Put Passion in Practice with 2v1 in Just 5 Minutes

By Mike Muetzel, LaxCoachMike.com

Perhaps the one key, often highest priority with all of the great college coaches we interview is speeding up the pace of practice. Players have more fun, players have to pay attention and are engaged as things go quickly, and transitions build ball movement.

In a recent interview, Hartford head coach Peter Lawrence shared an awesome, quick drill he uses to get the juices flowing in practice in five minutes or fewer. Actually, he runs the drill for just two minutes, giving each player on a much larger roster five reps and a lot of touches in this short period of time.

The drill is a very fast-paced 2v1 to maybe 2v2 and can easily be run on two cages at the same time or one cage if you are coaching by yourself. The set-up is simple. Divide the players into two colors of pennies, let's say half in Red and half in White. Your short sticks and poles are equally split into the two teams. Everybody plays offense, and everybody plays defense.

We have two lines of two players in the alleys outside the lines on each side of the restraining box (Red). Directly opposite them, we have two lines in the other far alley (White). And we have a goalie in the cage.

To begin the drill, we need a player from one side to start in the hole to be the first defender in the first repetition of the drill. So in this variation, the 2v1 will be played out with players flying in from one side of the box from the alley.

The coach rolls a ball out to White (2 players), and they play 2v1 quickly to a shot. Then the player who was not last to touch the ball is in the hole as the new defender, and his teammate in White (the last player in White to touch the ball) immediately sprints to the restraining line at the top of the box and quickly recovers to the hole, hopefully turning the 2v1 into a 2v2, all while the Red two players are sprinting from the other side and pushing into the 2v1 drill.

After the first repetition of the drill, the coach very quickly either rolls out a ball and re-starts with a quick whistle, or he has the players entering from the opposite alley (Red) as offensive players start with a ball, immediately following the shot or perhaps the coach blowing a whistle because the offense put him to sleep.

Regardless, it is 2v1 from one side to a quick shot, players flying in from the other side of the field to 2v1 to maybe 2v2, with players always pushing the ball.

This fast drill encourages a tremendous amount of hustle from the players (I touched the ball last, now I need to sprint to the top of the box and get back). It offers up a fast 2v1 to 2v2, it is really a shooting drill, and it encourages players to quickly recognize and make plays as well as defenders learning to handle the ball in close quarters near the cage and attack players learning to play defense. High pace and high energy will add passion to your practices and keep the kids moving and engaged.

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