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Fixing Common Defensive Mistakes

Fixing Common Defensive Mistakes

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Fix the mistakes that prevent your program from reaching its defensive potential
  • Advance your team from the fundamental skills through the more complex aspects of team play
  • Develop individual skills with the ball, on ball and off ball
  • Get drills for teaching essentials like how to slide and backpedal and how to handle change of possession, communication and unsettled situations

with Joe Amplo,
Marquette University Head Coach;
U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Team Assistant Coach;
Inaugural Coach of Program, 2014 Big East Coach of the Year;
former Hofstra University Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator

and Stephen Brundage, Marquette University Assistant Coach

Joe Amplo was named the first head coach in Marquette men's lacrosse history in 2011. In just three years of competition, Ampolo has led Marquette to back-to-back semifinal appearances in the Big East Tournament (2014-15) and ranked as high as 9th in the nation. For his accomplishments he was named the 2014 Big East Coach of the Year. Prior to Marquette, Ampolo served on the staff at Hofstra University, starting out working under then head coach John Danowski.

Joe Amplo of Marquette University introduces his defensive philosophy, which focuses on the fundamentals of defensemen. Coach Amplo provides insight into what makes his defensemen so successful, and teaches drills and techniques that will shape and mold your defensemen's ability to stop the opposition.

Individual Skill Work

Coach Amplo gets on the field with his defensive unit and uses them to demonstrate a variety of drills. He focuses on skill work first, such as approaching the ball and individual technique through his Corner Series. The series of drills works on approaches, backpedaling and shuffling. Next, he moves on to the Footrace Series, working on defensive postures from all angles and protecting the topside of the field.

You will learn all aspects of defensive play, including how to hold the stick while engaging the ball carrier, where to position your head on slides and how to cover the roll back.

With each drill, Coach Amplo provides a clear explanation not only of the drill itself, but also the mistakes and defensive issues each drill addresses. This gives you a range of drills that can be used to make improvements with your own defense.

Team Defense

The second section of the video moves onto live drills against an offense, starting with 1v1. Coach Amplo builds on more team-oriented defense, such as change of possession, awareness, off-ball positioning, reacting to specific situations and unsettled situations. Having previously worked on the elements of an effective slide, Coach Amplo moves onto the recovery phase. This progresses to 4v4, which show how the individual drills all combine to enable effective team defense.

Coach Amplo addresses the issue of communication in the defensive cycle, a common problem at all levels of the game. The I-Talk Drill has only one player talking at a time, emphasizing defensive communication and forcing each player to understand the importance of personal communication.

Coach Amplo's thoughtful approach to defensive concepts and situations has allowed him to build up a brand new program and make it competitive in just three short years.

Segment NameLength
Individual Defense
Corner Series1:20
Corner Series - Backpedaling3:23
Footrace Series2:20
Footrace Drill for Midfielders4:07
Defensive Back Footwork Series2:16
Shadow Dodging4:11
Live Approach Drill1:32
Live 1v12:12
Grinder Drill1:01
Bates Drill0:39
Correcting Poor or Late Sliding3:08
Posture Drills4:15
Poor Technique Solutions4:10
Team Defense
1v1 Plus 1 Live Sliding5:10
4v4 Y Drill3:02
"I Talk" Drill3:38
"I'm Hot" Scramble Drill2:24

56 minutes. 2016.