This is another great drill we got from one of the coaches at MLL open tryouts. It's a great way to practice getting the ball through "X" during 5-on-4 Slow Breaks so your players understand this other common game situation.
If the Pros are using this drill, you probably should too! It will give you a good idea of your players' athleticism, stick skills, and game situation IQ all at the same time!
5-on-4 Slow Breaks happen almost as often as Fast Breaks. These numbers-advantage goals are easier to score than settled 6-on-6 goals in our opinion. Make sure your team does Slow Break Drills just as much as 4-on-3 Fast Break Drills in practices, tryouts and pregame warm-ups.
Not many teams run the Slow Break behind the goal through "X". They're called Slow Breaks because the play takes longer to develop with more players involved. Syracuse used to be the kings of running the Slow Break through "X".
Get the ball behind the goal to get turn the Defenders' heads. Draw their attention behind the goal to create space for cutters coming into the play from up top. The Attackman with the ball at "X" can be the Quarterback of the play and find the open man in front of the goal!
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Start your players in two lines. One line of Attackers (Blue) up top in one corner of the field, and one line of Defenders (Red) down low in the opposite corner of the field.
On each whistle, five (5) Blue Attackers will come out to get the loose ball, and four (4) Red Defenders will sprint to the "Hole" to cover the middle of the field.
- Keep the drill moving quickly! The Pro guys were getting reps every 15-20 seconds. After a goal, save or a turnover, blow the whistle and start a new rep. These numbers-advantage situations don't last very long in games!
- Make sure all your players are getting the chance to play both offense and defense. Give your Long Stick Midfielders the chance to work the Slow Break if they will be bringing the ball down field in games.
- Keep Time and Keep Score in all your practice games and drills.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- 4-on-3 Fast Break Drill: Make sure your players understand this more simple game situation before moving onto more complext 5-on-4 situations.
- 4-on-3 from 2-on-1 Up Top: This simple variation of the classic 4-on-3 Fast Break is a great drill for youth and high school teams.
- 5-on-4 Slow Break Drill: Any decent team can get at least one Midfielder back on Defense after a turnover. Use this simple drill to practice this other common game situation.
- 5-on-4 Slow Break Ground Ball Drill: We saw one of the top NCAA teams using this great combination skill drill on the first day of practice last year.