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!
Colleen Magarity Joins JM3
I am thrilled to announce that Colleen Magarity is joining JM3 Sports to work with JM3 Athletes and JM3 Coaches as well as to help host, manage and grow the Women's Lacrosse Coaches Training Program and the Virtual Lacrosse Summit. Check out Colleen's bio below!
Colleen is simply the best.
As a mentor, Colleen has a perfect balance between having fun, working hard and playing to win. Colleen is an incredible role model for girls - amazingly positive, a fierce competitor and confident leader. She can be tough and will tell you a hard truth, but has a way about her that motivates kids to be better. Never making it about herself, Colleen displays the ultimate in what it means to be a great teammate and does what's in the best interest of the athlete. Anyone who knows Colleen, knows she is a great friend who will be there for you and come through for you when you need her.
Colleen is cutting edge on the field in terms of her excellence in teaching team lacrosse as well as individual skills and has a thirst for knowledge with an amazing balance between letting players play and coaching them up.
If you want a taste of Colleen's coaching, check out this webinar on Team Defense from the 2019 JM3 Virtual Lacrosse Summit, it's awesome!
Colleen is one of the most respected and connected coaches in women's lacrosse and has helped dozens and dozens of girls get recruited to play college lacrosse. She has quickly built Big 4 HHH Lacrosse into a national powerhouse club program out of Philly and college coaches trust her evaluation of players. All 18 of her 2022's are committed to Division I lacrosse!
Colleen will work directly with JM3 Athletes on Zoom calls, breaking down their game film, practice film and pick up game film as well as helping them plan their development roadmap. Colleen will also help athletes/parents navigate the ever changing world of college lacrosse recruiting as well as to serve as an advocate in the recruiting process..
Colleen and I have produced dozens of podcasts with many of the top coaches in Division I lacrosse on our Inside The 8 Podcasts, but if you want more info on recruiting, check out College Lacrosse Recruiting Part 1 and Part 2 to get to know Colleen and for more insight into her perspectives.
The Women's Lacrosse Coaches Training Program, which already has the deepest treasure trove of coaching content, will now have one of the top women's high school and club coaches in the world creating content. Colleen is the perfect balance between cutting edge and practicality. Colleen has coached Division I NCAA Play off teams as well as HS and youth and is a master at creating simple, yet effective strategies. Coaches who subscribe to the WCTP will get direct access each week as Colleen will host "Office Hours" which will be a chance for her to work with coaches in a group setting where you can watch film, ask questions, and learn from others!
For women's lacrosse coaches who want more, Colleen will work directly with you, your staff, and even your team in our JM3 Coach Program or JM3 Virtual Workshop Program. Helping to plan practices, evaluate your team, install defenses and offenses, develop players and helping to problem solve, advice on how to manage difficult situations. Basically you will have another set of eyes on your program and a confidante who will help you win and be happy! For more info on this program, email me at [email protected].
Colleen coaching with her dad!
Keegan Wilkinson, Head Coach Marist College, was my first podcast of the year and I think you're going to love it! Keegan is a thoughtful, passionate, down-to-earth guy who has made Marist into a winning program. Marist has been to four straight MAAC Championship games and has been to the NCAA Tourney twice. The 2020 season was cut short, but if you recall, Marist beat army 17-9 after Army whacked UMass and Rutgers and barely lost to Syracuse in the Dome. Keegan explains how he builds his program through certain cultural points of emphasis combined with a school that kids love! We talk about offensive philosophy, defensive philosophy, 2man game, player development and recruiting. I loved the detailed explanation of why they focus hard on "Jab Steps" as the core skill in dodging. Very cool stuff! I hope you enjoy. Click here for the Keegan Wilkinson Podcast!
X's and O's with Bobby Benson
I was fortunate to spend some time last week skiing with my family. We signed my boys, 7 and 6, up for their annual ski lessons. The coach in me is analyzing everything they do. Lessons often began skiing slowly, working on parallel turns, J turns, side slips, and hockey stops. However, the lessons then moved to skiing in and out of trees, through bumps, and off jumps. My boys loved it. When we skied with them in the afternoon it was all they wanted to do. Just as importantly, it forced them to learn to ski! They had to balance and become proficient on the terrain without falling. You can't ski in bumps or trees with a snowplow so they were working on their skills at the same time.
This free skiing was the same as the free play model of lacrosse. The techniques of shooting, passing, groundballs, dodging, etc are important. They can be practiced on their own, but one most also learn to use them in play. To be great at lacrosse you have to be fluid in your moves and reads and you learn this from playing. Not to mention, it is a ton of fun. It doesn't matter the setup of the game and it is important to use the games to work on important skills. Learning to use those skills in a live setting is a lot of fun and a great way to truly become fluent in the skill. This is also the basis of the JM3 model that has been very successful at developing talent.
