One of our teams got beat getting back to play defense all day in our game this weekend, leaving a man on the other team open for easy goals every time they got the ball. Use this classic practice drill to teach your players get back in the "Hole" and play Defense "from inside-out".
Good defense starts with the feet, and that means having your feet in the right location on the field. Many younger and beginning players have the bad habit of chasing the man with the ball around at midfield, where he isn't really a threat to score.
This is a great way to teach your players fundamental defensive positioning- in between their man and the goal. The T-Shirt Drill teaches your players to get in front of the goal to cover the middle of the field first, then go out and guard the man they are covering.
This game is also sometimes called the Hopkins "Top Hat" drill. Johns Hopkins Coach Dave Pietremala bought an old Top Hat to put in the hole. You can use an old T-shirt or practice jersey, a cone, whatever you have on hand.
Here's THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Split your players into two teams, one for Offense and one for Defense.
Put your T-shirt, Top Hat, practice jersey or cone in the middle of the field, about 5 yards out from the top of the crease.
- Use the "T-Shirt!" call from the sideline at your next game to remind your players to drop back to the "Hole!" to play Defense when the other team has the ball.
- Call out mostly 1-3 for younger and beginning players, 3-6 for high school and more experienced players. Give your less-experienced players more space to work and more time with the ball.
- Make sure all your players get to play both sides of the ball in this drill- Offense and Defense. This is how you develop well-rounded athletes.
- Keep Time for your players' age and attention span in all your practice games and drills.
- Keep Score in all your practice games and drills to inject some added competition and intensity.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- The Animal Drill: Use this simple practice drill to work on everything from stick skills, game situations, to ground balls and dodging!
- 3-on-3 North Carolina Early Offense Drill: This fast-paced game-situation drill will teach your players to attack the goal quickly! 3-on-3 goals are easier to score than 6-on-6 goals.
- 3-on-2 Full-Field "West Gennies": A true Lax Classic, this great drill teaches your players to work the numbers advantage situation quickly before the Defense can get back to the "Hole".
- 5-on-4 "Spider" Defense Drill: This great drill for Defense will teach your players to recover to the "Hole" to help cover the middle when they are not responsible for guarding the ball.
Make sure to let us know if the T-Shirt drill helps your team play better Defense this season! Defense! Defense! Defense!