Mobile Coach: Make a Break For it

Your goalie saves the ball, and now it’s time to turn defense into offense. It starts with the goalie and transitions to field players who must catch, turn and look for the next pass — all the while running forward with their heads up.

We want players to turn to the outside — away from the middle of the field — to successfully advance the ball. This can be a challenge. They do not always know where to go. Some struggle in transition.

This game addresses these shortfalls in athlete development. “Jailbreak” gives players a guide of different places they can go to help their goalie successfully clear the ball and ways to transition the ball down the field to score.

Find this and other games in the revamped USA Lacrosse Mobile Coach app available via the Apple and Google Play stores and on desktop at


Provides the foundation for players to successfully transition the ball from defense to offense off a clear from the goalie.

  • Skills

  • Passing

  • Catching

  • Cutting to space (off-ball movement)


  • 6-7 cones (depending on men’s game vs. women’s game)  at spot where you want players to run after the save, spaced 10-15 yards apart to midfield

  • 6-7 players plus goalie.


  • Field players begin in front of the crease (as if they just crashed on the ball on defense).

  • Coach or teammate shoots or rolls the ball at the goalie.

  • When goalie yells “clear,” field players break out to cones.

  • Goalie makes first pass to player near goal line extended.

  • Players pass the ball down the field from one to the next until it reaches the last player.

  • Goalie follows progression as support for 10-15 yards.

  • Challenge players to see how quickly they can get the ball down the field and/or how many consecutive passes they can complete.


  • Start without sticks. Use a gym ball or just a lacrosse ball for stationary passing.

  • Players go to different spots each break.

  • Add a back pass and switch fields at least once.

  • Add defenders, the ride against your clear. Start with four and build up from there.

  • Defenders cover different people each break.

  • Remove cones and scrimmage after the initial break.


  • Switch quickly from defense to offense (and vice versa).

  • Communicate where you are to help your fellow defenders.

  • Listen to the communication and direction of your goalie.

  • Have a plan for where you want to go and cut to space to receive the ball on the move.


  • Reverse direction on goalie clear.

  • Assign spots for certain players based on individual skillsets (i.e., you may want a specific player to be the first pass along GLE).


  • Pop Toss

  • Have 1, Need 1

  • Pass It Down

  • 360° Passing/Catching

  • Pass It Down from Goalkeeper

  • Best Game Ever

Lauren Davenport is the manager of athlete development at USA Lacrosse and assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

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