Stickwork Drill #3: Loose Balls/Catching “On-The-Run”

BEGINNER 

  • Divide the full-floor in half lengthwise with an imaginary line (or using pylons).  Organize players into lines, in opposite corners, at opposite ends of the floor (this drill could also be done on half of the floor as well). 
  • Lines should switch sides halfway through the drill in order to practice catching the ball on both sides of the player's body (cross body).
    • *Variation #1 (10 min): "Dynamic Loose Balls." Have players run to pick-up the loose ball on-the-run, or catch on-the-run, somewhere near centre-floor, cradling the ball toward the net for a breakaway shot once they’ve possessed it (drifting if approaching from their wrong-side). Start with a stationary ball placement (Variation #1A), next bounce the ball off of the boards (Variation #1B), and lastly roll it away from the oncoming player as they run past (Variation #1C); and pick-up the loose ball.
  • Variation #2:  "Dynamic Catching."  Have players run in a straight line two metres closer to the middle of the floor than where the coach is standing.  As the player approaches, the coach throws the ball straight up into the air for the player to then run underneath and catch, ideally with their stick in "the box" (Variation #2A - 5 min).  
    • There can also be the option to incorporate a pass back to a 4th coach or injured player (if available), or an outlet player for a “give-and-go” (or another loose ball) finishing with a shot on the goalie (Variation #2B - 5 min).

*Most common error = Scooping with arms instead of running "through" the ball.

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