A Lacrosse Weekend 1.8.22

Uncategorized Jan 08, 2022

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


Learning From A JM3 Athlete 

Often times in my blog I use film clips of college, NLL, PLL or WPLL players to highlight interesting skills that I want my teams, my JM3 Athletes, and blog subscribers to know about and perhaps experiment with.  Today, I will breakdown a few clips of a JM3 Athlete / Duke commit, Jack Pappendick, who has some sick highlights from the Best In Class Committed Showcase.

If you want more information about the JM3 Athlete Program, email me at [email protected] or click here to apply! 

Jump Shot Hitch

Like most acts of deception in lacrosse, The Jump Shot Hitch is not physically difficult to do.  Literally, anyone can do it, yet we don't see many players use this move!  Watch what happens as Pappendick gets into space drops the head of his stick, loads up on his jump shot foot and executes his jump shot hitch

  • His own man reaches with one hand in a desperate attempt to defend the shot (fake)
  • The shorty crease slider ducks
  • The other defenders watch
  • The goalie freaks out (haha)

Hitches in general are like Double Dribbling in basketball.  What if you were able to pick up your dribble fake passes and shots and then keep dribbling?  Well, that's what you can do in lacrosse!

My favorite part about Jack's use of this move is he probably learned it playing pick up with another JM3 Athlete and Princeton commit, Brody Upton who regularly leaves defenders looking silly with his Jump Shot Hitch!

The Leaner

As the great Darris Kilgour says, "Every time you shoot, you tell a story to the goalie."  Meaning, the goalie, just like the defense are reading your every move and if you don't use deception, you will give them a chance to defender what you actually do.  if you use deception, you can get them to defender your fake.

In this case, the goalie is trying to make a save on a low shot fake!  Notice how Papp puts his chin to his chest just as he starts his swing, causing the goalie to read low and drop, leaving a lot of net open up top!

Powless Pump

This shot is named after box lacrosse star Johnny Powless, who won three straight NLL Championships with the Rochester Knighthawks while he was still playing Jr A Lacrosse for Six Nations.  This is a highly effective use of deception and if you watch NLL lacrosse you will see variations of this technique used very regularly  Why is a Powless Pump effective?

  • The pump alters the approach of the defender
  • Makes the goalie step, lean or freeze
  • Allows the shooter to "Find their screen"
  • Lifting up after the pump lifts the goalie up and helps the shooter find the screen

The main reasons we don't see this shot much in field lacrosse is, the #1 teaching point for shooting coaches at all levels of the game is to catch it loaded and release the ball as quickly as possible.  Of course there's a time and place for releasing a shot as quickly as possible, but coaches have created a "Fake Fundamental" here: forcing a skill on players as a  "One size fits all." The irony is, in a high percentage of cases,, shooters have time for this highly effective and advantageous extra hitch therefore influencing the defender and the goalie guard the hitch rather than the actual shot.



The JM3 Principles Based Offense

This February, I will be presenting to the JM3 Coaches Training Program a webinar with my latest updates on installing an offense that I think is the future of the sport, taking advantage of proven efficiencies.

The traditional Field Lacrosse Paradigm is the way I grew up playing and coaching the sport.  Obviously there have been a lot of championships won playing this way!   However, there are other ways to play!

Field Lacrosse Paradigm Characteristics

  • Actions (movements) occur relative to the ball / the dodge
  • Timing is important: clear space, motion options, Mumbo's and off ball 2man, All relative to the dodge and moving the ball quicker than the defense can slide and recover
  • Offense starts in a set, usually with players in the middle with motions initiated by the dodge
  • Creates advantages primarily through dodging and drawing a slide or a "Show"
  • Uses on ball 2man games as another form of drawing slides  
  • Scripted spacing to make it hard to slide and recover
  • If you get the defense rotating, "Play lacrosse"
  • Once the defense recovers, reset and do it again
  • This offense is predictable
  • Players have to be able to draw slides

 Here is an awesome video of how to install a 1-3-2 Motion Offense that I produced four years ago.  It teaches you the entire build up of skills, drills, motions you need to know!

If you want more info on how to install offenses like 'Cuse 4 midfielder Motion, a classic Duke 1-3-2 Re-dodging Offense, Installing a 1-4-1 with beautiful lateral spacing, the UVA Big-Little Deuces offense, you will find all of it in the CTP!

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. 

Invest in yourself, invest in your team, invest in the Coaches Training Program and make the shift in 2022.

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.

Check out these Testimonials...



Michigan Head Coach Hannah Nielsen: Fades Drill

Here is a great drill! Hannah Nielsen presented on the concept of "Fades" which is a great way to create space for the dodger without clearing into the middle which is actually clearing into coverage!  



Box Lacrosse Paradigm Characteristics

  •  The ball finds the action
  • Get open and the ball will find you,
  • No emphasis on clearing space for dodges,
  • Emphasis on picking/slipping/sealing with ball movement
  • Keeps the middle open for cuts and dodges to the net
  • Creates advantages with on ball and off ball 2man games and ball simultaneous movement
  • No matter how a defense plays 2man games, switch, stay go under the pick, stay go over the pick, the offense can create an advantage
  • Offense is geared towards taking advantage of good defense
  • Offense can create advantages in 2man games on on off ball more easily and more frequently than an offense can create advantages through dodging
  • An offense can average 18 2man actions in 30 seconds 
  • Players will dodge when defense over plays or has difficult approaches
  • This offense is unpredictable
  • Players don't have to do what they suck at
  • Continuous flow

Here is film from ThunderRidge HS Girls running a Box Lacrosse Style Offense.  watch the way the girls are picking on an off ball in 2man and 3man actions, moving the ball, cutting, picking/slipping/sealing and creating advantages in a completely unpredictable manner!


