A Lacrosse Weekend 4.22.23

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2023

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. 

Teaching Deception 2man Game in Women's Lacrosse

The emphasis on Triple A Ratings (Always, Arrive, Alone) for the picker needs to be applied to the dodger as to the same degree.  Getting a step on your defender as the dodger or picker through deception and unpredictability in 2man Game is the key ingredient that most coaches are missing as they install the Principles Based Offense and 2man game.  The reason 2man game can feel terrible is because the pickers and dodgers are predictable, stagnant, perimeter oriented, and non threatening to the goal.  The theory of bringing two players together to create space works when both players are independently attacking their defender with various dodges, cuts, and actions.  Then the players can come together to play two man from this dynamic scenario to stick / slip a pick OR use / refuse a pick with the defense playing catch up!  Stacking actions and cuts makes decision making tough on the pick defender just as dodging, bouncing,  re-dodging and re-squaring causes the on ball defender fatigue while bringing the two man game closer to shooting range.

Examples of  Triple A Rating Actions for Picker

  • Seal your man (first)
  • Back Door Cut
  • Slip to the net Re-Pick
  • Flip the pick a.k.a. the "Swing Pick"
  • Ram Screens
  • Gap 2man
  • Individual Moves, V Cuts, Step back, hesitations, roll backs, Post up moves like rockers/spin moves

Examples of Triple A Rating Actions for the Dodger

  • Fakes: eyes, posture changes (dodging, passing, shooting), hand gestures and verbal
  • Use Pick / Refuse Pick
  • Moves: square up, roll backs, Cut backs hesitation moves, post up moves like rocker and spin moves

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Dynamic & Deceptive Actions where both the cutter/dodger and the picker are attacking their man creates the best advantages because the defense just can't process quickly enough to communicate and execute 2man game defense.

In the clip below you can see both the cutter and the picker in motion opening up a clean slip!  


Here is another example of a dynamic off ball 2man action in an off ball situation where the picker and cutter in motion creating confusion with the defense.


This clip is interesting and quite confusing as there is so much going on!  Notice the hard middle cut, which turned into a deceptive Back Up Pick which is one of the most difficult picks to defender because the picker's man rarely realizes a pick is bing set!


This game winning goal from last year's ASU / Rutgers game is a great example of a lot of movement and actions leading to a Gap 2man look which is another great way to create a Triple A Rating!  More on Gap 2man below!


When you get your defender to guard a hard cut to the net, it is very difficult for the defender to keep up with an aggressive cut to the perimeter to set a pick.  There is a great example of a girl cutting hard, turning around, and setting an off ball pick for a beautiful Triple A Rating!

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 How to Un-Jam your 2man game!

There is no doubt that dynamic pick actions are best, but sometimes we have to "Stick" a pick and the defense does a "Late Switch" leaving a stagnant situation with defenders guarding left and right.  This is the main reason why 2man game can feel terrible and jammed up!  Here, the dodger can create a more dynamic situation by re-dodging the pick and going back and forth.  The picker can then find a way to roll the the net while the defense re-switches the re-dodge.


Dodge and Re-dodge back and forth, slip to the net!


Off Ball back and forth cutting and re-cutting and re-squaring works exactly the same!


Deception is the name of the game!  You simply cannot tip your defender off with what you're doing.  Ever!  Not in dodging.  Not in cutting.  Not in picking.  Not in shooting, feeding... etc!

Watch this clip of the cutter looking off her cut and baiting her defender over the pick!  This is what real fluency looks like!


Watch the way the ASU dodger re-dodges and changes postures from a dodging posture to a shooting or wind up posture which baits the defender to fight over the pick!

To Use and Refuse Picks

Refusing picks is as important as using picks!  The reason why 2man game is so predictable is because too many players think they have to use the pick every time.  The pick is an impediment the defense has to deal with and our goal is to attack our match up using the pick as a prop and to provide the affordance (a reason to act) for us to capitalize on!  


Therefore faking a pick refusal is a great way to use a pick!  Watch the dodger below split dodge / roll back in a fake refusal!

Also, watch the back door cut.  A Back Door Cut is to the picker, the equivalent of refusing to set a pick!  Fake that you will set a pick and cut back door!

Last, watch how the picker on the original split-roll fake refusal, did not slip quickly when she saw her teammate with a step on her defender.  One of the most important concepts is to create space for dodgers and this is true in 2man game!  If the dodger has a step, slip the pick.  If the dodger needs a pick, come set one!

Here is a great example of off ball movement cutting around / circling the pick creating a Triple A Rating for a pick.  The dodger does a great job of refusing the pick and attacking the middle!

 Notice the deception of posture, eyes, communication, the picker are all selling underneath / down the side.  This is also a good example of a jab hesitation or Punch Move.

The Jab hesitation is a great way to get a step on on your man to the pick or when refusing a pick. The dodger's posture and jabs froze the feet of the on ball defender.

