We saw a youth team at a tournament this weekend do an absolutely perfect job of winning ground balls and moving it two passes to an open man to attack the goal! Teach your players this simple concept that turns ground balls into goals!
"Scoop It and Move It!" is a simple concept that we hear top high school and youth coaches teaching their players very early. For college coaches, this is a non-negotiable, hard Rule. We've also heard coaches saying "Scoop, Pass, Pass!" or "Move It Two!" Smart players know you have to move the ball away from pressure after getting the GB!
Ground Balls Win Games. Every good lacrosse coach knows that. If you are coaching beginning lacrosse players of any age, unfortunately you are going to spend a lot of time with the ball on the ground in a messy scrum. Ground balls turn into extra possessions, and extra possessions turn into extra scoring chances. Make the most of these extra opportunities if you want your team to be successful!
Here's Virginia vs Princeton, Virginia doing this twice in just 10 seconds. If you haven't watched their 2018 game, seriously, do it. This is one of the best games we've ever seen. Ever. Long Pole Goals, Diving Goals, Goals at the Buzzer! You can watch the whole game here.
Loose balls attract extra players and change everybody's position on the field. Any time you pick up a ground ball, somebody is probably open somewhere on the field.
Reinforce this Rule with your players every game, every drill, every loose ball. It will really pay off when your players learn to take messy, broken plays and turn them into exciting Goals!
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) Go for the Ball! When loose balls occur, the first thing your team needs to do is send enough guys to the ball. Youth players have the bad habit of standing and watching while their teammates fight for the ball.
"Swarm" the Ball! Some coaches teach their players to "Swarm" the ball in the offensive end, meaning everybody, all six (6) players on offense have to go help get the ball back.
- Start all your drills and games with ground balls to teach your players to "Scoop It and Move It!"
- Offense: Run to Daylight! Scoop and run to open space where you will have time and room to get your hands free to pass!
- Defense: Stay on the "D" (Defensive) side of the ball! In case the attacking team gets the ball, you will still be in good defensive body position, in between the attackers and the goal. Play Defense, "From Inside-Out"!
- Related: Teach your players to make "One More!" Pass to the open man.
- Related: Lax Lingo: Use "Find!" to help your players look for open teammates.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- Classic 2-on-1 Man/Ball Drill: One of the very first drills we all use, this classic ground ball drill can help your players learn to "Scoop It and Move It!"
- 3-on-2 from the Sideline: One of our favorite Summer Camp drills, this ground ball drill will teach your players to move the ground ball and attack the goal quickly!
- "The Numbers Game" Man-Down Practice Drill: One of our favorite practice games of all time! Teach your players to get ground balls and attack the goal quickly in unsettled game situations!
- The T-Shirt Drill for "Inside-Out" Defense: Use loose ball game situations to teach your Defenders to get in and cover the middle of the field first, then come out to challenge the ball.