Defense Drill #4: Shot Blocking (“Close The Gap”)

BEGINNER 

  • *Variation #1 (7 min):  "Stick Length Away."  The player in the shooter position (on one side of the floor) should try to get a shot on net while the defender (standing a sticks length away) attempts to block the shot (Variation #1A). 
  • After the shot, the defender who just finished the drill runs to the back of the line and the offensive player that just shot is now on defense, waiting for players on the other side to take their turn.  
  • Another option being to have each player attempt to shot block every player in their line (Variation #1B), until all players have had on turn on defense.
  • *Variation #2 (7 min):  "Start At The Pylon."  Play starts when the coach blows their whistle, at which point the player in the shooter position (on one side of the floor) should try to get a shot on net while the defender (starting from the pylon) "closes the gap" (side-shuffling) with their stick up, attempting to block the shot.  Coaches may also choose to have players use tennis balls at first, if defenders are reluctant to stand in the shooting lane.  Golden rule = don't get used as a screen.
  • After the shot, the defender who just finished the drill runs to the back of the line and the offensive player that just shot is now on defense, waiting for players on the other side to take their turn.  
  • If there is no rebound or when the play is deemed to be over by the coach, the opposite side shooter should be ready to shoot (anticipating the whistle).  
  • Variation #3 (10 min):  "Shooter to Shooter Pass."  For intermediate players this drill can progress to a pass from shooter-to-shooter (Variation #3A), or mid-boards to point position (Variation #3B), using the same protocols as described above, except play starts when the ball is first passed instead of on the coaches whistle.  The offender has the option to take the shot, or to fake the shot (face dodge etc.), which turns into a 1-on-1 defensive situation (See Defense Drill #6).  For these variations, each rep shouldn’t start until there is eye contact from the goalie (ready position).

*Most common error = Stick and/or body not in the "shooting lane" 

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