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Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.25.23 AMMarquette – Be UnComfortable to Win, Lacrosse Drill
Coach Joe Amplo, Marquette

This is a great lacrosse coach and following my second podcast with Coach Joe Amplo it is easy to see why. In describing this drill, Coach Amplo continuously mentioned finding ways to put players in an uncomfortable situations, uncomfortable dodges and uncomfortable slides. His vehicle for this is a 5V5 drill with a number of unique components which they run two to three times a week at Marquette, and who can argue with their success?

In some ways the dialog jumps into the debate as to run plays or not run plays with the understanding that most goals come in some sort of unsettled situations, and this is how they prepare their players to be successful. But clearly the key teaching fundamental of this Marquette lacrosse drill is to be “unscripted.”

Coach is developing ways to create dodges from different areas where offensive players may not feel comfortable, and equally as important creating slide scenarios where defensive players need to communicate and be on the same page as a unit to be successful.

The 5V5 can emulate a slow break, or emulate a substitution situation but in this case it is all about dodging from different angles and figuring out how to stop them defensively as a unit.

Although Coach uses a 5V5 drill, he might begin with a 4V4 and build up, and then even continue into a 6V6 situation, but here is how they do it at Marquette. Coach Amplo begins the drill with a quick pass from a Coach to an offensive player.

So, in a 5V5, Coach keeps the ten players on the field for three reps with each group. And we can use any formation for the five offensive players but here are some examples of what they are likely to do in a Marquette practice.

First Rep

The offensive players are set up in a 1-3-1 formation and the drill begins with a quick pass to a wing player, thus creating a dodge from an “uncomfortable” place on the field and a unique slide reaction. A pass to start the drill and then we play to a shot or turnover. Generally each rep is 10-12 seconds.

Second Rep

Quickly the offensive players move into a different formation. At Marquette it may very well be a “Y” look with one player at “X”, two players in the crease, and two players at the corners of the Box up top. Generally the first pass into the drill is to the player behind and a dodge, or a two man game w a player from the crease, or a drive and pass back. … You are gonna love this… and they also may want to have three of the middies, (two up top, and one from the crease) immediately go into their motion look, fading out of the crease to top, replacing the crease middie in into their triangle movement as part of their motion. Now we play to a shot, goal, or quick outlet. Remember just 10-12 seconds for each rep. Pretty cool eh?

Third Rep

This is one I have not tried yet… now we have a player at “X”, two players in the crease, and the two players up top are in a “stack.” The initial pass goes to a middie up top in the “I” formation and we play. It might be a dodge with a mirror, it might be a pick, and we play to a quick shot, goal or save. This Coach is a genius.

Defensively following a save or a ground ball we can let them quickly clear to Midfield, but if they need to throw back, or move to more settled clear, a whistle blows and the next group or the next rep immediately takes place.

Remember the whole idea of the drill is to create an obvious dodge with an obvious slide man, all in an unsettled-like formation but perhaps more importantly, an uncomfortable dodge and an uncomfortable first and second slide. Defense needs to figure out as a group how to defend in these “Uncomfortable” or different situation.

These are not scripted “plays” but helping our players to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situation.

Just Click here to listen to Coach describe this drill in his own words, for all Free Members…

Love to get your thoughts below! Mike

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