A Lacrosse Weekend 4.25.20

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2020

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! 

Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcasts

I've been cranking out podcasts during quarantine.  Lacrosse conversations keep my mind off all the worry and trouble that this pandemic is causing.  I hope other folks out there have found an oasis of lacrosse as a great way to escape like I have.

Jeff Tambroni, Head Coach Penn State

Jeff is one of the truly great guys in the sport. We kick off the conversation talking culture, then move on to the value of the Free Play model of development, a deep dive into analytics and how it might effect recruiting, we reference the podcast I did with Michael Mauboussin on Analytics almost two years ago.  Michael has done work with Jeff.  We also talk quite a bit about "In Game Adjustments" which was a fascinating topic.  Recruiting in this pandemic was our final topic that I think you will all find interesting. Click here to listen to Tambo podcast!

A fun fact is that Jeff's wife Chelle and my wife Sara were in each other's weddings.  Sara and Chelle were best friends and roommates back in the 90's when all three of us were working at Yale.

Kyle Hannan, Head Coach Mercer

Kyle and I go back to the late 90's when he took the job at Colorado College and I had just started at Denver.  Kyle has an insatiable appetite for talking lacrosse and always has something new and interesting to share!  Coach Hannan takes us on a walk down memory lane with his coaching stops at Bates, Hobart, Virginia Wesleyan, Colorado College, Goucher and finally at Mercer.  We finish of the conversation talking about offense, Kyle's true passion.  He has a new look he calls "Chaos" which is a lot like the Penn State Offense in terms of a 2man side and a 3 man side with a lot of cutting actions.  It's super interesting!  Click here to listen to the Kyle Hannan podcast!

Inside The 8 Podcast

I love doing these podcasts with Colleen Magarity and our guests.  I have grown up in the men's lacrosse world, but I'm a girl dad and have now invested myself in women's lacrosse; coaching, learning, studying, creating content etc!  I love the game and love talking about it with many of the top coaches in the world!

Dana Dobbie, Assistant Coach, Loyola

This week we had the pleasure of talking with Dana Dobbie.  Dana grew up playing boys box lacrosse in Ontario and her game and philosophies as a coach reflect it.  She believes in nailing the fundamentals, but she also would rather see kids play than practice.  This concept resonates with me because I think "Play" is the key to gaining fluency, not drills.

As usual, Colleen and I talk X's and O's, culture, and skills, drills and concepts.  We finish off with Dana's take on recruiting which every aspiring lax player should listen to!  Click here to listen to the Dana Dobbie podcast!


JM3 Athlete Program

One bright spot in these terrible times is working with my JM3 Athletes.  These boys and girls are committed to getting better in quarantine and I'm teaching them, helping them optimize, and providing mentorship.  

This program does provide recruiting advice and advocacy when the time comes and it's going to be more competitive than ever!  However, if you're not good enough, there's nothing to talk about.  Being good enough is by far the #1 priority.  My job is to help kids become good enough.

The results I've had with my JM3 Athletes has been phenomenal on many different levels.

The Competition

A lot of kids are working hard, but few are actually getting better at the game itself.  

Read this article by Raymond Verhejein, a world renowned soccer coach: Isolated Skills Training Slows Down Development.

Most of the world is banging out #Reps on the bounce back, #Reps shooting balls on empty nets, #Reps dodging cones. #Reps in the speed ladder while cradling at the same time.  While there is value in sharpening skills, these #Reps won't actually make you better at playing the game.

In quarantine with my three kids, I have created The Backyard Curriculum which is my greatest creation for player development.  My kids and JM3 Athletes need to ACTUALLY get better at the game of lacrosse which means: We have to dodge people;  Shoot on humans; Play defense versus live dodges;  Manipulate defenders in 2man games on and off ball, etc.

I would say the best way to characterize  The  Backyard Curriculum is it teaches a "Feel" for the game.

  • "Feel" for dodging: getting a step, cutting your defender off, hesitations, re-dodges, post ups, 
  • "Feel" for finishing: freezing a goalie, reaching far, twister near, a myriad of fakes
  • "Feel" for faking: Multiple hitches, drags and pumps, backhand and BTB fakes
  • "Feel" for 2man game: Hang up 2man, inviting your defender over, cat & mouse if they go under
  • "Feel" for manipulating your man: backing defender off, inviting pressure, baiting, getting D's stick up in the air
  • "Feel" for looking a pass off while receiving it when you're seemingly covered or recognizing the D isn't looking at the ball and feeding the seemingly covered player
  • "Feel" for Multiple Hitches and setting up approaching defenders

Zoom Calls 

I do weekly zoom calls with my athletes where we watch film together:

  • Film of what they're working on
  • Film of their games
  • Film of The Backyard Curriculum
  • Film of skills, drills and concepts I want them to learn

The bottom line is there are a lot of motivated kids out there that need help optimizing and learning.  The kids that do this will have a huge advantage over those that a simply pounding out #Reps.

Film Analysis

If you want a taste of the type of detail my JM3 Athletes receive,  watch this video assessment I did for UVA All-American Michael Kraus. 

I used to offer Video Assessments as a product for the general public, but now I only do this for my JM3 Athletes.

If you are interested in learning more, email me at [email protected].  This program isn't cheap, but it is a game changer.  References are available.

JM3 Content

I have created the deepest library of instructional lacrosse content on the internet and if you want to get a look, go to JM3SPorts.com/freetrial for a 7 Day Free Trial.

This JM3 Academy is a 10 chapter course that will guide athletes through quarantine.  There is a course for:

  • Boys Attack/Midfield
  • Boys Defense
  • Girls
  • Strength and Conditioning

Here's a walk through of the Attack/Midfield Academy:


Have a great weekend!


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