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Presented by Bill Pilat, Camp Director
Bill Pilat’s The Goalie School in Virginia Winter Clinic For Boys

Nike Lacrosse Tip: Transition Drill

Tgs Boys Coach Pilat

With over 25 years of both boys and girls programming in locations across the country, and countless alumni playing in college, TGS is the original and best goalie camp.

A consistently great program, and a consistently great Coach. Roanoke College has been a transition team for a long time and Coach Pilat shares a key drill we had not seen before, and you are going to love this!!

Entering his 31st season at the helm of the Roanoke College program, Bill Pilat has 341 career wins and his 70% win percentage is also the best in the history of the ODAC. Coach Pilat runs multiple lacrosse camps and clinics in northern Virginia each year.

This drill is configured in three segments. Almost like three separate zones of the field. First, inside the Restraining Lines we have three Attack and three poles and a goalie at each end. All of these players must stay below the Restraining Line. So we have an “offensive zone” at each end.

Next we have three middies from each team located in the middle of the field between the Restraining Lines. Thus a “middle of the field zone.” With the single exception detailed below, all middies must stay between the Restraining Lines. I would incorporate LSM’s and D Mids in this six. Might not even be a bad idea to incorporate a pole inis mix as well. Thus we have three distinct zones where players are located, …. As we begin there is an exception for one middie.

Phase One, Middie Scramble

So, to begin, with three middies from each team in the middle of the field. The Coach rolls out a ground ball and we are in a scramble scenario until one middie gains possession and runs or passes to teammate to enter his offensive end of the field.

Phase Two – True 4V3

Here is where it gets interesting, as one middie enters past the offensive Restraining Line, it becomes a fast 4V3 in that offensive zone. Once one middie enters this “Zone” no other middies, offensive or defensive, can enter that “Zone” thus a true 4V3 in that end.

Phase Three – Transition Clear

Upon a shot or a save, or even ball out of bounds, the defensive team clears the ball. Now remember, one middie is inside the Box thus we should have numbers quickly outletting to go the other way. The intent is fast transition going the other way, although the offensive players are riding (Attack and Poles stay inside the Box too) we want fast transition.

We may even have the two middies (now getting back as they were not allowed in their offensive Box) jump the pass on a Ride and come back.

Return to Phase Two

As the team w “Middie” numbers quickly clear to the opposite offensive end, the same rule applies. Only one middie can enter the Box and we again have the pure 4V3 in this opposite Box …. And we play to as shot and a clear, streaking back down the field off of the outlet pass.

And we just repeat going both ways. Pretty awesome for conditioning middies as well.

Other Roanoke Variations

Now we are going to run the same drill, but this time Coach rolls the ball into the Box, often towards an Attackman, only one offensive middie can enter the box, and again we are 4V3.

Another variation, as the middie who had entered the offensive zone, is a far back trailer, we could pull him off and enter into a substitution element from the Box as well.

In the words of this great Coach… “this drill is always awesome.”

Smaller Rosters

If you have smaller rosters we can modify the drill and still accomplish the “Transition” mentality.

  • Consider moving the cages up 5-7 yards
  • Consider having just two Attack and Two Poles in each end to begin thus now 3V2 counting the middie who is allowed in the Box
  • Consider having just two middies from each team in the center field zone all else stays the same

For more great lacrosse tips, and to learn new drills, sign-up today to attend one of Coach Pilat's camps or clinic this summer 2021!

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