 3-1-2 or "3-3" formation. Here, Blue 1, with the ball, will use a Left-to-Right Split Dodge and attempt to run to the goal and shoot.

  • Related: Team USA had trouble defending this 3-1-2 Alley Dodge against Canada and the Iroquois at the 2018 World Championships in Netanya, Israel.

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Use the Dodging, Passing and Shooting Drills below to give your players plenty or reps bouncing and passing in game situations: