It’s true we can all always get a little better at lacrosse. It’s also true that we don’t all have loads of time on our hands. Moving through the excess of information out there is a difficult goose chase when you want help now. Having the answers right in front of you is obviously easier, and being given the tools for success lets you get on your way much quicker. That’s why in 1963 Carter’s Ink Company invented the Hi-Liter. This revolutionary device made marking the most important sections, or reading those sections from a used textbook, the new way to learn more effectively.
So we took that novel idea and applied it to lacrosse for you. Fast facts every week that get you what you need to know. Look out for every Wednesday’s Highlighter coming out with useful Lacrosse Tips for any fan of the game to use.
The Umbrella Cone Drill – Perfection & Efficiency
Also called the “star drill”, the umbrella cone drill is all about defensive positioning. When you are doing the umbrella cone drill you will have to approach, break down, recover, communicate, and be efficient. This week we will dive into how to make the most out of this lacrosse speed drill and dominate on defense.
“Simplicity of Approach is always best.”-Charlie Chaplin
Don’t over-complicate your approach. Approach in a “C” shaped path and get in position to break down against your opponent. You want to be high enough to prevent a player from getting topside advantage, but not too high. A good rule of thumb is to be a step higher and a stick’s length away.
“The low man always wins”
Your break down should put you in an athletic position to defend a dodge, or recover back to the middle. Be light on your feet and ready to pounce. Don’t be waiting completely still either; you want to control the dodge so constantly improve your position. Get your hips low so you can cover more ground quickly and have a solid base. Your stick should be out in front of you if you or in a position to prevent a topside advantage. Once you break down at the cone yell “ball” to let your teammates know you’re responsible for the ball. You can also practice throwing a poke or lift check at this point to really simulate guarding a
“Defense in lacrosse being a part of a machine”
Once the ball moves, you move. Even when the ball isn’t moving, you need to move. On defense, you adjust and this drill helps get you accustomed to that. Most of the time, the smart move is to help out on the crease. So once you hit one cone, help out on the crease and recover. You want to recover and never turn your back to the ball. If you have to, use a drop step so you can keep looking at the next cone you’re going to approach
“Be vocal, but helpful”
During this cone drill, get used to talking more on defense. Say “ball” when you approach, and say “I’m in” when you recover. Every little bit of talk helps your defense stay on track when it’s applicable to the situation. And any talk at all intimidates the offense. So be sure to always be vocal.
“An amateur practices until he can do a thing right, a professional until he can’t do it wrong”
Become a professional, or at least try. Always strive to get a little bit of a better position with a quicker breakdown. Maximize your efficiency and don’t waste steps. Put in the work in a drill as simple as this and reap the rewards on the field.