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Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 8.36.10 AMThe “Joker Lacrosse Drill” St. Leo University
Coach Brad Jorgenson

Love this drill. Love this Coach. I have been writing up NCAA Lacrosse Drills for about ten years. That is over 230 unique drills or twists on lacrosse drills I have written up between my site and Laxpower.com. This is one of the most unique looks I have seen, and when Coach Jorgenson explained the rational behind this lacrosse drill, I was amazed.

The context of the conversation in the recent podcast was around transition drills. The culture of the St. Leo Lacrosse team is extremely fast paced, what I used to think of as true transition, “get it up and down” lacrosse, but Coach Jorgenson gave me, and gave all of us something to think about in a new context.

To me, transition drills or transition lacrosse is not about just “fast breaks,” although that might be a part of it. It is about quick ball movement off of a ground ball. Or off of a slide, double-team, or a ride… But Coach Jorgenson described his players always having the transition green light in a 5V5 transition scenario, and then how he reinforces it through this lacrosse drill.[private]

In addition to the traditional definition of having or creating a man advantage (even if it is only for three or four seconds,) and then through quick passes getting a look on a step down, or off the backside pipe, Coach described how they practice and reinforce a new scenario — 5V5 transition or even 6V6 transition.

In this case we were talking about quick clears and the result of getting the ball out and down the field quickly. He described scenarios often times with players on the move, running and approaching the far offensive box. Or in some cases a player running backwards. He went on to say in this style of play, our D Middies, our LSM, and our poles are critical in offensive transition.

Conversely, in a quick outlet transition our “O” Middies might find themselves sprinting back to the other end, and end up playing defense.

At St. Leo they see this as a constant green light situation.

In this full field drill (I will describe options for modifications for smaller rosters in a bit,) he reinforces this concept. At one end of the field we have six offensive players and six defensive players. The drill begins with a pretty straightforward 6V6.

When the ball goes on the ground or we have a save, the whole drill changes into a really fast full field transition drill with a number of unique aspects.

Now the players who were the “O” middies in the 6V6 are forced to sprint all the way down the field to the far end, and will play defense in this full field transition. Coach talked about how the drill teaches them to run a straight-line into the far box first, rather than picking up a player or even riding as this transition is out before the ride can take place. (A key point at St. Leo.) Reinforcing them playing defense from the inside out even in this fast paced drill.

The Middies, D Middies or LSM that had been in the 6V6 are out of the drill.

However, off to the side of the Box where the 6V6 was in play are three new “outlet” lines of players. All three lines will be the new offensive middies in transition to the far end. I love the idea of these three potential outlets, now offensive players are starting on a single side, forcing unique spacing and opportunities as they too are racing down the field. (see diagram below)

In these three lines we might also have not only D Middies but poles and LSM’s as well.

As the three new offensive middies (or poles or D Mids or LSM) run down we try and move the ball and get a transition look. If it slows down, then we are 6V6 for a bit on that end.

At St. Leo (although it is not in the diagram) there are an additional three new lines outside of that Box as well, and the drill continues up and back, both sides full field. We have three new outlet players getting quick passes at each end to initiate the offense down the field. While the previous outlet players are now defensive players

Are you still with me?

From the new outlet lines, when those players run the field to become the new offense, they stay on the field as the new three defensive “middie” players and thus need to sprint down the field on the quick outlet pass as D players chasing the break.

So the “outlet” lines sprint down the full field in transition, then after a shot or save, need to spring all the way back to the original end as defenders or in most cases “trailers,” this the true green light transition element. I imagine a middie stuck in the crease area on offense in the 6V6, now having to sprint “straight-line” back to play D on the original end of the field. So if you are an “outlet” middie line player, you sprint down on offense, then you have to sprint back down the field to catch up with the transition outlet lines from your end of the field. And although you just ran a sprint, now you have to chase back a fresh outlet player.

Please click here to listen to Coach Jorgenson describe this drill in his own words as it can be a little tricky but is not as complex as it sounds. This is for all Free Members,

Options for smaller rosters

Play each end with two attack and two poles, good concept if you only have five attack, but is not realistic for the purpose of the drill. But if you only have five attack total this might be your option.

Move the cages a little closer… good concept but reduces the running down after they played offense in the case of a middie caught low, then having to go back the length of the field.

Play the drill with full field and just two Middies, Coach liked this option the best for smaller rosters, same drill just now in a 5V5 configuration.


Love to get your thoughts below, or email me, mike@laxcoachmike.com


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