1. Don’t dribble too much. Speeedball is a contact sport, unlike basketball, and you’ll lose it eventually from a steal or errant pass. Like basketball and lacrosse, use quick, short passes to break down a defense.
  2. A zone defense is more effective and less tiring to maintain than man-to-man. If a team has one tremendous player who dominates offensively, it’s preferable to use a zone while playing your top defensive player man-to-man on them. The highest percentage of goals are scored on or in back of the horizontal line. Since that line offers the best angle, station your best and / or tallest players at that section of the zone.
  3. Never keep a tired player in too long. They will hurt you on defense. A solid, hustling defense and the ability to get back quickly to stop fast breaks is a major key to winning. Uncontested fast break shots are usually successful.
  4. Use your time outs. That pays off late in the game if you’re in superior condition.
  5. Learn to shoot effectively with both hands, underhand, overhand and behind the back. Vary your shots to allow yourself options against any defensive setup. Concentrate on hitting the corners of the goal, upper and /or lower. Kids in this country are usually better with their hands than feet. Aim low if given that choice.
  6. Rest your best players when you’re leading so they’re fresh if the opponent does threaten. Use your goalie offensively for a time if necessary.
  7. Don’t take a shot behind the mid-court line. Looks impressive, but it’s usually a wasted one because of the distance.
  8. Don’t spread out and stall if you’re leading and there’s significant time left. Since contact is allowed, you usually wind up losing the ball via a steal or errant pass. That leads to wide open shots, fast breaks and loss of momentum. Play the same type of game you did to put you ahead in the first place.
  9. Box out your opponent after a shot - whether he/she was the shooter or not. Rebound shots are tough on a goalie if he /she has just made a difficult stop to begin with.
  10. Don’t get in to foul trouble. 3-minute non-releasable penalties are a killer, psychologically and physically. Aside from increasing your opponent’s scoring opportunities, the added pressure and energy required to cover that player(s) loss can drain your endurance and speed for the remainder of the game.
  11. Practice what you will do when your team gets a “Power Play “ after a back foul or penalty. The penalized team will spread out and stall. Who will pressure the ball for you, etc.?  Practice it !! Otherwise, the advantage will mean little.
  12. Minimize screening the opponent’s goalie on offense. Looks good, but a missed shot or save often leads to a fast break the other way and  your “screener” cannot get back in time to cover his/her part of the zone. 


As seen in the August 2008 issue of Scholastic Coach


2009 New Game of the Year

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