A Lacrosse Weekend 2.23.19

Welcome to "A Lacrosse Weekend" my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, stories, myths, truths, about the great game of lacrosse. I hope you find it enjoyable.

I write to you from the Courtyard Marriott in Chapel Hill. I'm here to watch the Tarheels take on the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays today at noon ET. It's 43 degrees and rainy and this is a huge game for both teams. The 'Heels are 3-0 and the 'Jays are 0-2 with their backs against the wall. Should be a great match up! Hopkins has never started a season 0-3 in the history of the program and will give UNC their best game.

Last night I went over to my son's house to watch the second half of the Cornell/Hobart game, which was a high scoring affair. They tried to shut off Teat, but he still had 6-2. I think he has magical powers or something the way shoots, finds the open man, gets out of trouble etc. I did an analysis of Jeff Teat a year ago and he only keeps getting better. Check out the video below.  

Afterwards, my son, his roommate and I went out for a pre-game dinner last night on Franklin Street. Finally, I settled in to watch my daughter and the Oregon Ducks take on the Jacksonville Dolphins at 9pm ET. Big win for the Ducks! Did you know women's games take well over 2 hours and 30 minutes? This game finished at 11:50pm ET! Anyway, so far it has been a good start to a lot of lacrosse!

Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast

I am very excited to announce that Paul Carcaterra will be joining me this Monday for a chat! Paul, as you can probably tell, is not only an expert in the game and it's history, but a great and positive person! We will talk about his days at the Cuse, his favorite moments on air, this "Golden Age" of lacrosse that we are in (see Terry Foy's Podcast click here) and who is favorite players are of all time and why. Stay Tuned!

Andy Towers and I have created a weekly show called the Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast "In Season" edition where we talk about the best games from the previous weekend giving in depth analysis on game plans, individual match ups, as well as great stories! We have created a segment called the "Ivy League Review" where we break down every game from the league we played in back in the day. Along with the Ivy League Review we have created the Axia Time Ivy League Player of the Week where Andy and I each choose one top performer from the weekend. Sponsored by Axia Time, Axiatime.com, my selection was Harvard's Ryan Graff who scored five goals in a loss to North Carolina while Andy's pick was UPenn's FOGO Kyle Gallagher who went 21-27 in an overtime loss to Maryland who has one of the most formidable face off units int he nation. Check us out weekly!

One of the best parts of the "In Season" edition of the Phi-Lacrosse-ophy podcasts is the stories:

  • Why Andy's High School coach's nickname for him was F.A. (think of two profanities)
  • Why you never do a little stick protection on Andy when he has a long pole if you have no equipment on (or if you don't frankly). The poor kid had to pick up all four of front teeth off the ground!
  • Or the time in the 1991 Brown - UMass game at UMass a drunk kid on "The Hill" who looked like he had just come out of Guns & Roses concert, insulted his mom, and "loogied" on his leg as he was inbounding the ball in OT. Andy consequently scored the game winning goal and in an epic taunt, ran up the side line of the packed hill waving!

Check it out here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/phi-lacrosse-o...

Virtual Lacrosse Summit

April 15th I will be kicking off the 2nd Virtual Lacrosse Summit of 2019 with incredible presenters from around the lacrosse world. The Virtual Lacrosse Summit is like "Shark Week" for lacrosse and like "shark Week" it's free! You can tune in live to hear these webinars or you will have a binge watching session over the ensuing weekend to get your fill.

The Virtual Lacrosse Summit kicked off in January had 1500 registrants and some of the greatest coaches, players, and speakers on the planet from men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, box lacrosse, field lacrosse, pro lacrosse, college lacrosse, and high school lacrosse. Topics ranged from X's and O's to player development and leadership to digital marketing. Click here to see the list of speakers from January: https://www.lacrossevirtualsummit.com.

If you have topics or speakers you'd like to suggest, please shoot me an email! Stay tuned as I will announce the first wave of speakers this week!

Coaching Lacrosse - Practice Planning for the High School Level

Everyone knows a good coach has a practice plan for every day and ideally shares it with his assistant coaches and players prior to each practice. What I would like to write about is how to put together a big picture plan for your team and the entirety of your preseason practices. It is CRITICAL that you go through this exercise of evaluation and planning.

  • Evaluate your personnel from a skill standpoint: Can we catch and throw consistently on the run? If the answer is.... not really, then you need to work on this one hour per day until the answer is "Yes!" Nothing else really matters.
  • How is your goalie? Can he clear? Is he athletic?
  • Do you have a good FOGO? If so you can play fast... you can play however you want!. If not, you may need to be a better riding team / ball control team.
  • How is your attack? Do you have lefties? Do you have a dodging attackman or more than one dodging attackmen? Do you have finishers? A feeder?
  • Can your midfielders who can beat shorties? Do you need to load up the first midfield to create offense for your team?
  • Do you have athletic short sticks? Do you have a lot of 2-way mids? Think about your defenders: on ball, off ball, with ball... do you have more LSM types?
  • Do you have assistants who can run a side of the ball? Work with the goalies or face-off guys? Can you as the head coach run both sides of the ball?
  • Evaluate your competition. In order to win your league, who do you need to be able to beat and what do they run? Sometimes you might as well install what you're going to see so you can practice against it.

Based on the answers to these questions, you can then decide how you want to play, what you want to run and how you're going practice / install for the following categories:

  • Offense / Defense
  • EMO / EMD
  • RIde / Cear
  • Transition "O" / "D"
  • Special situations
  • Face off / wing play
  • Drill Bank: you must figure out what drills, games, film, PDF's you will use to install all of the skills, drills, and concepts related to the above components.

Counting Backwards

Look at your the first few games on your schedule and decide what you absolutely must have installed and by what date (you don't need everything installed by the first game!). Then look at how many practices you have leading up to those games. You must then find a way "fit in" the necessary drills, video, and PDF's to your practice time leading up to the first few games.

This exercise will immediately make your chop down what you were hoping to do in half! It should also make you think very critically about how to "Kill 3 birds with one stone." If you do not learn how to kill multiple birds, you will not have enough time to do everything you want to do.

Here's an example of a 3v2 pass down, pick down drill that "Kills multiple birds":

    • Skills: 2 man game, double threat position, faking, wind ups, one more's and finishes
    • EMO: We are going to run a carry Shallow cut look in a 33, and this teaches read: did the D stay with the carry (throw back) pass me off (step in)
    • EMD: we are goin to try and pressure carries
    • Offense: we want to run pairs offense and need 2man game reps
    • Defense: ball pressure, off ball posture and communication and slow playing while splitting two
    • Transition: we are going to pass down pick down in transition and we want our poles and shorties in these drills

If you are interested in learning more about how to coach lacrosse, the Coaches Training Program I've created has videos and webinars on all of these topics and it is a combination of cutting edge AND practical. For more info go to www.JM3Coaches.com! Here's what it looks like!

Enjoy the Weekend! 


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