Here is a video from Deerfield Academy last spring, where I had the opportunity to install this offense.  One can't help but to be impressed if not mesmerized the flow: the ball movement, the simultaneous picking, unselfishness and intuitive nature of this offense!

Free Play is the Way!

The Box Lacrosse Paradigm is what I've been enthralled with for the past few years.  I've learned a lot through watching box, through coaching men's and women's lacrosse, through Virtual Lacrosse Summit speakers, but I'd say the biggest influence on my understanding of this offense has come from pick up games or Free Play. 


Watch the film below and you will see on ball and off ball picks/slips/seals combined with ball movement where advantages are being created regularly!  There are incredible nuances in here that I'll share with you on a webinar or Zoom call someday!


Analytics Support The Box Lacrosse Paradigm

Below are slides from a deck that the Late Great Dave Huntley presented at the US Lacrosse Convention six years ago with stats compiled from the Atlanta Blaze stats analyst, Jesse McNulty.  

MLL Shots by Zone

Joe Keegan, a writer and stats analyst for the PLL will be presenting compelling information about the values of 2man games, assisted shots, and shot selection next week at the US Lacrosse convention.  The PLL Chaos are the team that leveraged the efficiencies of 2man game, attacking from the wings, passing, and shooting with their sticks to the middle the most and ended up winning the championship.

Jesse broke down the MLL field into 22 zones and charted shooting percentages of 10,000 shots.  Unsurprisingly, shooting percentages are higher the closer you get to the goal and the closer you get to the middle.  Shot selection of both distance and angle are critical to your offensive efficiency.  One of the truest evaluation of a well coached team is in shot selection.

The Power of the Natural Side

A few weeks ago I wrote an article on Coaching Youth Lacrosse that explains why attackmen have such a huge advantage over midfielders in their skill development, which is due to the  simple fact that when attackmen run to their strong hand, they run to their "Natural Side" and when midfielders run to their strong hand, they run to their "Wrong side."

Jesse not only studied 10,000 shots and what zone they were shot from, but also whether or not the shooter's stick was to the middle or or to the outside.   The effect of shooting with your stick to the middle is profound.  Every zone other than dead center saw an improvement when shooters had his stick to the middle.

Best Dodging Locations

Jesse also studied those 10,000 shots by "Game State" where he studied how shots were taken: 1v1, 2man game, fast breaks, EMO, etc.  The bullets below are compelling bit of information:

  • Alley Dodge = lowest shooting %
  • Dodge from X = second lowest shooting %
  • Dodges from the wing = highest shooting %

2man game vs Isolation

One of the most incredible findings is that 2man game yields a higher shooting percentage than isolation dodges and the two BEST actions are the rarest!  

Diving deeper into 2man games, Joe Keegan from Moneyball Lacrosse provided these stats a few years ago on twitter.  Does your offense do much short/short two man game?  And think about the fact that in women's lacrosse it's all short/short 2man games!

PASS the BALL!!!!!!

The following slide breaks down shooting percentages based on assisted and unassisted goals.  Everyone shoots better off the catch than off the dodge.  If you can develop your players to look for the "One more," play unselfishly, and create a culture of ball movement, you will create a more efficient offense.

In conclusion, these statistics represent the qualities of potentially better offensive efficiency for your team if you can craft your offense and your defense to take advantage of these truths.   Focus on shot selection, sticks to the inside, wing dodges, 2man game and creating great ball movement (and off ball movement) will improve your offensive efficiency.

Don't be a Medieval Barber

One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits from my favorite era of SNL, was when Steve Martin played the role of Theodoric of York, the Medieval Barber.  I like to joke that "Old School" lacrosse coaches in men's and women's lacrosse are Medieval Barbers!  Don't be a Medieval Barber!  If you're going to coach, it's on you to be cutting edge. Be sure to check out the JM3 Coaches Training Program! 


Mindfulness Tip of the Week from Mikey Thompson

 Fear of Success

"The arrow that hits the bulls-eye is the result of a hundred misses." We are all aware of the concept of fear of failure and all of the detrimental results that accompany it. Fear of failure can be developed when we see losing a game as a failure regardless of whether we feel like we performed at a high level or not. Having a healthy relationship with failure and understanding that it is necessary for growth is a key mentality to cultivate. What we learn from failures is usually much more powerful than what we learn from a win. 
The other obstacle for athletes and coaches that can be a bit more sneaky is fear of success. Success brings a set of challenges of its own. When you reach the top the natural fear is the inevitable decline. There is more pressure to perform, envy, and the feeling that this happiness might not last. 
The book, Thinking Body, Dancing Mind by Chungliang Al Huang and Jerry Lynch encourages you to ask yourself the following questions to discover if you have any of the common fears of success. If you answer yes to any of these questions, it might indicate a fear of success worthy of reflection. To answer these questions- visualize an important game or scenario where you weren't ultimately successful:
1) If you had succeeded, do you think you would have experienced pressure from yourself or others to perform as well or even better in future contests?
2) If you had succeeded, do you think you would have become more accountable to a greater number of people?
3) If you had succeeded, do you think your life would have become more complicated in an unpleasant way? 
4) Do you fear the enormous amount of work it may take to commit yourself totally to being successful? Thinking Body, Dancing Mind
These questions are a great way to get you thinking! The ultimate goal is not to dwell on victories or defeat. We shouldn't fear failure or success. "If your goals are realistic and attainable and if you are willing to persist with patience, successful outcomes are yours for the taking." 
JM3 Webinars

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]

Have a great weekend!








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