Welcome to "A Lacrosse Weekend" my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, stories, myths, truths, about the great game of lacrosse. I hope you enjoy it!
If you are a men's or women's lacrosse player, coach, or parent, I think you will love the weekly content, videos, and analysis
Pick up Game Highlights of 2021
One of my favorite projects of the year is to go back and re-watch 12 months worth of pick up games to produce this montage of sick backyard lacrosse plays with my daughter Lucy who does the edit. You will notice boys and girls playing together. The girls are slick as hell and boys want them on their team!. There is a mix of ages too: college kids playing with high school kids, or high school kids playing with middle school kids and there are even a few old guys out there! All of us playing the Creator's Game! The level of lacrosse and team play is both undeniable and extremely satisfying, the creativity and passion are inspiring as players truly live in the moment.
JM3 in 2021 By The Numbers
My Top Rated of 2021
Best Men's Lacrosse JM3 Webinar: "Off Ball 2man Game," the sequel to "Hang up 2man, A new Paradigm" is the best webinar I've done to date on the subject of 2man game. This webinar reviews the on ball 2man concepts and dives into the off ball concepts as well as how to blend them together with ball movement.
Check out the video below to watch the first 15 minutes of this ground breaking webinar If you want more, subscribe to the JM3 Coaches Training Program!
Best Women's Lacrosse JM3 Webinar: The Principles Based Offense for Women's Lacrosse. this style of play will be a game changer in women's lacrosse! Playing with a Box Lacrosse Paradigm, where the offense creates advantages through 2man games on and off ball combined with ball movement is a change from the Field Lacrosse Paradigm where offenses gain advantage through beating your man 1v1 and creating space.
The JM3's Coaches Training Program (CTP) has everything Danielle Spencer is installing at Stanford and much, much more.
If you are a coach or player seeking to shift your mindset and implement proven free play and box-style concepts into you skillset, the CTP has everything you need.
The testimonials page below are just some of the Coaches and Players that have already made the CTP SHIFT.
Don't just settle for another year of minimal progress, make the SHIFT.
Most Impactful Podcast: Tony Holler & Feed The Cats. If you haven't listened to this podcast, put it on your list! I am always in search of the cutting edge. Meeting and learning from Tony Holler has been one of the most profound influences on my coaching career because his concepts fit so perfectly with Free Play and Principles Based Lacrosse. Click here to listen!
Most Impactful Book: The Inner Game of Tennis; The outer game is the game we play, the inner game is in our heads. Timothy Gallway wrote this in 1974 and it is absolutely brilliant and ahead of its time. Based in eastern teachings of Zen Buddhism, athletes learn to be in the moment, in a "Flow State" or in the Zone by allowing the body and unconscious mind to operate.
If you are a coach, a player or a parent of an aspiring player, listen to this 10 minute recap of the Inner Game of Tennis. It's a game changer.
Best Concert: Eddie Vedder and the Earthlings at the Ohana Festival with the Wolfpack was as good as it gets for live music.
Listen to the first song of the show where Eddy covers Cat Stevens's "Don't Be Shy" he also covers Neil Young, The Clash, a couple of Who, songs, the Pretenders, REM as as well as his own songs and Pearl Jam songs! I videod most of the show!
The most important Thing I Learned: The Principles Based Offense:: in 2022 I will unveil the details of how to regularly and consistently create offensive advantages, versus good and coordinated defense, through 2man games where you don't have to beat anybody 1v1.
I have covered some of these concepts in previous blogs as I've been preparing for the presentations of 2022. The Principles Based Offense is rooted in the box lacrosse paradigm and the more I coach it, watch it, play it (in pick up games) the more blown away I am.
Here's the gist of it:
The D can only play picks in a few ways: Switch, Double, and No Switch Get Over, No Switch Get Under. When employ 2man and 3man actions simultaneously, combined with ball movement and focus on the reads, you can manufacture advantages that are better than the advantage gained from winning a 1v1 match up and drawing a slide.
Here's what you do when they fight over: Invite them over and create a massive advantage!
Here's what you do when they go under: Shoot!
Here's what you do when they Double of Switch: get the ball to a third player and let them feed the pick and roll!
Off Ball: The reads are literarily identical, but the upside is the percentage of time you can manufacture an advantage is even greater.
The beauty of the Principles Based Offense is it's based on the principles that we would all say run through our offenses: shot selection, possession, swinging the ball, reading the defense, seeing the field, assisted shots, etc.
Favorite New Shot: Underhand Curveballs: Darris Kilgour used to talk about this shot a ton and I finally figured it out and I use it all the time in pick up games! Check out PLL Cannons and NLL Firewolves player Andrew Kew demonstrating his version of the Underhand Curveball or Underhand Twister!
Jaw Dropping Highlight of 2021: PLL Chaos Chris Cloutier's one hand scoop shot fake to a backhand shot was my pick for jaw dropping highlight of 2021. This is the perfect example of using deception to make the defense guard the wrong thing! Chris Cloutier is a human highlight film!
