Lax Coach Mike: The Duke Sling It! Lacrosse Drill

By Mike Muetzel,

In my recent podcast with Duke head coach John Danowski, he shared a really fun transition drill that has a built-in conditioning element as well. They call it "Sling It!"

This is a great drill for building energy in practice or to end a practice on an upbeat note. At Duke, it is a full field 2v1 drill with 2v1 action moving from one side of the field to the other, back and forth. But with younger teams, you may want to bring the cages a little closer and move them up 10-15 yards.

The drill begins with the goalie making an outlet pass all the way past the midfield line to one of two offensive players on the far end of the field, where we also have one defensive player. Once the offensive player (on the far side of the midfield line) catches the pass, he and his offensive teammate quickly play 2v1 to a shot against the single defender.

Immediately the goalie on that end "slings" the ball the other way past the midfield line, where we now have two other offensive players and a single defender, and we play. So, this drill has a lightning pace, back and forth full field or close to it, with each rep being initiated with a 50-yard or so "sling" pass from the goalie.

As you can imagine, this drill provides a lot of conditioning and, depending on the size of your roster, after five or six minutes we have had players run a number of simulated sprints. And in this case the sprints are also filled with ball movement and transition. I've tried it just one time so far, and players loved it ... well, all the players perhaps with the exception of the goalies and the 2v1.


This drill can just as easily be run (depending on the size of your roster) with three offensive players and two defenders, thus a 3v2 each way following the long outlet pass.

Another great option is to split your team evenly into two groups, including poles, middies, and attack on each squad. Now we have the poles and/or D-middies also carrying the ball in transition. This option spreads the conditioning element to all the players and offers a great opportunity for poles to see the offensive side of the field in a transition setting. I think your players will love it!

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