Drill from Lax Coach Mike: Two-Man Picks with Pace

By Mike Muetzel, LaxCoachMike.com

All coaches who are fans of lacrosse now realize that "two-man games" are here to stay at least for a while. We have:

1) The true pick

2) The traditional pick and roll

3) And now the increasingly popular pick and slip

But focusing on pick play during practice can really slow down the pace. So how do we reinforce the offensive and defensive fundamentals of pick plays without having 20 players just standing around?

Often we can integrate pick play into other drills (you may want to check out my previous article on two-man games) such as a 4v4 with picks on ball or off ball. But some days we might want to reinforce the concepts in a very quick drill without slowing down practice or spending a lot of time. For example, this is a great drill to run the day before a game to reinforce the offensive and defensive concepts of the two-man game. We run it for only seven or eight minutes and focus on defensive communication or possibly on a tendency from our next opponent we have noted from scouting. Keeping the pace very fast is the key.

This simple drill is fast-paced and works for us. We begin with two lines of offensive middies about 10 yards above the restraining line, with two lines of defensive middies. Behind the cage we have two lines of attackmen and two lines of poles. The drill runs kind of like a toggle drill, which really helps the pace and keeps more players active.

If we start up top, the first offensive middie throws a hard pass to the second offensive middie and then sets a pick and we play. After only three to five seconds, blow the whistle and run the same action behind with the attackmen. A quick hard pass and then set the pick and play. Immediately the whistle blows, and we go with a new group up top, then quickly go with a new group behind, and so on with players rotating in and out of the respective areas.

I will often choose a specific focus for the drill each day. Mostly we work on the pick and slip. It is difficult to throw with any velocity, as it is only an eight-yard pass. As the ball carrier approaches the pick (and before he actually gets there), the picking player slips off for the pass. This is really effective against teams that like to double-team the pick or those teams that like to switch off the pick. Regardless, we are really emphasizing defensive communication.

We focus on throwing the pass directly at a teammate's head to let him adjust. On the picks behind, rather than set the pick directly at X, we will set them closer (45 degrees) to GLE. Players need to be aware of their teammate's strengths and react accordingly. If the offensive teammate is a righty, they need to adjust and set the pick where he can come hard with his right hand and adjust to let a lefty to come hard to his left.

Keep the toggle action very fast, and you can get numerous repetitions with a lot of players in just seven to 10 minutes.

I hope you share your thoughts.

LaxCoachMike.com is a unique site for lacrosse coaches, offering drills and ideas from the greatest coaches in the country. E-mail your comments to mike@laxcoachmike.com.

All of the previous articles on coaching and drills from Lax Coach Mike can be found on the Lacrosse Drills, Instruction, and Training page. His eBook is also available.


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