Lax Coach Mike: Salisbury 3v2 Flat Line Outside GB

By Mike Muetzel,

I am a disciple of Coach Berkman at Salisbury. I am also a fan of fast drills that put players in a free-lance, "must think a little bit to be successful" lacrosse drills. So here we go.

This is a basic 3v2 drill, but the configuration is a flat line across GLE, with a coach with balls standing at the top of the restraining box (see diagram below). The three offensive players are in a line, two towards the outside of the box and one in the crease. The two defensive players are in tight at each pole outside the crease.

The coach simply rolls a ground ball to one of the outside offensive players, and we play 3v2. Where this gets interesting is typically in a 3v2 we start with spacing, often in a triangle formation, but in this case we are in a flat line, so the offensive players need to find open space or pick off-ball or even on-ball, and the two defensive players need to react accordingly.

With the starting configuration, the drill forces players to throw and catch in tight to the cage; thus, it has an element of a crunch drill. Repetitions in tight to the cage will be a little rough at first, but when players become accustomed to reacting and catching in tight, the result will pay dividends in games.

I really like to let players just play or freelance consistent with real game scenarios. However, when you first introduce this unique drill, you may want to script some of the offense. For example, when the outside offensive players touch the ball, script an off-ball pick with the two remaining offensive players. Or set up an immediate pick on-ball to a slip and play. The important concept is to keep your script to begin the drill consistent with the offense you want to run in games or more importantly best suites the talent on that team.

I have found that this drill requires players to communicate both offensively and defensively much more than in a typical 3v2. Another concept I love is that each rep of the drill is quick and different on every possession. I usually have the same five players stay on the field for three quick reps. I might even blow the whistle after 15 seconds to keep it moving. And in an actual game we would be unsettled only for four to five seconds before the defense recovers.

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

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