Lax Coach Mike Lacrosse Drill: 3v2 and Double Too

By Mike Muetzel,

This is a great twist to the usual 3v2 lacrosse drills run by many top NCAA lacrosse programs. We have mentioned before, "Perhaps our players are better at multi-tasking in drills than we as coaches give them credit for." And this is an awesome example.

It almost always beneficial to add a competitive ground ball element to lacrosse drills, but in this case coaches can take it an additional step. Let me back up a bit.

Have you ever watched a close lacrosse game where a single goal is all that separates the two teams at the end of the game? Have you watched as players attempt to double-team the ball, only to see a strong ball carrier run through or around them?

Have you ever seen a single player on a clear run past two or three players who miss the check within 10 to 15 yards of each other? Unfortunately, many of us have seen these examples from the sidelines. And it begs the question, "Have we as coaches done enough drills to increase the chance of a take-away in these critical situations?"

This drill offers us a chance to play fast, focus on competitive ground balls, move the ball, slide and recover, and add a double-team element, all while working with rosters of any age group or number of players.

But Be Creative

To begin, it is a simple 3v2 ground drill, but we want to be strategic about where on the field to initiate the drill. Thus, I might recommend beginning anywhere behind GLE or off to the side of the cage. The drill starts as a ground ball scramble with three offensive and two defensive players. I also recommend using a little creativity. I often see coaches continue to put players in five distinct lines next to each other, O-D-O-D-O. This is fine, but we have unique opportunity here to mix it up. In addition, we want to take the opportunity to make the drill more game realistic.

Have the five lines in a semicircle, or two offensive and one defensive player close to each other, and the additional offensive and defensive players seven yards away. Be creative and switch it up from day to day. The only caution here is not to have them line up across from each other and turn this into a bruiser hit-the-player-hard drill. Actually, most of the college coaches we interview have moved away from man-ball drills and more into individual competitions for ground balls even if a teammate is close by. Thus, we minimize interference calls and ever-increasing body check fouls.

Scramble Ground Ball

The goal is to get the ground ball and move it to capitalize on a mini-snapshot of transition.

If an offensive player gets the ball we immediately go pass, pass, to a 3v2 look at the cage. This is a huge opportunity! Each and every time we capture a ground ball in the offensive end, we have an opportunity to score in four to five seconds of transition.

If a defensive player gets possession of the ground ball, we immediately go into a double team with the two closest offensive players. In other words, if a defensive player gains possession, we immediately emulate an end of game situation where we must double the ball, even if we need to chase five yards with two players to get there. The defense has to clear and move the ball (often to the goalie) while fighting off or rolling away from the double team.

Double Teams

This may be a matter of coaching preference. Regardless, if we do not practice our prescribed technique for doubling the ball, players will not be in the best position to be successful. As many of you know, I am a 'trapping' style coach, and we practice this in some way every day.

Our style is to have a player on each outside shoulder of the player being double-teamed or trapped. We coach players to keep the stick in their outside hands and to form a V with the sticks on the outside and aggressively rake the ball carrier's stick down hard. For more on my style of coaching double teams, check out the article in my LaxPower library, "Double Teams for Turnovers and Transition." It is all about drills and progressions I have used to focus on traps. They work for me, and I hope they will for you.

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