The Back Door Cut

Back Door Cuts are almost impossible to guard!  Using this cut and the threat of this cut to set up Triple A Ratings is very effective!

  • The defender can't see the ball if she turns and runs with the cut which means the feeder should feed it!  If the defender doesn't turn and run with the cutter, the cutter can V cut and be wide open.  Defenders will have to spin away from the ball to defender this cut.
  • It's very difficult for the off ball defender to guard an aggressive back cut to the net and immediately guard an aggressive cut back out towards the ball.
  • Since the defender guarding the cutter loses sight of the ball she will have trouble making a split second 2man game defensive decision.
  • The cutter can loop around her man to come back up for a pick or can abruptly change direction with a rollback
  • The loop around Backdoor picking angle sets up beautifully for flipping the pick.

Backdoor cut


Re-picks come in many forms and should be a large part of your dynamic 2man game offense because it allows for the dodger and picker to attack their match ups independently creating space for dodges as well as chaos for defenders in pick defense.  The classic Re-pick is the ultimate way to create space for a dodger.  

The classic Re-pick is when the first pick and dodge is a fake to set up a second pick and dodge.  When the picker slips to the net on the first pick it requires her defender cover an aggressive cut to the net and she's not able to change direction and cover the second and real pick.  The dodger attacks space as if the first pick was the main action and by moving her defender and re-squaring up she can get a clean step towards the picker who has created separation from her defender.



Here is another variation of a Re-Pick a little bit more like the "Late switch" back and forth example.  The one interesting thing that happened here though is the picker jumped over and sealed the potential Re-Switch on the re-dodge and re-pick.

 Off Ball Re-Picks or Re-Seals are like a cheat code.  Check out the video below!

Re-Pick Refusal

The Re-pick Refusal is a variation of the Re-pick which usually happens on a pass down pick down: when the dodger fakes refusing the pick with a split dodge away from the pick and rolls back to the picker who follows the dodger down the side in anticipation of the rollback.

Here we created a nice "Reverse" Nations Look with fake refusal.


Reverse Invite

This is a variation of the Re-pick is where the dodger, when being pressured by a defender pushing over the pick, allows her man to successfully fight over the pick only to rollback and use the Re-pick.  The defender cannot fight over the pick the second time and can create great advantages and confusion for the defenders involved in the action.  

Another good example


Another Reverse Invite


 Flip The Pick or Swing Pick

This is a very deceptive way to set picks and create Triple A Ratings.  Have the picker sell that she is picking for one side then jump over to the other side the dodge to attack.  This action often times puts the pick defender on the wrong side of the pick and therefore cannot help.


Flip the pick example:


Stacking actions is deadly!  Executing a backdoor cut then coming back and flipping a pick or slipping a pick on a classic Re-Pick and coming back to a Swing Pick is very difficult to contend with!



Seal Your Own Man First

Seals are a simple and effective way to create Triple A Ratings.  While Re-Picks take a while to develop, sometimes you might want to set the pick right away, but still need to put your own defender in a compromised trailing position.  Seals are a great way to do this.

When you seal your own man:

  • It is sealing the switch
  • It puts the defender in a poor position to switch
  • It's easy to separate from the defender you're sealing to set a pick 
  • You can stick or slip the pick for the cutter or dodger after you seal your own


Sealing your own man first, then find a way to get in the way of the dodger's defender.  In women's lacrosse you are allowed to move as long as the defense can see you!  Adjusting picks is key!

The Spin Seal is a counter to the defender who knows you're trying to seal her and is trying to keep an outside position so as not to be sealed.  When you spin, you can gain critical position to seal at a great angle!

Spin Seal Off Ball is just as effective.  It is such a sick action!



Ram Screen

A Ram Screen is an off ball pick action preceding an on ball pick action.  Stacking actions makes it very difficult on defensive communication. 


Ram Screens

Ram Screen Up Pick Nations


Ram Screen



Gap 2man

This is an interesting action where the Triple A Rating is created through the picker starts out as the dodger, engaging both her own defender and the help from the girl she's about to pass to and pick for.  Attack the gap, draw a defender and kick it out to the dodger and you create a Triple A Rating with a very difficult approach for both defenders.

Gap 2man can happen off a Wall Pass as well as attacking the Gap.  When you throw the ball inside it causes the defense to collapse and when you kick it out it creates difficult approaches!

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 Wall Pass creates difficult approaches


The best way to practice Triple A Ratings is to emphasize them non stop!   It should be your biggest point of emphasis in all of your drills.

Check out this 2v2 drill with an emphasis on Re-Picks 


Check out this 3v3 drill where we put the emphasis on Re-picks!


Check out a new YouTube video series from JM3's Mike O'Neil as he runs the Kent Denver Girls program through some amazing drills!

Check out the YouTube Playlist [HERE]


Have a great weekend!


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