Lax Coach Mike: 3v2 Triangle Crunch Lacrosse Drill

By Mike Muetzel,

In our podcasts with top college lacrosse coaches over the last year, we have found a significant increase in the use of lacrosse drills done in a small, confined area. On my site, we refer to them as "crunch" drills, as the playing area for the drill has been crunched down to a very tight space.

Perhaps it is the Canadian influence or the box lacrosse influence. Regardless, it is a great way to coach quick recognition, quick ball movement, and fast inside transition lacrosse.

The drills are generally done in a 3v2 format with a focus on fundamentals and with the challenges of an extremely tight area. Defensively, it is a slide fundamental drill, one defender on the ball, while one defender is in the hub or crease area. After each offensive pass, the defender on the ball retreats to the hub as the defender in the hub slides out to the pass.

Offensively, the drills often include a right-hand as well as a left-hand component from the sides of the confined area as well as a focus on very quick, short ball movement passes. It can be a challenge for teams at first, but the benefits are awesome.

In my recent podcast, Coach Ryan McAleavey from FIT shared a crunch configuration I had not seen before. I used it last night, and players loved it.

In this case, the crunched area is in the form of a triangle in front of the cage. I put the cones about 12 yards on each side of GLE with the top cone about 15 yards higher. When you first introduce the drill, or if you have not used crunch drills in the past, you might want to make the space a few yards larger. One key element of this configuration that I had not seen in other crunch lacrosse drills was the inherent focus on defensive slides in more of a lateral motion in front of the crease.

We have options to start the drill. The first time you run it, you may want just a single line carry the ball on the whistle to begin as two defenders enter the drill, and we play. As the players adjust to the drill, the coach can make a pass to any one of the three lines to begin. This varies each rep and is a little more challenging for defenders, as they must react and adjust not knowing ahead of time where the ball carrier will enter the drill.

Players rotate lines to ensure they get touches with right and left hands. Each rep is but two or three quick passes, then a whistle, and a new group for the next rep. The drill runs with a very fast pace, with reps almost every six or eight seconds.

I usually close these drills with a competitive element. We play best of five, with the offense getting a win with a goal, and the defense getting a win with any type of stop. And we play for 15-20 pushups. Occasionally I will close a practice with this fast-paced drill for sprints or picking up balls.

Have a blast with 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.


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