Transition Drill #1A: Basic Out & Up (“Get To The Middle”)
- Start with two lines in the corners, left’s and rights or mixed, in one end of the floor (facing up-floor), with a pylon 5 metres from the side-boards at around the mid-boards, on both sides.
- Intermediate and advanced players should alternate between giving/receiving the pass on their proper floor side versus wrong floor side, each time through the drill (switch which corner players start from halfway). If a player receives a pass on their wrong-side they should practice "drifting" before they shoot in the far-end.
*Variation #1 (10 min): "Far-Side Pass." The line of players on the bench-side starts with balls, and the first player in line cuts to the middle after someone from the far-side line (no balls) cuts to the middle ahead of the play (Variation #1A). The ball carrier delivers a lead pass to the first player in line, who runs the length of the floor on breakaway. The other option is for the passer to first pick up a loose ball before delivering the pass to make it slightly more difficult (Variation #1B).
After passing, players go to the back of the line and once everyone in the other line has gone, the passers now receive a pass from the coach (or goalie), running to the middle for a breakaway in the far-end.
The line of passers and the line of receivers switch roles each time through the drill, with the passers always starting on the bench side (which ingrains the habit of running "away from the bench" during a breakout).
Also make sure that players have the opportunity to pass and catch in both ends (i.e. proper-side & wrong-side).
*Variation #2 (10 min): "Same-Side Pass." The line of players should be on the far-side only (to ingrain the habit of running away from the bench). The first player in line (no ball) cuts from the corner around the pylon with the next player in the same line cutting to the middle with a ball (Variation #2A) and delivering a lead pass to the first player, who runs the length of the floor on breakaway. The passer then becomes the receiver the next rep through the drill. Another option is for the passer to first pick up a loose ball before delivering the pass to make it slightly more difficult (Variation #2B). The passer then becomes the receiver the next rep through the drill.
There can be two lines, with the bench-side line doing a "bench-side recovery" (Variation #2C). This is the same as the variations above except after catching the pass on the bench-side the player cuts across centre-floor and runs the ball deep to the far-side, with the original passer becoming the hypothetical trailer coming "late" off the bench. Alternate with both lines doing a separate pattern, switching sides each time through the drill.
*Most common error = Ball carrier not getting to the middle before they make their pass