Lax Coach Mike: Fast-Paced 3v3 Ground Ball Drill

By Mike Muetzel,

I just started using this basic drill, which I received from Jason Lange at Pfeiffer, and the players loved it. I am always looking to end practice with an upbeat lacrosse drill that is fast-paced and has some options.

The set-up is simple: three lines of white pennies at the Restraining Line facing the cage and three lines of dark pennies also lined up at the Restraining line and facing the cage. You may start by lining them up white-dark-white-dark every other line etc. Or I like to line them up two white, then two dark, then one white, then one dark, or a slightly different set-up every time you run the drill.

Since I am using this drill as a conditioning, fun and pace type drill, I like to have the team split up evenly using all positions mixed in each group.

The coach is stationed outside the box with the balls. He rolls a ball out, and players compete 3v3 for the ground ball. The team that gains possession is on offense, the other team is on defense, and they play to a shot or loss of possession. If there is a check knocking the ball loose or possession change, that rep is over and, with a quick whistle, the next group goes.

I like to run this drill very fast with a lot of reps, thus the conditioning portion. I will usually give the team that gained possession only 15-20 seconds to play to a shot.

You want to roll each ground ball to a different location, some short or towards the alleys, some towards the end line, you get the idea.


Even though the basic drill is pretty straightforward, you can mix it up and have some fun. We might say that the team that gains possession needs to ...

1. Begin with two completed passes (ground ball-pass-pass, my favorite).
2. Begin with an on-ball pick before going to the cage.
3. Begin by completing three passes.
4. Play seniors vs. underclassmen for a reward or picking up balls.
5. Play middies vs. attack and poles.
6. Run the drill 4v4 or 4v3.

Now we have six variations of the drill to keep it interesting for players. Please keep in mind each rep is 20 seconds or less, and players need to run down and back into line, and you will find the conditioning element is both fun and effective.

The drill can also be used by coaches when they sense the pace of practice is slow and lethargic. Even if it is not in your practice plan, insert this GB drill and get the pace of practice back where you want it to be.

Our players love it! is a unique site for lacrosse coaches, offering drills and ideas from the greatest coaches in the country. E-mail your comments to

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.


Create a free lacrosse website