A Lacrosse Weekend 10.22.22

Uncategorized Oct 22, 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. 


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How To Teach Multiple Hitching

Over the four and a half years of writing this blog, I have written about the power of multiple hitches many times.  it's a skill that Canadian and Native box lacrosse players employ regularly, whereas US players generally do not.  The reason is simple, In the US, kids are taught to catch it loaded, release a shot as quickly as humanly possible and this is repped endlessly in just about every shooting drill.  Whereas In Canadian box lacrosse kids have to figure out a way to score a goal with a huge goalie, a small net, tons of traffic in front, and defenders who are adept at blocking shots in such tight quarters.  While the US kids are forced into one technique that reduces their ability to score, the solutions for the Canadian scorers emerge from the situation.

Here are a couple examples of brilliant Multiple Hitch goals!

Jeff Teat makes things look easy!

Of course, there is a time for quick release shots!  And Canadians are the best in the world at that too!  They will quick stick outside shots when they know a goalie is on the other post, sometimes beating them to an empty net and other times catching them against the grain like in this clip from Shayne Jackson.


More often than not, Canadian and Naive box players use Multiple Hitches.  Listen to the announcer describe Austin Staats's brilliance, "That pump fake to get the defenders swinging their stick and get the goalie stepping"

Hitching in girls lacrosse is just as effective but not seen as often as in men's or box lacrosse.  The reason is simple: growing up girls just run fast and get used to using speed, speed, speed with tons of space,  very little help defense, nobody in the middle.  It's not until the higher level of HS or college lacrosse that team defense actually forces offensive players to use more moves!

Before I converted to the Free Play Model of development, I tried to teach Multiple Hitches in drills like this "Wind up 1v1's Drill."  This isn't a terrible drill.  There are some good things emerging from this drill: some screen shots, some hitches to set up screen shots, and a lot of hitch and go's.  I'll tell you this though, there was no translation from this drill to games where kids were regularly using multiple hitches to get the defenders swinging their sticks and getting the goalie stepping! 


Now, watch these JM3 Athletes playing a game of 5x (a 5v5 game where the last player to touch it is out making it an all time 5v4) with a fully padded box goalie in an NLL net.  The amount of hitches from every player is incredible to watch!  The reason: the environment of this game forces kids to hitch to find a shot!  Somehow they have to shoot around defenders and get the goalie to bite!  The skills emerge from the context of the game! 

Coaching Girls Lacrosse

Check out the video below from a Jm3 Workshop at Lassiter HS in Atlanta, Georgia run by Mike O'Neil, former PLL and MLL defensive shorty, four year starter at Cornell and currently the Head Coach Kent Denver Girls Lacrosse.  This highlight video shows the drill progression Mike used to build up and implement the Principles Based Offense and team play through simultaneous pick actions, ball movement, and reads.

In JM3 Workshops, we use use 2man game to teach the principles or fundamentals of the game and it is wildly powerful.  The principles or fundamentals of the game are NOT techniques, but rather concepts that every coach know are critical to success!

  • Communication: on both sides of the ball, 2man game forces teamwork which forces communication.
  • Reading Coverages: in order to create an advantage of two on one (2 D on one O) in 2man game the offense has to recognize how the defense is covering the action.  Are they switching or staying?  If they're staying, are they going under or over?  Players that can recognize these coverages can consistently punish the defense and create a two on one.
  • Deception: good defenders will coordinate their 2man game coverage and try to anticipate the offenses actions, pressure the dodger or cutter, and change their coverages to throw off the offense.  It is not enough for the offense simply to read the coverage.  The offense must distract the defense from their task of covering the action.  Deception begins with using or refusing the pick and disguising these intentions.  Further, distracting the defense during their coverage with fake passes, shots and dodges as well as verbal fakes and gestures will cause the defense to hesitate, which is all you need to get one player to switch and one player to stay, which is a two on one!
  • Ball movement: when the ball moves the defense has new roles and assignments, they get spread out, there are new angles to feed, the defense has difficult approaches and it is much easier to capitalize on advantages created by 2man game with ball movement. 

If you want to have your team coached by JM3 Coaches in a workshop this winter to prepare for your season reach out to me at [email protected] and we can try to get you on our calendar!


Have a great weekend!


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