Favorite Tourney Experience: Lake Placid this year was very special because I got to coach my daughter with her Northwestern commit team and play for Brown State. I should really stick to coaching as i was literally beaten to a pulp, but as Casey Powell says, "It hurts so good!"
Favorite Coaching Experience Part 1: coaching my daughter and ThunderRidge HS girls. These girls were competitors, skilled as hell and had off the chars IQ! This team were the model of what Free Play can do to a program!
Favorite Coaching Experience Part 2: Coaching The Deerfield boys lacrosse over spring break. Due to Covid restrictions, DA Head Coach Chip Davis wasn't allowed to coach his own team at spring break and he allowed me to prepare his team for the season. Chip allowed me to install Principles Based Lacrosse with an exceptionally high level group of players on both sides of the ball and it was an incredible experience!
Deerfield won the National Championship! LFG!
Coaches, the details of how to install and develop the Principles Based Offense will be presented in depth in the 2022 Coaches Training Program. Check out the video below and you will see what the PBO looks like after 5 days of training.
Favorite coaching experience part 3: JM3 Athletes in Delray this past December for 5 days of incredible lacrosse, great people, and good times! We had four groups:
On field we split the boys and girls, but put them together to play pick up in the outdoor rink. This camp is for family, friends and JM3 Athletes. There is no fee, no registration, no reversibles etc, but the lacrosse and good times are off the charts.
Check out a little progression from the girls:
Check out the videos of the progression of games/drills from our older group of girls. Starts with a 4v3 Keep Away with an emphasis on on ball and off ball picks going simultaneously.
Then we began working on the reads of our 2man actions with a Swing Feeder.
The goal was to get an offense to run 3man actions on both the ball side and off ball side simultaneously.
If you found these videos interesting, you will love the Principles Based Offense for Women's lacrosse! This is kind of how you install it!
Most Shared Video Clip With JM3 Athletes: Zach Currier "On The Run Hitch" is a great example of such an easy way to make your defender (and the goalie) misjudge the timing of your shot (without breaking stride!), causing them to commit too early and therefore creating an advantage for you. If you want to learn more about how I teach my JM3 Athletes, send me an email at [email protected].
The Best Lacrosse Team In The World
I'm a huge PLL Chaos fan and I couldn't be more impressed with Head Coach Andy Towers in his ability to build this team. Everything from their team first mentality, the toughness that they play with to the unselfishness they exhibit are marvelous.
AT and I were college teammates and we have kind of come up through the ranks of coaching. I have learned as much lacrosse from AT as anyone on the planet. Also, he's always been able to do what he's done with the PLL. Every camp team he ever coached seemed to win the camp championship after being dealt a random group of players. Some how he inspires passion and commitment while having fun and staying loose.
In a league that prides itself on one goal games, the Chaos's margin of victory down the stretch was around 5 per game. Great goaltending, high level competitiveness at the X, great individual and team defense and an unselfish box style offense is a model that works! Congrats to the Chaos!
Check out all the actions going on finishing with a Spain Slip, a slip of the pick for the picker!, I don't know how Coach Towers got his team to play like this, but to me, this is picking on and off ball simultaneously and is exactly what I believe is the new frontier of offense in field lacrosse.
My Favorite Lacrosse Memories of 2021:
Georgetown's NCAA Tourney win over Syracuse at Byrd Stadium. What an incredible night! It was the first tailgate of the year, the weather was beautiful, The Hoyas played lights out, and to be able to watch with friends and family after a season with no fans was special
Arizona State's home wins over Colorado and Oregon was incredibly satisfying. Watching the way ASU plays lacrosse is a joy in and of itself, and then seeing them win big conference games and vault into the top 20 was amazing!
ThunderRidge HS come from behind Quarter Final win over Cherry Creek HS with 2 seconds left on the clock! That was a special group of girls and great lacrosse players! The best thing about this team is they were total Free Play products! Sure a bunch played club, but this group played pick up about 50 times from when quarantine ended to the beginning of our season in May. This team truly taught me what players can do when their games are unlocked.
Mountain Vista HS 2021 Colorado State Champions, I was the head coach at Vista from 2013-2017 and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my coaching career. I love MVHS and was thrilled for Coach Matt Plitnic and the Vista players, coaches, and alums for this amazing championship run! #ForTheDoc
Register for A Season In A Box Webinar [CLICK HERE]
Register for the 4 Secrets Webinar [CLICK HERE]
Register for the Greatest Motion Offense Webinar [CLICK HERE]
Remembering Scott Evans:
I got the bad news on Wednesday December 1st that my good friend and coaching colleague, Scott Evans had taken his own life. Scott was my son's coach back in 2010, had coached with me on my staff at Mountain Vista HS several years, coached for me at 3d Lacrosse, and was a good friend.
Scott had a big heart, a kind soul and a passion for music and lacrosse!
I will miss you my friend.
Have a great weekend!