1V1 Build Up Lacrosse Drill, from Coach Goldberg
The drill offers four, really five, quick lacrosse situations for the players. We begin by going 1V1, then 2V2, then 3V3, then 4V4, and finally we clear… all done in extremely quick succession. Players need to recognize the scenarios and work on the strategies for each scenario. This also allow lacrosse coaches to coach how we want players to react in two man game, a three man, and so on. And again, this drill does not come from me, but special thanks to Coach Goldberg, who describes the drill in his own words in the ‘Preview Sample’ for all members in the interview section. You should really listen and hear his passion.
This drill is run outside the box on a half field type scenario. We have four offensive players in the drill. The players are set up in kind of a diamond formation. We have an offensive player just outside the restraining line, a player outside the box in each alley, (they are about 12-15 yards above the goal line, but closer to the sideline), and a player at ‘X’.
We also have a line of defensive players at each of the stations. And, we have a pile of balls at each station. The other players are in line, both offense and defense at each station in the diamond formation, but well behind the action to allow as much room as possible. The coach needs to be awake as his quick double whistle is the end of a segment and the quick beginning to the next segment.
1V1 First Segment
We can begin the drill anywhere in the four stations, but in this example we will start with the ball in the hands (or picking up a ground ball) with the first offensive player at the restraining line. This offensive player begins by taking the first defender from the same line to the cage. We are in a basic 1V1 from up top. I might encourage the player to take the defender a little higher to get momentum to go, but regardless he drives 1V1.
This whole sequence is only six seconds or so…Coach Goldberg commented if the offensive player “puts him to sleep” then a quick double whistle and we move on… The player drives to a shot, or possibly a take-a-way from the defender. Immediately, the signal for the next portion of the drill is a quick, sharp double whistle from the coach. When the coach blows the quick double whistle, the offensive/defensive one on one players are done with that segment, or drop the ball as we move on. The offensive player in the next position (adjacent in the diamond formation) immediately pick up a ball, the defender from the same line joins the play, and we go 2V2 with the two players from the first 1V1 segment.
O – We want the player to drive quickly – get to the cage
O – North South Dodging
O – No ‘Butt’ Dodge
D – Stick position to force him outside to the alley
D – Good approach body position
2V2 2nd Segment
Now with the offensive and defensive players from the first segment, the adjacent offensive and defensive players join the drill. Now we are 2V2. The top defender needs to drop and help a little or be prepared to slide or protect the inside, or passing lane. The two offensive players are focusing on the now very popular in college ranks, “2 Man Game.”
This runs six to ten seconds, to a shot, or a take-a-way, (or putting the coach to sleep) then the sharp double whistle, and we add two more, in this case from ‘X’ which is where the ball and the action now begins. As we go 3V3.
O – On ball picking
O – Slip picking
O – Vacating or cutting through (depending on your offensive philosophy)
O – Disguising a pick
D – Drop in and help
D – Slide guy
D – Talking and working through ‘on ball picks’
3V3 3rd Segment
The offensive player at ‘X’ and the defender in line at that station now initiate the action and we are working 3V3, and coaching the three-man game. We want to focus now on not only handling the ball, picks on or off, but focus on off ball play. Cool drill eh?
This runs six to ten seconds, to a shot, or a take-a-way, (or putting the coach to sleep) then the sharp double whistle, and we add two more, in this case from ‘X’ which is where the ball and the action now begins. As we now move to 4V4.
O – Spacing and stretch the field (slides)
O – Down Screen
O – Off ball picks
O – Cut or vacate or ‘C’ Cut depending on your philosophy
D – Now we have a ‘hot slide’ or even a second slide with a recover
D – Stay where we can help
D – Work on communication, picks on and off ball
4v4 4th Segment
Following the quick, sharp double whistle the final players at the final station, in this case out on the far wing, adjacent, begin the action with the ball. Now we are 4v4. Here we have a lot of options as lacrosse coaches. Coach Goldberg talks about breaking it down to working on a two-man game on ball, and a two-man game off ball. This offers the players a true progression in the drill. Putting it all together in the fourth station. Or you might have the players go right into one of your sets, or work a three-man action and a crease guy, a ton of possibilities and options.
But again, these are all quick segments, six to ten seconds, to a shot, or a take-a-way, (or putting the coach to sleep) then the sharp double whistle, and final segment a clear.
O – Two man on and off ball
O – All kind of pick option on and off, fake, slip, etc
D – Communicate
D – approach, body positioning, head on a swivel…
D – Next slide
Final 5th Segment – Clear
If the defense takes it away, or even off of a shot, we go immediately to a clear. With a focus not only on the Clear, but the Ride as well. Make it aggressive; add a little competition for rewarding this segment. We talk a lot about the boring nature of practicing rides and clears, and this is a great way to integrate these critical but not often practiced segments.
And then, BOOM! We get double whistle and the ball starts up top at the restraining line for the 1V1 with the next group, and we go quickly to the next double whistle