We saw two great new Hidden-Ball-Trick Man-Up plays this season. It's not something you should spend tons of time practicing if you haven't covered all the basics. But if your players understand how Man-Up works, then these could be fun ways to score some legit goals.
To some coaches, the HBT might seem cheap or flashy, but some really smart players from high school all the way to the Pros are using this technique to buy themselves some Time and Room while the Defense figures out who has the ball and who they are covering.
Of course there are lots of fundamentals you should be working on first- ground balls, catching and throwing, basic numbers-advantage situations, 2-on-1's, 3-on-2's, etc. But if your players understand how the numbers work in the 6-on-5 Man-Up situation, then maybe they're ready to work a little bit of flash into your Man-Up Plays.
There were some insane Hidden-Ball Trick (HBT) highlights in the 2015 college lacrosse season. Poor Virginia got hit by two of the best, first by Syracuse starting all the way back with their Goalie, perhaps the longest Hidden-Ball Trick of All Time.
Then Johns Hopkins got Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with their amazing, totally ground-breaking, revolutionary "Stick High Five" Play. We've never seen anything like it. It may take some practice if you want to try it with your team. Some of the best players on one of the best college lacrosse teams practiced that play all year to get it right.
The second one is much easier. We saw another great new HBT Man-Up play at one of the MCLA National Championship Tournament Games in California last month. They ran their Hidden-Ball Trick at "X", behind the goal. We actually saw a high school team run this same play recently. We think it's pretty good. You could try this one with your high school or youth team. The worst thing that could happen is it doesn't work...
1.) JOHNS HOPKINS "STICK HIGH FIVE" vs VIRGINIA 5/10/15
This play is revolutionary for two reasons:
1.) The Stick "High Five" Ball Exchange- to our knowledge there has NEVER been a stick exchange like this before. Sure plenty of players have tried it, but not in an NCAA Playoff Game! The ball exchange was up high like throwing a pass, in plain view, but it was so fast that nobody saw who had the ball.
2.) The Double Fake- As compared to most Hidden-Ball-Trick Plays where there is only one hidden ball exchange, this play had TWO! So the Defense had to figure out which of three guys had the ball, instead of the usual two suspects. This new ball exchange is so fast, they had time to do more than one fake hand-off!
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) Hopkins started in a 2-3-1 Formation. The Midfielder at the Goalie's top right (Blue 1) starts with the ball. Blue 1 and 2 run towards each other for the first "Stick High Five" ball exchange and change places.
The player at X (Blue 3) comes a little ways over to the wing to be closer for the second exchange, almost like a 3-1-2 or "3-3" Formation. This draws three of the five Red Defenders over to one side of the field.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- "Ball Reversals": Another more modern ball-exchange technique. Practice these flip passes with your team for one more way to move the ball and change things up on the Defense!
- 2-on-1 Cross-Over Drill: Practice the Hidden-Ball Trick or "Stick High Five" with this simple 2-on-1 Drill we got from the Pros!
- 3x "Three By" 3-on-3 Practice Game: Plenty of time to try the HBT or Stick High Five with this great 3-on-2 game. This is the best lacrosse training game we've ever seen! No joke.
- The "Numbers Game" Man-Down Practice Drill: Sneak in a Hidden Ball Trick as you practice any different numbers-advantage situation you want! One of our favorite games to play at summer camp!
Let us know if you use either of these Hidden-Ball-Trick plays with your team. Who knows, maybe you will be in the running for the "Greatest Hidden-Ball-Trick Play of All-Time"!