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! Click here to read my blog.
Lars Tiffany, Head Coach Virginia, LT and I were captains of the '89 Brown Lacrosse team and have been great friends through college and through our days as colleagues in college lacrosse and beyond. I love the rapport Lars and I have and the conversations we are now recording on podcasts are similar to the Lacrosse Philosophy conversations we have been having for 30 years! One of the amazing things about Lars is he is very open minded and is continually learning and evolving. This trait is glaringly obvious in this podcast where we discuss defensive footwork and how two days before the season he completely shifted his teaching paradigm in terms of Drop Steps vs Hip Turns. We also talk about his principles on team defense as well as how structured offense makes it easier for him to scout.
Mikey Thompson, Head Coach Christopher Newport University. This Lacrosse Philosophy Podcast will illustrate what a gem of a human being CNU Head Coach Mikey Thompson is! Similar to the late great Dave Huntley, Mikey is as interested as he is interesting, he is very well read and is the film equivalent of very well read, he is an expert in player development and X's and O's but is equally engaged in sports psychology and building culture. The more you listen to him, the more you will be impressed!
Mikey is teaming with me and JM3 Sports to build out the Men's Lacrosse Coaches Training Program and I'm thrilled to have him on board! Mikey will be holding office hours on Monday nights for subscribers, will be contributing to this blog on a weekly basis, and will create content in the form of webinars and videos!
Box Lacrosse Training Program
I am so excited to announce that Jake "Jumbo" Elliott and I have teamed up to create the Box Lacrosse Training Program, best box lacrosse instructional content on the internet. Webinars from the top minds in the game, videos os skills and drills, how to practice at home, this site has over 50 hours of video content and we are just beginning! Just like other JM3 courses, the content is deep, rich and cutting edge.
Jake Elliott is the voice of NLL Saskatchewan Rush after 5 with the Vancouver Stealth . Elliott, who is a 2x winner National Lacrosse League’s Media Person of the Year Award, has called six Minto Cup Championships and three Mann Cup Championships. Jake was a Head Coach in the Jr A ranks with Coquitlam, New West and Langley.
3man Off Ball Motion
Check out the skill video of 3Man Off Ball Motion Jake created for the Box training Program. You're going to love it!
PLL Defensive Breakdowns
I asked my editors to do breakdowns of PLL Defensive player match ups, poles and shorts, in three games each, so we could study the 1v1 battles from a defensive point of view. The findings have been incredible! If you want to learn more about Hip Turns vs Drop Steps, there is a full video breakdown in the Coaches Training Program as well as all videos from the spread sheet!
Here is a Jake Bernhardt vs Redwoods video from the PLL Semi Finals that LT and I were referencing in the podcast! You can see the way Jake uses the various techniques to his advantage!
Girls Using a Long Pole?!
A part of the learning environment for any player is the stick and pocket they are using. For example, if women use men's sticks they will more easily learn different swing angles, hard pumps, underhand moves like Toe Drags and mastery of centrifugal force that is harder to do with a women's stick. Likewise, there is much a men's player can learn from using a women's stick, like deceptive lever type passes and shots, the value of quick release and accuracy, as well as concentration on catching, soft hands, quick sticks, and more!
This past summer in our bubble in Narragansett, RI my JM3 Athletes and I played a lot of pick up games. One athlete, Max Ewald, now a Harvard commit is a defender who was playing with a short stick, but he seemed less skilled with his shorty than he did with his pole on the field. It made me think of my Mountain Vista HS days where all our poles used a short-long stick in box that we termed a Sh-long pole. I suggested that Max try using a Sh-long in our pick up games and honestly it was a game changer for him!
