Master the Backdoor Exit, Drop-Step Defensive Exit with Alex Woodall


This article appears in the July/August edition of US Lacrosse Magazine, a digital-only publication available exclusively to US Lacrosse members. Join or renew today for access to this 96-page edition, which includes immersive and interactive features as well as video tips from professional players. Thank you for your support!

Virtual training is all the rage these days. Whether through Zoom, YouTube or Instagram, the resources to connect players and coaches despite their physical separation have surged. US Lacrosse even established a digital emporium, Lax at Home, loaded with drills, at-home workouts, stick-skill exercises, e-learning and development opportunities to keep members active and connected during the pandemic. 

For more than a decade, US Lacrosse Magazine has provided the platform for some of the sport’s top players to share tricks of the trade. We went next level for this digital-only edition. Seven elite professional and U.S. national team players put on a clinic for our cameras at US Lacrosse’s Tierney Field in Sparks, Md. These next several pages are chock full of tips and drills for youth and high school players, including embedded videos. 

We are here to help you get ready to get back on the field. For more ways to train on your own, visit Next up in our digital-edition how-to series is Alex Woodall.

Note: Faceoff rules vary by level of play and not all of these tips will be legal at every level.

Alex Woodall
Towson '19 / MLL Philadelphia Barrage / NLL New York Riptide

Backdoor Exit

1. Clamp the ball 

Winning the faceoff starts with a quick clamp.

2. Get to tripod stance 

Stand up and lift the butt end of your stick with your eye and nose over the ball. This is a triple-threat position from which you can exit forward, backward or backdoor.

3. Cock back top wrist 

This will keep the ball nestled in the back of your stick.

4. Swing leg through 

Seal off the defender.

5. Add a fake 

Drag the ball forward to lure the defender in that direction before exiting backdoor.

Drop-Step Defensive Exit

1. Assume the position

As with any exit, you must first win the clamp, get to your feet and form the tripod stance.

2. Drop step

With your left leg, take a big drop step, using your stick like a kickstand.

3. Exit backward

Drag the ball straight to your left foot and pop it up between your shoulders.

4. Swing your back leg through

Seal off the defender by keeping your back to him

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