Coaching Drill from Lax Coach Mike: 3v2 React Drill

By Mike Muetzel, LaxCoachMike.com

As you know, I am a huge proponent of changing drills at practice to make them different each day, which keeps players engaged and interested. You also know that I love very fast-paced drills, where players are always on the move, rotating in and out every five to six seconds, usually in transition and moving the ball quickly. I also want to establish a fun way to reinforce fundamentals, in this case, catching the ball with the outside shoulder, in some cases forcing players to catch left-handed, as well as using fast ball movement.

If you have been reading our materials, you also know that we love 3v2 and 4v3, which open up the field, force defensive players not only to slide but also to recover quickly, with hips and stick to the inside passing lanes. These drills also open up the field so players of all ages, even youth players, know there is a man open and that with one more pass we can get to the backside pipe for a great look.

But as the season and practices wear on, even different drills can have the same look or same passing patterns. For those of you still running traditional 'L' fast break drills, I rest my case. As we interview more NCAA coaches, we are learning there are ways to structure the drill to make each and every repetition potentially different. This is critical, as the game of lacrosse is extremely fluid, and different scenarios just happen without falling into the same pattern. Players need to think and react, and as coaches we can, with a little creativity, prepare them to reinforce fundamentals, all under changing conditions.

That is why our kids love this drill. It offers choices, forces players to think a bit and react to alternatives, and is unpredictable, rarely falling into a static pattern. And it runs very quickly.

This basic 3v2 drill can be modified to run anywhere on the field. For the sake of this example, we are focusing on running the 3v2 from both alleys. Since most coaches still run 3v2 only top to bottom or bottom to top, this is a great alternative. More unsettled ground balls or drops in games take place on the wings anyway.

Rather than run 3v2 with a straight line of O-D-O-D-O off a ground ball in the alley, we are beginning the drill with two offensive players at the top of the box in one alley, with one line of defenders. In the opposite alley at the top of the box, we have a single line of offensive players, and a little lower towards GLE a single line of defensive players. In the diagram at the bottom, we use A to designate offensive players. Next to each line of the top offensive players is a pile of balls, and each offensive player at the beginning of the two top offensive player lines has a ball in his stick.

The coach is at the top of the box. The coach begins the drill by pointing his arm and finger at one side or the offensive line on the other side and blows a quick whistle. The top offensive player on the side that the coach pointed to (he already has a ball in his stick) charges to the cage. On the whistle, all the players (first in line) also run into the drill, and we have 3v2 to a very quick look at the cage. The offensive player in the far, opposite alley drops the ball in his stick before joining the drill.

Generally we want to get a shot off in five to eight seconds, although it may play out a little longer, but remember we are coaching quick ball movement. We are focusing on outside shoulder passes. In other words, if the player to the right side facing the cage catches the ball right-handed (inside shoulder), the drill is immediately over, and we begin with the next group with point and a whistle.

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2012-04-25



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