Jeff Shirk | @coach_shirk
- Position goals at the top of the restraining boxes to shorten the field.
- Split your team in half and separate by jersey color.
- Set up three lines behind each cage—offensive and defensive players together. Defensive guys, faceoff guys and defensive middies should all handle the ball.
- Goalie starts with ball and three players on one side. Two players step in front of the opposite goal as defenders.
- Goalie outlet to wing starts the drill.
- Ball carrier attacks the middle of the field.
- Encourage the two outside wing players to beat the ball down the field and curl back to receive the pass. If they’re running on the same plane as the ball carrier, passes will wind up being too far in front or behind. You want to keep good spacing.
- After a shot or turnover, the last offensive player to touch the ball exits the drill. The remaining two offensive players hustle back to play defense.
- Three new players step up. Goalie starts a new 3-on-2 going the other way with an outlet pass.
- Everyone plays offense and defense. It trains defensemen, long-stick middies, short-stick d-middies and faceoff guys to be just as good stick-handlers as your offensive guys.
- It forces players to focus on fundamentals in confined spaces.
- It’s a great stickhandling warm-up, with disguised conditioning. There are no second opportunities. As soon as the ball hits the ground, it’s dead.
- Attack the middle of the field.
- Point man stays high, reading the low defensemen.
- Wings keep sticks in their outside hands.
- “One more.” Make the extra pass. Don’t settle for an 8-yard shot when you can get a doorstep dunk.
- Point defenseman forces ball carrier to make a decision with the ball and keep a vertical string to the low-opposite pipe (opening his hips to the ball).
- Low defenseman takes the first pass and maintains a horizontal string to the low men on the pipes.
Photo Credit: Kevin Tucker
Jeff Shirk presented this drill at the 2013 US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion. Don’t miss out on more conventional wisdom. Save 28% off walk-up registration for the 2014 Convention (Jan. 10-12 in Philadelphia) through Jan. 2.