Lacrosse Defensive Drills
Defensive drills in lacrosse are designed to help your team reduce the goals scored against it as well as improving fundamentals. While some defensive drills are individual, others focus on interacting with defensive teammates to make plays.
This poke-check drill helps improve players' ability to poke the ball lose from an offensive player. Have a group of defenders line up in a straight line. With their sticks up in an offensive attack position and you on the end, step forward so you are facing one of the first players in line. On the whistle, throw your stick up and out toward the head of the player's stick. Perform this twice before moving on to the next players, performing poke checks until you have performed one on every player in the line.
Foot Positioning Drill
Solid footwork helps a defender stay with an offensive player when he attempts to drop step or roll. Line up in front of an offensive player with your knees slightly bent and stick at an angle. Stand with your top foot up and facing the backside of the attacker. On your coach's whistle, the attacker should attempt to pivot and roll to evade you. As he rolls, drop step on your back foot to shadow him and block off his path to the goal. Repeat until fatigued.
As well as testing your conditioning, keepaway drills improve your ability to stop offensive players from attacking when your defense is shorthanded. Start by marking off a 10-by-10-yard box with cones. Have three attackers stand on three of the four corners of the box. With one additional defender, stand in the center of the box. On your coach's whistle, try to intercept the passes as they go between the three offensive players. Continue the drill until a pass is successfully intercepted.
Defensive pressure can lead to steals and changes of possession. Have four offensive players assemble in a diamond formation. Four defenders stand in the middle of the diamond. On your coach's whistle, three of the four defenders attack the player in the diamond with the ball. As you run toward the ball, have one defender drop back while another stays in the middle of the diamond. As the offensive player attempts to pass the ball away, try to block the ball with your stick. If the ball gets by the attacking defenders, have the other defenders attempt to intercept the pass.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.