Below are some clips of free play and interview with Coach Conry at Michigan on the topic :
Check out the excerpt below of Michigan Head Coach, Kevin Conry talking about Free Play from the Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast last spring!
Coach Benson is going to be creating a ton of content for the JM3 Men's Coaches Training Program as well as hosting office hours beginning in a few weeks! If you are excited to learn, 2021 is going to be an awesome opportunity!
Virtual Lacrosse Summit, Begins January 18th!
I am so pumped for the 2021 Virtual Lacrosse Summit and the new format we are using. Originally we were going to run it the week of January 11-14, with our usual 24 webinars in one week, the "Shark Week" of lacrosse. We have decided to do more like "Shark Month" where we will put out webinars once per day, Mondays through Thursdays during prime time! Bobby Benson and I will host the men's field lacrosse webinars, Colleen Magarity will host the women's lacrosse webinars, and Jake Elliott will host the Box Lacrosse webinars! This allows us to present the richest content possible in a more digest-able manner and give our speakers more time post holidays to prepare. Each week we will have 1-2 speakers from men's, women's and box lacrosse!
Register for FREE at VirtualLacrosseSummit.com
Women's Lacrosse Speakers
Stay tuned, this week we will begin to announce the schedule for speakers!
The Victoria Look back
In the July 25th installment of "A Lacrosse Weekend Blog" I told the story of learning about a move I had never before seen, The Victoria Look Back!
"When I was trying out for the Colorado Mammoth in the fall of 2002 at 35 years old, Gary Gait was on the team and I noticed that every time he caught the ball, he would look at the head of his stick before he would shoot. I was like, "WTF" is he doing? Years later I happened to ask the GM at the time, Steve Govett, if he ever noticed and he said, "Oh yeah, that's the Victoria Look Back." It is an amazing way to freeze a goalie. Watch the clip below of Ryan Lee and watch the goalie's reaction!"
The ultimate environment to learn any skill like a Victoria Look Back is in a pick up game. Honestly, this move isn't hard to master. In fact it's incredibly easy, but like many fakes and hesitations that aren't hard to execute, it's remembering I have talked about this fake with my own kids and with JM3 Athletes for years, and suddenly this high level skill began to occur down in Delray Beach, FL at our Family and Friends Beach and Lacrosse Vacation. Watch boys and girls players using this nasty hesitation move!
JM3 Practice Highlights from 12/17/20
Do you want to see what JM3 Training looks like? Check out the videos below from the 4th Annual Family & Friends, Beach & Lacrosse Vacation. JM3 Athletes played a lot of lacrosse in December and it was 99% void of coaching! The concepts of the Free Play model can be done on the field during practice by simply turning a drill into a game, making it competitive and letting it go!
Boys Practice 12/17/21
We started the day with a 4v4 From Behind where you can see the cones across the top creating a boundary at about 9 yards above GLE. This forces the offense to play in an area that promotes attacking from behind and Big-Little Inverts which is amazing for both sides of the ball. Next I extended the boundary to 12-13 yards and we played a 5v5 From Behind. Then you will notice a 5v5 Pairs + X game, followed by a 5v4 game and when we were done some guys wanted to do 1v1's!
The environments do the teaching, then after the fact I can go back through the video with JM3 Athletes and break it down with them!
Girls Training Highlights 12/17/21
You will love the box lacrosse drill the girls started with where they did flips and fake flips weaving into a 3v2! Next was some sweet 4v3 games, and finally, a 5v5 From Behind where the space in front of the goal is restricted with an 8 yard boundary forcing dodges to come from behind and on the wings. This teaches the girls to create space, throw back and cut from the elbows which is awesome for both sides of the ball!
We did very little coaching and let the environments do the teaching, but in the weeks since we finished up this incredible event, I have done countless Zoom calls with athletes studying and learning from video. The combination of implicit learning and video review is the ultimate model.
Pick up Game Highlights 12/17/21
There is nothing like the skills in use during pick up games. We played a lot of 5x in Delray where one player on defense either sits out if we have a box goalie in net (last player to touch it sits ) or plays goalie creating an all time 5v4. This game is a favorite of JM3 Athletes because it's truly like EMO! The ball movement, carries, skip passes, roll offs, seals and slips as well as the defensive rotations make this the ultimate uneven learning environment.
Boys and girls from College to committed HS, to younger HS and even middle school all playing, competing, learning and having so much fun together! There is nothing like it!
Have a great weekend!