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!
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The Hard Pump
Right now the skill that I'm most fascinated with a fake I call a "Hard Pump" as executed by Lyle Thompson in the clip below. There are multiple variations of this move, but the gist of it is using a hard and exaggerated shoulder rotation and / or fake follow through to sell shot.
I think the reason Hard Pumps are so effective is they sell shot all the way to the follow through.
In the clip below, Lyle Thompson Hard Pumps twice, leaving defenders watching, turning their heads, or making one last ditch swing at what they think is your shot. I have watched this clip at least 100 times!
By the way, watch the "Spin, Rip, Seal" by Randy Staats on this play! Damn Daniel!
Connor Fields uses Hard Pumps all the time, whether behind the back, backhand, Lyle Style or as in the case in the video below, an underhand hard pump!
The clip below is an interesting example of a Hard Pump selling shot turning the head of the on ball short stick middle as well as forcing the slider to sell out in an attempt to defend the dodging midfielder's shot, leaving the dodger time to roll back and set his feet to shoot.
The clip below is one of the greatest plays in Final Four history! In the 2015 National Championship Semi-Final, Denver vs Notre Dame, Zach Miller executes a "Gotcha" version of the hard pump where he literally turns the heads of both his man and the slider as he inside rolls and hammers a shot.
The shorty guarding miller is working so hard to push him out he can't see that Miller hadn't thrown the ball.
Check out this use of a hard pump that gets the Duke midfielder right through the gap of the adjacent defender. It manifests itself kind of like a Face Dodge, but it's definitely more of a hard fake. And notice the on ball defender selling out while the adjacent help just kind of reaches.
Note: hard pumps work REALLY well coming out of a roll back!
Here's a great application for a hard pump! Watch Selena Lasota dodging down her wrong side and using a Hard Pump that both causes the help defender to be late as well as totally fooling her own defender into thinking she had shot, such that her defender slowed down while Selena cruised to the net for a backhand finish.
Box lacrosse players use the hard pump a ton because there is less space and the hard pump buys you time. Sometimes like this clip form Curtis Dickson below, a hard pump can be a Fake Twister that turns into a Face Dodge.
Teaching the Hard Pump
Actually executing skills like Hard Pumps is the difference between good and great. Knowing how to do a skill is not the key. Nor is actually being good at the particular skill. The key is actually executing skills. Don't confuse possessing a huge repertoire of skills with actually using a huge repertoire of skills.
You want to see the best way to get really good at actually using a huge repertoire of skills like Hard Pumps? Check out the video below from fall of 2017 where we played a good old fashion game of 3x! I just took a few clips from one particular day where there happened to be a ton of Hard Pumps.
Have a great weekend!