2015 Nike Coaching Clinic Recap

This year's Nike Coaching Clinic consisted of two sessions:
  • The first was given by coach Eric Seremet of the Air Force Academy.  Eric Seremet (UNC '92) has coached at the Academy for six years.  Last year the team's 10 wins were a school record and they made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1988.  Before attending University of North Carolina, Coach Seremet played at West Genesee High School under coaching legend Mike Messere. 
  • The second session was Andy Hilgartner from McDonough School of Maryland.  Coach Hilgartner (Michigan State '93) has coached at the high school level for 19 years and was named Coach of the Year by the Maryland State Coaches Association in 2010.  The McDonough Eagles have been in the Maryland state MIAA-A semi-finals for the two consecutive years and this July the McDonough team won the prestigious National High School Lacrosse Showcase Tourney.
Both coaches supplied a long list of offensive and defensive drills.  Coach Seremet's videos and slides are below, Coach Hilgartner will have his own page later. 

Coach Eric Seremet - Air Force Academy

Coach Seremet began his presentation discussing off-field strategy.  He started off with some background discussing his rough first year coaching at the Air Force Academy and the steps he took to correct off-field disciplinary problems.  During his first year as head coach, there were so many serious disciplinary problems with his players, that the team was shorthanded for much of the season. 

After that first season, coach Seremet and his staff came up with a system to help keep players on the right path.  The team was divided up into six different tribes, named after the Iroquois nations, each with it's own sachem, or chief.  The goal was to build off-field leadership, establish mentoring of younger players, and improve team bonding.  The Sachem was not only the leader of the tribe, but was responsible for the behavior of each member of the tribe.  If a tribe member was suspended for violation of Air Force Academy rules, not only would that player be suspended from the team for his transgression, but so would the Sachem

Over the last few year's the result has exceeded even coach Seremet's expectations.  The system started off with three straight years of no violations of Air Force Academy rules, improved team grades, and improved academy physical scores.  The culmination came during the government shutdown last year, when the coaching staff was not permitted to interact with the team, the team held its own practices lead by the sachems, creating new drills on their own. 

Coach Seremet then moved on to drills.  The videos are embedded below, there are more than 30 different clips.  Coach Seremet focused on offensive principles, starting off with his philosophies:
  • BE HARD TO COVER - The age old philosophy of "don't stand around", but cutting isn't the only way to make oneself hard to cover, and just because the ball is on the other end of the field doesn't mean you let your defender to stop thinking about you. 
  • Create a strong side - and then attack the weak side. 
  • Everyone must be a threat - You can't have players who are afraid to shoot or only want to feed.
  • Shoot to get the ball back - Miss or score, don't hit the goalie.
  • 2-man game focused - The Air Force offense has 2-2-2 and 1-4-1 formations, using picks (and slips) to free up players on and off the ball.
Shortcuts to the video groups

Coach Seremet's Videos
Video Clip Comments

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Presentation Clip #1 - The Team Tribes.  

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#2 - Shooting Drill: 2 Up Top, 1 behind.  

Two lines up top with balls.  Middies cross and flip exchange, feed is made to C-Cutting Attackman down low.  Ball starts on alternate sides (and attack cuts aternate sides). 

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#3 - Shooting Drill: 1 Up Top, 2 behind.  

Ball starts behind, same side pass to cutting middie, diagonal pass to Attackman C-cutting from behind. 

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#4 - Shooting Drill: 2 Up Top SlipPick.  

2 lines up top with balls (ball starts on alternating sides). Middies Cross with slip pick, pass goes to slip picker, then a feed down low to cutting Attackman.  Possible change: attack chooses same side or cross crease cut to keep guys out of a rut.

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#5 - Shooting Drill: 2 Up Top SlipPick to shot.  

Same as middie ineraction as previous (2 UpTop - 1Behind Slip Pick) drill, except no one is behind and Slip Picker shoots.  Note that cones have been setup about 10yards out to mark alleys and cut placement. 

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#6 - Shooting Drill: 2 Up Top SlipPick to sneak.  

Looks the same as 2UpTop-1Behind slip pick except dodge on cut is flatter and feed is always cross crease.

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#7 - Shooting Drill:Punch the Sideline.  

1 line behind, 2 lines up top, ball behind.  Feeder behind does dodge, drop step at GLE and feeds to cutter on opposite side.  Alternating sides, focus is on Attack footwork and stick position fundamentals, while middies learn when to start their cut reading Attack drop step.

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#8 - 1v1v1 Drill.  

Basic 1v1 from behind, but after shot or Change of possesion, defender stays on and does close-out slide to 1v1.  After Change of Possesion, next attack cannot move until defender crosses GLE.  He can go either way depending on defender line of approach.  Important that short sticks defend behind too (they need to learn make that closeout slide without getting burned too).

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#9 - 2v1 Tight Drill.  

Three cones about 10yds out from GLE.  Three lines behind (center line defense).  A 3 players start at same time, 2 offensive player go past cones, cross and flip (or fake) exchange, defender runs to center cone and plays D.

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#10 - 3v2 Tight Drill.  

3 lines: 3 starting positions for each line marked by cones, 1 on each wing (5yds above GLE) and the third top center about 12yds out.  One offensive player at each cone, 2 defenders wherever they want to be.  Coach rolls ball into an offensive player. After shot offensive player from top position and (a designated) one of the wings stays on to defend. 

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#11 - 2v2 Box drill.  

