June 23, 2009

This artical originally appeared in the "Your Edge" section of May's Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Your Playbook: Pentagon Drill

This drill was excerpted from “Go To Drills,” a manual of women’s lacrosse drills developed by US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program authors Scott Biron, Kateri Linville and Janine Tucker. Purchase the entire manual by visiting www.uslacrosse.org and clicking on “USL Shop.”

Purpose: This drill emphasizes dodges, passing and cutting for offensive players. Defenders must communicate, play good on-ball and off-ball defense and position their sticks properly.

Set-Up: Station five cones in the shape of a pentagon about 10 yards apart. Place a sixth cone at the center of the drill. One offensive and one defensive player stand at each of the five cones. Defenders stand closest to the inner cone.

Progression 1: Establish defensive positioning. The first step is to get the ball moving offensively and to allow the defenders to adjust their positioning and their angles relative to where the ball is. In this progression, the attackers will be moving the ball, but will not be trying to drive to the inside cone.

• Can each defender see the ball and their player, and are they communicating with sticks up?

Progression 2: Deny the lane to the cone. Defenders are looking to deny the attackers’ path to the cone. Attackers are moving the ball and trying to dodge or pass to a teammate to get to the inside cone. Defenders are denying the path to the cone by doubling the ball, denying cuts or playing solid 1v1 defense.

• Are defenders aggressively looking to come up with 50-50 balls that are on the ground? Are off-ball defenders at good angles to hedge and double-team?

Progression 3: Full out drill. Play for three minutes. Offense gets a point if it gets to the cone, and defense gets a point if it forces a turnover. First team to 10 wins.

• Are defenders communicating and keeping their sticks up? Are attackers working hard to get to the inside cone using strong dodges, cuts and accurate passes? Skip passes are certainly allowed.

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