Lax Coach Mike: 3v2 Recognize and Communicate Drill

By Mike Muetzel, LaxCoachMike.com

As you know, we love transition drills, but even basic 3v2 transition drills–if run every day from the same place–can occasionally result in the same passing and sliding sequences, as the players already know where to go both offensively and defensively. They already know where to react, as they have run the static version of the drill many times.

Especially as your teams progress, adding recognition and communication aspects are important, as things never go exactly the same way in games. Recognizing the scenario and communicating are essential to surviving the 4-5 seconds of transition as we simulate a player getting beat, sliding, recovery, and forcing more passes until we might get back to even.

I love this drill. It is really a version of what Dartmouth coach Andy Towers referred to as their "Swing Drill." In this case, we have three lines of offensive players and two lines of defenders, both of which can be stationed anywhere on the offensive end. As your teams progress, increasing the level of recognition and options cannot only emulate snapshots of transition in games, it also makes drills more fun, different, effective, and engaging for players.

We begin with three lines of offensive players and a cone at each station. Ten yards from each offensive line cone, we place another cone. The first time you try this drill, just designate one of the offensive lines in advance to carry the ball around the cone and into the drill. When the coach blows the whistle, the player at the front of the line, designated to start with a carry, sprints around the cone 10 yards away. The other two offensive players also sprint (in this case without the ball) around the cone 10 yards adjacent to their cone/line, and all three enter the drill. And we have a goalie in the cage.

By having the players sprint around an adjacent cone before entering the dill, we give the two lines of defensive players an opportunity to enter the drill on the fly and recognize the scenario. This basically describes the "Swing Drill" in its basic form.

In this variation below, we want to increase the difficulty and recognition a bit. So we have two of the offensive lines and the adjacent cones back by the end line behind the cage and one offensive line up top (again, it could be anywhere). The two defenders are going to enter the drill from one side, about 15 yards off to the side of the cage and GLE (see the diagram at the end).

We play 3v2 to a quick shot. With a missed pass or errant shot, immediately blow the next whistle, and a new group immediately enters the next rep of the drill 3v2.

Why This Configuration Is so Awesome

1. In this configuration, we can emulate a player getting beat behind the cage and then a slide as well as potentially an open player up top, emulating a back-cut into space, slides, and communication.

2. In many cases in this drill, the first slide for one of the defenders can be brutal, often 10-15 yards or more, and they really need to sprint to the spot, all while being under control. And as quickly as they sprint to the spot, establish a good defensive position/posture, and force a pass, they need to sprint back to the hole in recovery.

3. If you are like me, when we are in transition defense, we do not want to cover a player behind the cage. The player can't hurt us as we try to survive the 4-6 seconds that we need before the player that got beat returns to make us even again. This drill also reinforces that positioning of the defenders in front of GLE in transition snapshots.

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2013-11-04



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