For months I've watched pick up game film of Max with his Sh-Long along with all my JM3 Athletes and I've noticed something profound: Max has picked up on critical elements of offensive skills faster than many of the offensive players. Although I do believe Max has an aptitude for offense and some of these skills, I also believe that part of the reason he's developed an ability to feed and shoot deceptive and pump his way through gaps is because of his Sh-long pole! The length of the stick, up to about his sternum, creates challenges and advantages that force learning and discovery. Examples of advantages are the new angles for feeding and shooting with much more reach. The challenge is in the length of the stick in a tight pick up game space. The player naturally finds solutions or skills to the challenges such as using Toe Drags to bring the stick across rather than a splitting. Another key example is learning how to slow down and get the Sh-Long through the gap!
Check out the video of my daughter Lucy experimenting with a Sh-Long pole in a pick up game from last weekend!
Scale Your 2 Man Reps
Each week Mikey Thompson will share a video and some thoughts about skills, drills and concepts that represents the kind of content he's producing for the Coaches Training Program!
Keep Away Games are a great way to scale your reps. You are not only manipulating the defender on you, but you're using your eyes and body language to manipulate off ball defenders and buy more time for the receiver of your pass. It's a great way to become more slick on offense!
We can use our Keep Away Games to work on anything... including 2 Man Game! There are 3 specific techniques you will see in this clip:
1) Readjust the pick at the last second- This makes it much harder for the on ball defender to get through the pick and it makes it harder for the defender of the picker to react. This is a great technique to use when teams do not want to switch their matchups!
2) Sit in the Pocket / Engage 2- When teams are looking to switch on picks we want to pause in between the two bookends and try and engage both defenders. This will free up the slip or allow us to swing the ball and catch them out of position.
3) Invite them Over- Use Double Threat posture to draw your defender out over the pick. Allow them to just barely just through the pick so that it is not an obvious switch call! You will still get a good step if you turn the corner.
College Lacrosse Recruiting with Colleen Magarity
This time of year I always get a million questions about what to sign up for in the summer as peoples inbox's are getting flooded with a million different camps, clinics and showcases. Here are the top select teams to tryout for as well as some great camps to look into. But remember you also need to rest and you can't do everything or else you will be tired and exhausted and not performing at your best when the coaches are watching. A lot of girls run from one event to the next and skip their practices or their opportunity to practice and that is the most important part to grow your game and work on what you need to get better at. So make sure you save time for pick-up games and practices along the way.
SELECT TEAMS BY REGION
American Select - This is the NEW and BETTER Under Armour regional team. This platform is designed to have a pure age group by grad year (2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025). This is way better for College Coaches to watch as a lot of the times when they were mixed the recruitable age group was primarily all committed girls. I am running the Philly region for anyone that has questions. Find your regional tryout Info HERE
National Tournament - This is still a great kick off to recruiting. The tryouts and info are not up yet so it is still TBD if it will happen due to covid. This main event takes place on Memorial Day weekend typically at the same location as the NCAA Final Four. CLICK HERE FOR INFO
Under Armour - This will still draw a lot of attraction due to how well it has done in the past. It will be interesting to see what happens as the American Select Games and UA are on the exact same weekend. I have coached the Philadelphia Region the past 3/4 years and decided to move to the American Select model for the girls.
Athletes Unlimited- This is a new branded event that was originally the WPLL Futures. You will get amazing professional coaches on the pro teams coaching and teaching the girls but I do not think it will have the exposure of college recruiting as the top 3. There are not coaches listed for the teams yet. This event I tell my younger girls to tryout for but the top 3 are more geared toward recruiting. CLICK HERE
COLLEGE CLINCS and CAMPS- Make sure to go to the schools you are interested in and talk to you club coach so you are not going to schools that are out of your reach. The dead period is up at the end of May. Schools should be allowed to potentially host day camps on their campus but if not they will have remote camps at other locations.
LACROSSE MASTERS- Great camps to go to because the numbers are very selective. You get a great player to coach ratio and the coaching staff is always top notch.
HHH Committed Games Showcase- This showcase camp will be released next week. 20-25 Top colleges come to Philly to coach their commits in a tournament style camp and the first day we offer a showcase camp for all of the 2023 and 2024 players. Max 150 girls.
Have a great weekend!