This week’s Coaches Corner is written by Matt Dunn, FCL Defensive Director, 2016 graduate of University of Maryland, current assistant coach at Loyola Blakefield and member of PLL Whipsnakes LC.
In a world where great defense can easily become synonymous with boring or passive, let’s take a look at how teams can put defensive pressure on an offense in a strategic fashion. The risk-reward of the takeaway check has diminished as stick technology and general gameplay has evolved, but teams with great anticipation can systematically pressure opposing offenses. UVA has been one of the best at this so far in the 2021 season with their ability to anticipate roll-backs and take advantage of double opportunities.
Free Doubles (Backside Doubles)
Free Doubles: Following the Dodge From X
Following a dodger or meeting a dodger on a roll-back is a great way to up the tempo. It works so well since the dodger cannot see the defender coming until the last second.
If two guys are below the goal and one guy carries the ball above GLE, “following the dodge” up puts the defender in a great position to double or support a roll-back. Notice how #22 follows the dodge from X and is able to make the play with a trail check before the dodger can move the ball along.
Free Doubles: Island Roll-Back
Understanding your teammates and opponents’ tendencies is huge here. If your teammate gets caught at the island in a v-hold or 2 handed wrap (which we break down here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLcU8lKht8x/ ), expect the roll-back. The key is to hedge as the dodge drives up, and then fully commit to meet the dodger as he rolls back into you. Timing is crucial. In the video below, the on-ball defender gets the CT, but his teammate was ready if not.
Free Doubles: Inside-Roll
This is another example of following the dodger up from X – watch #11 after the pick. This is a great way to support SSDMs in big / littles. It also shows that we can follow the dodge from top down too if the dodger is tied up driving underneath.
Sliding to the Roll-Back: Middle of Field
Timing a slide to meet the dodger on a roll-back is a great way to put controlled pressure on an offense, since you can get to their hands before they see you commit to the slide. This is a great way to make offenses pay for trying to dodge and roll-back tight to the cage. As dodgers get closer to the heart, these opportunities open up.
Sliding to the Roll-Back: Alley Dodge
Here UVA slides both adjacent and from the crease. Ideally, you only want to send one guy, but this just goes to show how the great timing here doesn’t allow Army to expose UVA on the backside.
We hope you enjoyed this thread, and are excited to keep watching the Terps are other top offenses and defenses this spring!
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