Our drill of the month for March focuses on how your players can gain the defensive advantage while guarding attackmen around the crease. With instruction from First Team All-American at Johns Hopkins and current defenseman for the Florida Launch, Tucker Durkin explains not only the techniques to gaining the defensive advantage, but why it is so important.
To break down the drill, you will need two groups (defense and offense) lined up behind the goal for a one on one scenario. Without their sticks, the defensemen will concentrate on keeping the attackman behind goal line extended. When they use only their hands this forces the players to really focus on their body positioning as well as the level of contact they are utilizing. As Durkin explains, while the offensive player stays within 5 yards of the goal the defensive player will want to maintain contact at all times as they are in the “danger zone” and have the opportunity to get top side or roll back inside. The goal of this drill is to push the offensive player out of this “danger zone” and force them to pass off the ball.
Although the focus of this drill is on the defensemen, your attackmen should take this time to work on the dodging techniques behind the cage but more importantly become more comfortable with the oncoming pressure for the defense.