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.
The Art Of Feeding
First, let's define the difference between a Feed and a Pass. A feed is a pass that leads directly to a shot. If you are passing to a shooter, it's a feed. The exception to this statement is the concept of "Feeding a Feeder" where a timely and deceptive pass to a feeder like in a Nations Look or in a Hang up at X opens up a great feeding opportunity.
The video below is an in depth and awesome look at every feed in the book from the fundamentals of feeding as well as the cutting edge skills you need to know! Below are the feeds you will learn!
There are dozens of variations of deceptive feeding techniques that are important to have in your repertoire. The most important advantage in deceptive feeding is buying time for the receiver.
Buying time for the receiver is will result in higher shooting percentages. The entire defense is trying to anticipate what the offense will be doing next. Further, the defense is often trying to cover more than one man at one time. Think of a a QB looking off a safety! Simply put, if you can give your receiver more time, they will score more goals!
There is a reason why BTB Passes are in the JM3 Athlete Top 10 Skills you need to Master! To me, BTB Feeding is a fundamental. And BTB Feeding is actually easier!
Let's think about why feeds in general don't work
Another advantage to BTB Feeding is that most players don't have the confidence to make this play, even though from a skill set perspective, they are definitely capable of making this play. There is a Wow factor with BTB Feeds and the irony is, BTB Feeds are actually easier to complete!
BTB Feeding Movie
You're going to love this reel of BTB feeds from box lacrosse, field lacrosse boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, pick up lacrosse and even old man's lacrosse.
A sick BTB skip pass from JM3 to Dave Evans in 2019!
Backhand Feeds are fantastic deception! Traditionalists would say switch hands, but the advantages undeniable. Just like in hockey, Backhands improve Feed Angle and are often times a Reach around a defender. Plus, anytime you feed around your man, a Screen Feed (akin to a Screen Shot) it is deceptive.
Another reason Backhand passes are so deceptive is because they are usually thrown right after a Face Dodge or a Spin move before you would switch hands. The body language of these moves screams underneath dodge and tends to leave receivers wide open as the defense collapses.
Wind up, Face Dodge, Backhand (or Backhand Pump) is a typical progression that is a phenomenal means to take advantage of a 2v1!
Why did Patrick Mahomes throw a pass like this? Deception! This is a football version of a Lever Pass, which is a pass that the defense doesn't see coming because there is no wind up or follow through!
The Lever Feed in lacrosse is a common and effective way of disguising a feed and buying time for the receiver. Often times a Lever Feed comes from a dodging or shooting posture and catches the defense off guard. In addition, the no follow through allows a feeder to pass at the last second and take a check on the hands without disrupting the pass allowing for optimal draw and dump!
Mark Matthews is a master of the lever, just watch the way he doesn't tip off a pass by lifting his hands and how he pops the ball out of his stick with now follow through. This is a touch pass, very catchable for 2man game and very deceptive!
Check out Matthews popping a Lever into Jeff Teat on man up! The ball is in the back of the net before anyone on the defense knows what happened!
Around The World Feed
Most folks wouldn't realize that an Around the World Feed is very similar to a Backhand Feed in its applications. Wind up, Face dodge, Around The World is most often used to fully draw as defender in a 2v1 situation where the defender is slightly overplaying the backhand pass angle. Here is and example of a few Draw and Dump Around The World Passes.
1 Hand Feeding
I love watching the creativity of box lacrosse players in the way they pass: the timing of when they pass, the way they fake to set up the Draw & Dump, the way they disguise the pass, as well as the angles they use and maximize when they pass. Since box players don't switch hands, when they dodge underneath (on their Natural Side) in a 2man game or in isolation, they must pass the ball with their backhand or with 1 hand (at the bottom of their stick), if they don't "Open up" and backpedal or Drag where they could throw a forehand or BTB pass.
One of the great advantages of feeding with your backhand or 1 hand going down the side is with your stick to the middle, it is a signal to the defense that your are going hard to the net and you will have angle to score. In my "A Lacrosse Weekend 10.19.19" I touched on the supreme value in dumping the ball to "X" with your inside hand. Therefore, one of the interesting aspect to the backhand or one hand feed is it causes defenses to collapse because you can set up your feed by selling dodge. Finally, Backhand and 1 Hand feeding allows the feeder to feed around your defender creating new angles and even more deceptiveness, often times allowing the feeder to "Put the ball in space" for a receiver to run on to.
Here's an example of beautiful application of a Backhand Pass. Rather than simply moving the ball "Up and Over," the passer uses a Wind up / Face Dodge to cause the defense to collapse as he Backhands the ball across to the righty shooter.
The 1 Hand Pass is just like a backhand, but dropping your top hand off the stick giving you more reach, the ability to lean into your man while protecting your stick, and allowing you to feed at the last moment.
This one hand pass is pretty slick, but the Double Toe Drag is one of the sickest things you'll see all weekend!
Watching the great Shawn Evans operate is a thing of beauty. He is truly masterful in his ability to engage his own man in an underneath post up while manipulating the defense with his 1 hand fakes and ultimately perfectly dropping the 1 hand dime to the backside.
Here's how you can practice these passes in pick up games!
Grant Ament is a master of skipping balls through the defense using a many solutions: pass fakes, look offs, underhand/side arm swing angles under sticks that ar hard to read, and re-directing his swing at the last second! If you throw skip passes overhand with no deception they are far more likely to be picked off!
One interesting solution to skip passes is the screen feed, much like a goalie can't see a screen shot, defenders can't see a screen feed. Check out the clips below!
Grant Ament is a master of the screen feed!
Here are some screen feeds from a couple summers ago in Narragansett where we play epic games of 5x! The perfect game to learn how to throw Screen feeds!
The Drag Open up Feed
One of the commonly used techniques to throwing skip passes in uneven situations is opening up with a pivot and a little Drag, making the rotating defender who's splitting two think you're passing to an adjacent setting up a devastating skip pass to the pipe.
Have a great weekend!