Skill Development – Defend the Cylinder

In this Defensive oriented drill we are working on defensive footwork and body positioning.  The idea is for the offensive player to go at about a 75% effort trying to get to the cone (goal).  Playing without sticks, the defensive players need to use their feet to get their body in the right position to be able to stop the offensive player.  This drill is a progression out of our Defend the Cone drill as it teaches the defense to protect the cylinder in front of the cage and force the offensive player down the ally to the side or behind the goal

Drill Set Up:

Break up the team in half for one end of the field or quarters for both ends.  Make sure you have both offensive and defensive players in each group.  Lefties should all be on the right hand side of the cage (looking at the cage).  Righties can go there as well.  Set the lines up about 5 yards inside the restraining line out at the edges of the box, one on each side.  Have the defensive player drop his stick and step out and the second and third players in line get balls in their sticks.  Set the defensive player about 2-3 yards in front of the offensive player and should be positioned parallel to the ball and not between the ball carrier and the goal.  The defensive player should get in a good athletic stance with his hands up and in near his chest.

Drill Execution:

The offensive player should start with a drive and/or a dodge (split, face, rocker, roll etc) trying to get to the cylinder in front of the goal. He should not go 100% but probably around 75%.  The defensive player should use their feet to maintain his position between himself and the cylinder and use his hands by pushing on the back and shoulders of the offensive player to control him and keep him away from the cylinder and force him down the alley towards the back of the goal and not “over the top” towards the cylinder.  Each repetition should last about 5-8 seconds.   Have each defensive player go for 2 repetitions without any rest in between.  Once the first offensive player has gone for 5-8 seconds, blow the whistle and the defensive player should immediately return to the starting position.  You should blow the whistle for the next offensive player to go right when he returns to the starting position and gets in a good stance.  In the beginning allow the defensive player to get back and get set, but as they get better at the drill, blow the whistle as the defensive player is recovering to the starting point sot hat he must begin to think about using angles to get to the right spot.  It is important that all players play both offense and defense.  Long poles should use their long poles when on offense!!