Lax Coach Mike: Hopkins Weak Side 2v2 ... with a Twist

By Mike Muetzel, LaxCoachMike.com

We always get great lacrosse drills from head coach Dave Pietramala at Johns Hopkins. His drills are designed to meet a specific need or game scenario. In today's lacrosse, one of the key elements to any offense, much like basketball, is first finding ways to get the ball to the weak side quickly and second capitalizing on weak-side match-ups before the defense is in full recovery.

Let's start with the basic configuration and principles of the drill, and then I will share how they run this as a toggle drill at a very fast pace. On our teams, we often emulate this fundamental in shooting drills, but this is probably more game realistic and our kids love it.

To begin, we are going to have two offensive players on one side of the restraining box. Outside the box are two lines of soon-to-be-in-the-drill offensive players. (I do not put out marker cones, but you may want to think about it the first few times you run the drill.) We also have two corresponding players on defense and a goalie in the cage.

The whole idea of the drill is not only to quickly get the ball to one of the two offensive players (in this case emulating getting the ball to the weak side) but to quick strike once we re-direct the ball to the weak side. We can accomplish this in two ways, by passing over the top or re-directing through 'X'. In this case, we are going to emulate quickly re-directing the ball over the top to the weak side and then immediately be in a quick strike offensive mode.


Offensively, we need to react quickly but have options. The player receiving the initial pass can drive to the cage, or we can go into a myriad of two-man looks with picks, slips, dodge, re-dodge off a pick or whatever these two offensive players decide to do with the possession. However, I love to run this drill unscripted. In other words, the two offensive players need to read each other. It may be a clear through for the dodger, or it might be a pick play. They decide, react, and run it.

In a game, once we get the ball to the weak side, we want to initiate quickly. Thus, in this drill, we want the two offensive players to operate on the weak side, not run around the entire field. In that way it is almost a "crunch drill" as well in a limited space. We allow a little latitude in where they go, but it needs to be a quick set of actions resulting in a quick look at the cage.

Are you still with me so far? On the opposite side of the box, there are also two lines of offensive players. They are not in the drill. You can have the top-side player line or the player closer to GLE line, on the far side of the box, with a ball. One of these two offensive players not in the drill initiates the action by throwing a pass (emulating the re-direct to the weak-side) to either of the two offensive players in the drill. And with the two lines of defensive players, make it interesting by positioning them in different locations every time you run the drill.

Although we have four offensive lines, only two players play at a time. The far side line is there to throw the initial pass and then will be in the next 2v2 rep. We play quickly to a shot, perhaps under 10 seconds, because by then the defensive would have fully recovered. Immediately, we "toggle" the drill to the other side. The two players on the far side and their defenders now enter in the drill. As this is a new rep, the initial pass comes from the previous line, and we go! One side begins play with a quick pass from a player not in the drill, to a shot, to the reverse. We play one side and then the other very quickly for seven to 10 minutes. Since by the nature of the drill one side is more right and the other side is more left, have the offensive players rotate into all four lines.

We also can create a new look by having the initial pass go through 'X' where the offensive player comes and meets the pass behind and plays from there as well. This is a better look if you want to work on re-directing the ball through 'X'.

Enjoy! I would love to hear your comments and feedback.



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.

2016-07-12



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