Drill Specs

Drill Theme:

Ground Balls

Field Position:


Drill Style:


Time Needed:

5-10 min

Field Location:

Inside 12m fan

Skill Level:

Basic, Can be progressed



To improve players’ ability to cleanly pick up and maintain control of the ball under heavy defensive pressure. This drill emphasizes full speed groundball pick-ups. Players will need to get low and pick up the groundball cleanly without slowing down. Players will need to maintain control of the ball after the pick up as defensive pressure will continue.

Drill Description

In this drill there will be three players going after a groundball (toward or away). The object will be for the middle player to get the ball and maintain control while the two outside players apply heavy defensive pressure. Any player can gain control of the groundball but the initial offensive player should be the middle player in the line of three (in this drill they will be X2). If X1 or X3 gets control that is OK. Once a player gains control they try to make a move and go to goal while the other two players apply defensive pressure.

Drill Execution

  • The drill begins with players about 10 feet apart on the goal line extended. The coach is 15-20 yards away and rolls the ball (groundball toward) or blows their whistle which releases the three players to go after the groundball.
  • The key to gaining control is that X2 takes off full speed and uses proper groundball technique to get the ball off the ground and go to goal. Players need to be focused on getting a clean groundball on the first try at full speed. Players need to begin to get their stick in position early and ensure that their stick is parallel to the ground. This position puts them in immediate advantage over the defenders. Boxing the closest defender out increases their advantage of getting the groundball and minimizes the defenders ability to check their stick.
  • Teaching cues are “knuckles to the ground” and “accelerate the stick head under the ball”. Encourage defenders to use proper defensive techniques and apply heavy pressure to the player attempting to get the groundball. If one of the defenders can get the groundball then they get to go to goal.
  • The offensive player must make aggressive moves to the goal once they gain control of the ball.
  • Defenders should be focused on using good defensive positioning and techniques before and after the groundball pick up.

Drill Diagram: 

Skills Practiced:

  1. Full speed play
  2. Awareness of defenders
  3. Going to goal

Variations/Progression/Increased difficulty (As your players improve their skills incorporate the following…)

  • Alternate groundballs to and away
  • Start with defenders X1 & X3 a step behind X2 to allow X2 to get a step on them
  • Add an offensive player once the groundball is picked up and make defenders adjust.
  • Begin with no checking then move to checking
  • Introduce a dodge after each scoop