Skip Lanes


Editor’s Note: Trilogy directors and coaches will be dropping tons of knowledge on you from week to week. This week, Mitch Belisle is breaking down skip lanes on defense. Make sure you check out our Training Archive as well, brought to you by Trilogy!

When coaches talk about players who “do the little things,” covering skip lanes is exactly the kind of thing they are mentioning.

It is one of the best ways to help your defense out, discourage the offense from making THE BIG play and for those of you with a good stick, spark transition in the other direction.

The key to protecting skip lanes is knowing where the ball, the goal and your man are at all times – we called it maintaining a “flat triangle.” As you get really good at that, you start to realize where the other guys are too. By putting your stick between the ball carrier and the other dangerous players on the field, you immediately discourage those “skip passes” which very often lead to high percentage shots or a need for the defense to rotate.

The easy part is finding a skip lane and putting your stick in it, the hard part is continuing to communicate, adjust and maintain your flat triangle while protecting that lane (and all others as the ball continues to move).

Watch top defensive players off ball – you will notice their sticks are almost always up in lanes, not on their hip or on the ground. And if they are, now you will have something to teach THEM!

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Mitch Belisle
An offensive midfielder in high school, Mitch Belisle switched to long pole defense at Cornell University. He led the Big Red to the Final Four as a captain, earned 1st team All America honors, and was named the Division I Defenseman of the Year. Once in the professional leagues he has excelled in MLL with the Boston Cannons and in the NLL with the Minnesota Swam earning his a spot on Team USA. Mitch is one of the top defensive minds in the sport.