Our youth players love this Lax Classic that coaches all over have used for years in practice. Teach your players to move the ball on Offense and help stop the ball on Defense in different Man-Up and Man-Down numbers advantage game situations.
We're not exactly sure why it's called the Mason Dixon Drill. We think it's because each team plays Offense and Defense against the other back and forth, attacking the same goal, much like both sides in the American Civil War captured and recaptured the same territory along the Mason-Dixon Line. (History lesson for the day.)
Numbers advantage situations happen dozens of times in every lacrosse game, especially with youth and beginning players. It's easier to score numbers advantage goals than settled 6-on-6 goals. Practice these same game situations so your players know how to move the ball to the open man when you get these critical scoring chances!
This drill is a classic for so many reasons. You can play it just about any day at practice with as few as 9 or 10 players. It works on stick skills, ball movement, defensive help and communication, Fast Breaks, goalie clearing passes, everything!
Plus, your players get to play both sides of the ball, Offense and Defense, so you can work on developing well-rounded lacrosse players!
Here's THE DRILL:
Split your team into two squads and put them in two lines up by the midfield line.
Figure 1.) Start the ball behind the goal with 3-on-2. Red will attack the goal from "X" with a 3-on-2 advantage. This is the same setup as an Attackman dodging from X.
Blue 1 and 2 will start on Defense ready to stop the ball once it moves in front of the goal. The ball can't score behind the goal, so there's no need to chase it back there.
- "Fireball!"-throw in a new loose ball if there's a bad pass or shot out of bounds to keep the drill going with the same players.
- Make sure all your players understand the 4-on-3 Fast Break so they know how to move the ball to the open man on Offense, and how to rotate to cover the "Ball!" on Defense.
- Switch the team that starts with the ball in the 3-on-2 each time so all your players get to play both sides of the ball in each different numbers advantage situation.
- Make sure you keep time in all your drills and games for your players' age and attention span.
- This is an excellent drill to keep score to inject some competition and intensity into practice.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- 2-on-1 Cross-Over Drill: You can't play 3-on-2 or 4-on-3 if your players don't understand 2-on-1 first. Use this great 2-on-1 drill we saw Pro players using in their pregame warm ups!
- 5-Pass 2-on-1 Drill: Another really simple drill we saw Pro players using at training camp last year!
- 3-on-2 "West Gennies": Another true Lax Classic. Tons of transition, tons of goals, tons of fun with this great drill.
- 4-on-3 Fast Break Drill: Make sure your players understand the basics of the 4-on-3 Fast Break so they know how to move the ball to the open man on Offense, and how to rotate to cover the ball on Defense.
Have fun with this one! Our players love this game any day we play Mason Dixon at practice.