CoachSports.com for more information
The V Drill
The V Drill is a great way to teach the proper mechanics and fundamentals of a double team. Traps and double teams apply to Defensemen and Middies applying a trap to obtain a possession, Attackmen riding, and even, dare I say it, Goalies, who may find themselves at the end of the game down by one getting pulled to help create a turnover. So, knowing how to properly apply the trap is something worth practicing - for everyone.
(Note: *** Arrows represent Defenders stick orientation. Notice the V it creates. Trapping the ball carrier within this V is the crux of the drill. As the V pushes out towards the ball carrier he runs out of space, and becomes trapped in the 'V'****)
How does it work?
Start small!!! This helps contain the Ball Carrier making a double team easier to grasp. (Be patient and take baby steps here)
1) Begin by placing cones in a rectangle - About 15 yds x 25 yds
2) Set up 3 lines: 2 up top, and 1 on the bottom of the rectangle.
3) Ball Carrier begins clear; Defenders begin pursuit
4) Drill is over once a defender possesses the ball or Ball Carrier is out of play
The line at the bottom of the rectangle is for the Ball Carriers. Their job is to beat the double team and reach the top side of the rectangle. Allow the ball carriers to be creative and try out their arsenal of dodges. This will pay dividends when a double team is placed on your team during the season.
The two lines at the top of the box are for your Defenders. Their job is to keep the Ball Carrier from clearing the ball and getting the ball back.
Coach your Defenders to:
- Arrive in unison. Double teams work when 2 Defenders apply the trap.
- Position feet and stick to the outside of the Ball Carrier's shoulders (Each Defender gets a side)
- Turn the Ball Carrier back
- Throw the check; close the door
Go Big, Not Home
Now that your Defenders are grasping the concept. Increase the playable area. Adjust this for the needs of your players. Go larger and larger as they get the hang of this concept over time. When coaching this, I start with only a section of the box, increase to half of the box, then push that up to the mid-line covering a quarter of the field. The larger the area of the drill, the more realistic, as well as difficult, it becomes. Teaching your players how to move quickly, as a unit, will pay off come those clutch moments when you need the ball back.
As your drill increases in playable area, you may notice that the Ball Carrier:
1) Reaches the edge and beats your defenders up the sideline
2) Splits the double team and legs it up the middle
3) Rolls back around the trailing defender, beating the double team and clearing the ball effectively
When these occur, first off, praise the Ball Carrier and instill confidence in him. Take time for coaching moments. The fixes for the above problems are listed in order:
1) Preach - quick, well positioned approach.
2) Both defenders should arrive quickly and in unison.
3) Positioning- both Defenders play their respective side of the Ball Carrier, keeping their stick and feet outside of the Ball Carrier's shoulder
When used properly and consistently, the skills learned in the V Drill will provide added possessions and scoring opportunities in clutch moments throughout your season. Your Ball Carriers will enjoy the challenge and opportunity to be creative, while your defenders will appreciate having the upper hand.
-Take your time coaching the fundamentals of this technique
-Celebrate victories of both defense and offense
-Have fun with it