Learn how to hunt from the best! Sharni Layton shows you a simple drill with progressions to coach your defenders on how read a high ball to the pocket and pick it off for that perfect intercept.
– Set up with a stationary WA ‘post’ about halfway towards the top of the goal circle on one side, a GS near the goal ring and a passer near the transverse line.
– The GK must position in front of the GS (slightly to either side, not flat) and off the body.
– The passer releases a long, lobbed pass to the pocket, which the GK must attempt to intercept by reading the flight of the ball and attacking the line of the ball. To encourage the high pass, you can put a defender with hands over the ball if you wish.
– Allow each player to practice the skill a number of times on each side and ensure they’ve having some success before advancing it. If players are struggling to intercept the ball, move them closer to the circle edge so they have less distance to cover.
– If the GK leaves too early (before the pass has been released) the passer can make them pay by whipping a pass in to the GS. So give the GK cues such as waiting until the passer is in their throwing motion, or the ball has left their hands, before taking off.
– Allow each player to practice the skill a number of times on each side and ensure they’re having some success before advancing it. If players are struggling to intercept the ball, move them closer to the circle edge so they have less distance to cover.
– Once players have had some success, ask them to increase their intensity and workrate around the body of the GS, changing their position quickly and often to confuse the passer.
– You can advance the drill at this stage by having the WA drive from the transverse line to the pocket, so that the GK must read the line of the ball and attack it in-play, while avoiding making contact with the WA.
– PROGRESSION: Bring the WA in closer (ignore the goal circle for now) and add a second ‘post’ on the other side. Now the passer can choose either option (must still be a lobbed pass), and the GK must wait to read the pass and intercept on that side.. Again, if the GK leaves early, the pass can go to the GS. As they start to have some success, slowly move the ‘post’ players out, until they’re on the circle edge.
– To advance the drill further, the GS can start to move within a small area of the goal circle near the ring, so that the defender has to position to ensure they’re covered, before leaving to hunt the intercept.