At practice on Thursday, I wanted to work on initial speed to the ball, combined with stepping to the ball to win it, so I started with a simple drill of passing the ball between a partner’s legs, then the partner must turn and run it down. One of the women asked how this would ever be useful in a game, and I explained that, while this particular move might not be useful, it was a focused exercise working on speed to the ball. Competition was removed, allowing for concentration on one task, winning the ball, and that, over the course of practice, we would build upon this and turn into a game like situation. She wasn’t too happy about it, and poked through the drill, not using her tremendous speed at all, but jogging/walking to the ball.
At the end of practice, in the scrimmage, a cleared ball rolled right between her legs and she had to turn and chase it down. But, just as she’d practiced the same situation earlier in practice, she poked after it and lost the challenge. Fortunately, she recognized what had happened and called herself out on it: “I was just doing the drill.”