3 Tips for Transitions in Lacrosse
Whether you have noticed or not, most goals scored in a typical lacrosse game are scored during a transition from defense to offense. More coaches, particularly in college, are becoming aware of this and are incorporating more and more transition drills into every practice. Coaches should focus on this aspect of practice and critically break it down, so that his or her team can be more efficient in transitions, whether it be on offense or defense. Below are some tips on how your team can get better at transitions in lacrosse.
Why Practice Transition?
First and foremost, it is imperative that you practice transition because this is the part of the game during which most goals will be scored. Also, since transitions usually have an extra offensive player in your offensive set, it requires you to move the ball, get touches and improve your stick work. Not only does it make practice more fun for players, the drills move very quickly and it is a great way to practice real-game situations. For example, these drills also will help the defense learn how to slide and drop back to defense by practice and repetition through these drills. Transition drills cannot only help create more goals for your offense, these can help defense stop the opposing transition.
Tip #1: Get Ahead of the Ball-Carrier
One thing you need to make sure you do if you are not the ball-carrier is to make an effort to get ahead of the ball and stay ahead of the ball. If you never let the ball beat you to the goal in transition, it will greatly help the transition. This is because in transition-style offense, you never want the ball to go backward. You only want to keep pushing it forward, toward the cage. When you stay in front of the ball, you encourage all forward passes toward the net to score a goal.
Tip #2: Ball-Carrier Needs to Be Covered
This may sound unconventional, but if you are the ball-carrier during a transition, you want to be covered. This is because when you are covered in transition, it typically leaves a wide-open man to whom you can pass it and start the necessary ball movement to score. You want to make sure you drive to the net while being covered, so that you can dish it to the open man and let him have an open opportunity to score. If, for whatever reason, you are the ball-carrier and don’t get covered, you need to get to the cage and finish your shot.
Tip #3: Keep the Ball Moving
Lastly, this rule also is for the ball-carrier because he is the engine that makes the transition run: make sure you have good ball movement when you are covered. When you are driving with the ball during a transition and are covered, you need to move the ball to start the proper ball movement until the ball finds the unmarked man. If you don’t quickly and efficiently move the ball during a transition, your advantage during a transition can be lost and the defense can get set again. Even worse, you can turn it over.
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