2v2s from each side of restraining box, offensive players start about 15yds apart.

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#12 - FaceOff to 3v2 drill.  

Kind of a misnomer.  3 attack and 2 poles in each restraining box, midfield grouped on the sidelines at midfield.  6 midfielders come out at a time for 3v3 faceoff, winner takes ball into box for a 6v5.

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#13 - 3v3 GBs Plus1 Drill.  

Six lines on sideline for 3v3 GB . Goalie in cage, and short stick and long stick on far side of field.  Players have colors for defense and offense.  3v3 GB battle will go to 4v4 either clear or shot on goal.  Goalie gets it clear attempt.

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#14 - Uneven Drills: 2v1 Drill.  

Two Attack and one D in both restraining boxes, six lines of midfielders at midifield.  Teams have colors for goals to attack/defend.  Initial 3v3 GB battle at midfield goes into 5v4.  After change of possession ball of ball hits ground, ball is given to coach at midfield, he'll pass the ball back to random player on either to team for clear or break the other way.  Midfield groups stay out for one minute. 

Helps with: Conditioning and transition reactions.

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#15 - Uneven Drills: 3v2 Drill.  

Same as Uneven 3v2 except with 3 Attack and 2 poles in either box.  Initial 3v3 GB battle at midfield goes into 6v5. 

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#16 - Y drill.  

3 attack and three poles with single offensive & defensive midfielder top center to make a Y shape.  Ball starts Top Center and midfielder tries to draw the slide (which should be early).  Drill is meant to teach slide & recover as well as offensive reaction to create passing lanes.

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#17 - 4v4 box drill.  

Essentially the 2v2 tight drill formation with two groups.  4v4 in confined space use slip picks and off ball cuts to get the ball moving.  Play until change of possession.

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Bonus footage - 4v3 break.  

This is what practicing all the uneven drills can do, generating a classic 4v3 fast break. 

Note where the Attackmen are when the ball leaves the defensive zone.  Two at the restraining box and only one at midfield, well off to the side. This spacing enables the defender to clear without any traffic and enables good passing lanes to the attack.  This positioning while the ball was in the defensive end, enabled the open space for the break;

Coach Seremet calls 2-2-2 formation Deuces.  These drills break down the off ball cuts and passes of this formation to help players with timing.

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#18 - Deuces FollowPicks Drill. 

3v3 with an Attackman on either side GLE and midfielders topside alley.  Midfielder dodges towards one of the Attackmen, throws pass to that Attackman then follows the pass to slip or set on ball pick.

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#19 - Attack (or Defend) the Crease Drill  

4v3 set to practive lower half of 2-2-2 offense: 2 offensive players on crease, one attack at X, other on GLE.  Defenders on all but player on X, ball starts at X.  Player at X drives to the goal and slide occurs.  Ball moves to whomever is open.

Helps: Slide recovery and offensive spacing. 

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#20 - Deuces: Skeleton drill. 

Offense only in 2-2-2 (Deuces) formation.  Ball rotates around outside and the two triangles rotate appropriately, setting picks when necessary. 

Helps: offensive players learn 2-2-2 flow without defenders chopping things up.

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#21 - Deuces Follow in action vs. Michigan.  

2-2-2 rotations in action in two different games.  Deuces follow using slip picks.

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#22 - Deuces in Action vs Ohio State.  

Not all movement follows the normal rotations, but there is one just before the goal.

1-4-1, 'Mumbo' and 'Wingo'
Coach Seremet likes the simplicity of the 1-4-1 formation and often uses the crease picks, or Mumbo and Wingo.  These drills break down the off ball cuts and passes of the 1-4-1 formation to help players with timing and learn cut angles for shots.

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#23 - 1-4-1 Mumbo drill.  

4 offensive players across from wing-to-wing (low) as part of classic 1-4-1.  Two lines up top with balls.  Midfielder drives down alley and two wing players do slip or pick switch.  New outside guy (from crease) gets feed and shoots. 

Helps: Footwork and timing for low players to figure out when to time pick/slip and with midfielders drive.

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#24 - 1-4-1 Mumbo Inside Guy.  

Same as Mumbo but feed is to the inside guy.

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#25 - 1-4-1 Top in action vs Michigan.  

Note that the formation doesn't look like 1-4-1 until just before the goal.

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#26 - 1-4-1 Mumbo Curl Drill.  

Similar to Mumbo, except wing player cuts lower, more towards GLE (feeding position instead of shooting position) and the inside guy curls back for feed from wing.

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#27 - Mumbo Curl in action vs Fairfield.  

Note that formation starts as 2-2-2 (Deuces) morphs into 1-4-1 for two passes and then timing gained in Mumbo drill allows for lightning quick feed to barely open inside guy.

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#28 - 1-4-1 Wingo drill.  

Same formation as Mumbo drill but only one ball in play at a time.  No exchange on same side, Middie gives to the wing then cuts to crease for a double pick for far post crease man.

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#29 - 1-4-1 WIngo drill.  

More Wingo drill footage.

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#30 - Wingo in action vs Fairfield.  

Some Wingo action, but also a straight up sneak.  Note that there is never really an obvious 1-4-1 formation.  It is more about the flow and the timing of the 3 players momentarily on the crease when the ball gets to the wing.

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#31 - 1-4-1 Sneak  

Deuces into 1-4-1 back into deuces, back into 1-4-1.  Classic back door sneak on 1-4-1.


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