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!
JM3 College Tours
last year at this time I was in the middle of of a "Once in a lifetime" RV trip to 12 Division I Lacrosse Programs where my crew and I spent a full day at each school watching practice, sitting in on meetings, breaking bread, and talking, learning, sharing the great game of lacrosse!
I call this a "Once in a lifetime" trip because when I started planning for this year i decided there was no way I was going to spend 12 days in an RV during a polar vortex again haha! It was a blast and my road crew of Rocco Romero (Videographer), Matt Noble (Driver), and Drew Wardlow (Photographer and FCA rep!) made this trip the most amazing odyssey.
The videos below are an awesome recap of this once in a lifetime trip with pictures, whiteboard sessions, practice footage etc! The first video covers Northwestern, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cleveland State, Penn State/Army Scrimmage and Colgate.
The Second video covers Albany, Navy, Virginia, and High Point!
Even though I didn't go all in with an RV, I am still every bit as interested in visiting college lacrosse practices, talking/sharing/learning the great game of lacrosse whenever possible!
This fall I visited Boston University, Harvard, Brown, Yale, and Georgetown on an abbreviated version of the RV trip, only there was no RV and no crew. Just me, my rental car and my phone for video! Click here to see pictures and videos from my Fall Tour!
The concept of spreading out my college lacrosse stops is much more manageable and still pretty fun! This week I visited Johns Hopkins University where I watched practice and spent an hour doing a little X's and O's with Bobby Benson, JHU's Offensive Coordinator.
A Cool Full Field 5v4 Drill
JHU ran a pretty cool Full Field 5v4's that I had forgotten about! I first learned from Yale Head Coach Mike Waldvogel who I worked for from '91-'98. I ran this drill at Denver regularly, mostly to work on riding / clearing in a fun competitive full field drill.
The video below explains the drill.
I forget what we used to call this drill, but the guys loved it and it was the genesis for how to teach backside seals, which became a staple of our motion offenses at Denver. Imagine the ball coming down the side and to X with the backside wing attackman sealing for a backside midfielder!
Other Drills at JHU Practice
10 man Ride/Clear: Since JHU was preparing to scrimmage Richmond, who is known for their unique Ride 10 man (there is a cool breakdown in the CTP on this!), Coach Petro had the team preparing! An interesting concept coach Petro stressed was teammates telling ball carrier to "Shoot" when the time is right! Often times the ball carrier struggles to see all the way down the field when under pressure and trying to make the next pass and this technique can be a key to successfully shooting and retaining possession!
2v2's from behind and both wings: working on up picks, down picks, slips, swing picks and hard picks, the Blue Jays worked hard on both sides of the ball.
6v6 two ends: JHU looks similar to what they've been on offense in terms of their motion set, a lot of Big-Littles, and their Umbrella set. Moving the ball well, they created good looks regularly!
Georgetown / MD Scrimmage
Maryland looked like a team that can win the National Championship. With every player on both teams wearing different jersey numbers, it was hard to know who everyone was, but I can tell you Jared Bernhardt was easy to pick out. I'm making the early prediction he will be the Tewaaraton winner as his speed, size, athleticism, skill, shooting, feeding, dodging, and overall presence were incredible.
Coach Tiffany held a coaches clinic for 50 HS and youth coaches before inviting them out to his practice. Each member of Coach Tiffany's staff did a presentation. The only problem was there were only two time slots! I ended up listening to Coach Kirwan do a breakdown of the offense that won them the 2019 National Championship and Coach Turner on goaltending drills. Both were fantastic!
One of the coolest things about going to practices, is seeing the practice plan!
Lars talked about it this particular day as an "All-Even" Day. Usually Tuesday is an "All Even Day", Wednesday "Uneven Day," Thursday EMO and then Friday is "Fundamental Friday"
2nd Slide / Approach 1v1 Drill
I love this drill that UVA was doing. I think Lars calls it "General Drill" and it simulates a back side defender getting in to help on a 2nd slide, but then having to get out on a tough skip pass approach.
Have a great week!