Ball Hunt: A Mobile Coach Game to Practice Doubling the Ball

This article appears in the “Game Ready” section of our May/June edition. Join USA Lacrosse to start your subscription.

The opposing goalie saves the ball and now they’re trying to clear the ball. From the goalie, field players must catch, turn and look to make the next pass — all the while running forward with their heads up.

You don’t want that to happen, of course. You want to keep the ball on this side of the field for another scoring opportunity. Your attack and midfield players must redefend, or ride, the ball to keep it on their attack side or at least slow the other team’s transition.

There are several options for riding. Some redefend man-to-man and leave the goalie open. Others pressure the goalie. Yet others double-team the first outlet to try to force a turnover for a quick scoring opportunity.

If you want to double the ball, this is a great game to help prepare for the scenario. Players learn to redefend with the double team to help slow and/or disrupt the transition.


The objective of the game is to slow the transition and create a turnover. Every player has a role and a responsibility — especially the players who are part of the double team. The attackers and midfielders must work in tandem to disrupt the opponent’s transition.


  • Low athletic stance

  • Correct stick placement

  • Communication

  • Lateral and forward/backward movement


Layer One: 3v3

  • Goalie in crease and 2 defenders at GLE

  • 3 attackers start ride by marking evenly

Layer Two: 5v5

  • Goalie in crease and 4 field players in front

  • 5 attackers/midfielders to redefend


  • Players line up 3v3. Goalie starts with the ball.

  • Goalie passes left or right to a defender at GLE based on which side X1 forces the pass.

  • X1 follows the pass to double-team (trap) the ball carrier in the corner with the goal of forcing a turnover or a pass back to the goalie.

  • If the ball goes to where X2 is, X3 moves to split the distance to be able to cover the goalie and the other defender. The same is true if the ball goes to the other side first.

  • Players shift as the ball shifts.


  • The first layer remains the same.

  • If the ball moves forward to the next player, the attackers/midfielders must rotate to double the ball, cover space and cover the adjacent (next) pass options.

  • Players shift as the ball shifts to create chaos and force turnovers.

  • Start at a slow pace so they can successfully execute the backside double and redefend — and so defense can successfully move the ball against excess pressure.



  • Switch quickly from offense to defense/defense to offense.

  • Communicate where you are to help your teammates.

  • Use the goalie as an active field player to help the transition.

  • Have a plan for where you want to trap the ball and force the turnover (or back pass).


The new and improved USA Lacrosse Mobile Coach app features more than 500 men’s and women’s lacrosse drills, practice-planning tools, whiteboarding and more. The app is free for USA Lacrosse members. Available on the Apple Store and Google Play. More info at  

Lauren Davenport is the manager of athlete development at USA Lacrosse and an assistant coach at Notre Dame of Maryland University.


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