A Lacrosse Weekend 4.29.23

Uncategorized Apr 29, 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. 

Podcast With Zack Capozzi from LaxReference.com

Analytics in sports was popularized with the success of Billy Beane and the Oakland A's and MoneyBall almost 20 years ago.  Lacrosse is way behind in this arena, but thanks to the work of some lacrosse analytics pioneers like Zack Capozzi, we are learning how to use stats to help us understand the game, rate players and teams, as well helping coaches make decisions on team strategy and player development.   This podcast will help coaches who don't have full time interns or a math degree learn how to use and understand stats,   

Here are some of the topics we discussed

  • What's more important possessions or efficiency?
  • What is most misunderstood in lacrosse analytics?
  • What time within a possession is most productive and why?
  • What's the difference between ELO ratings and RPI?
  • Are there better ways to measure defense by an individual?
  • What percent of saved shots become turnovers?
  • Thoughts on the PLL passing stats (counting passes by team and individual)

While I'm an expert in the game of lacrosse in terms of coaching and analysis, I feel inadequate in my knowledge and understanding of analytics.  In preparation for this podcast I reached out to some of the smartest lacrosse analytics guys I know and I'd like to give a big thanks to Michael Mauboussin for his help in formulating questions for this podcast as well as Inside Lacrosse's Patrick McEwen aka @LaxFilmRoom for the topic of PLL Passing stats.  Click here to listen to the Zack Capozzi Podcast!

New Sub Game Idea

I was watching this clip from the University of Albany while they were subbing and I noticed something very interesting!  I noticed a potential advantage in sub games where you try to trap your opponent's FOGO or offensive personnel on the field.  Look at the video if you can figure out what it is before you read on!


Most of the time in sub games the player you're trying to trap on the field has to navigate on ball or off ball picks, which creates a small advantage in the race to the midline.  This of course creates a brief 6 on 5 advantage for the offense.  Maryland last year was masterful in creating easy goals in the sub game. 

What I noticed in the Albany clip is the ball carrier could have obstructed the player trying to follow his man off.  The ball carrier could become legal moving pick!

A few weeks later I was watching UNC vs ND and I saw this!  


I had told Notre Dame Head Coach Coach Corrigan about this idea, so when I saw this clip I immediately texted it to him.  His response, "Ha - not planned - as we were obviously not prepared on the other end -  but it proves your point."

I think this sub game concept will allow teams to gain a massive time advantage in delaying the substitution of your opponent.  The result will be a longer 6v5 situation.  Usually in sub games, the advantage created is a 6v5 at a high speed, where a trailer is not far behind, making the degree of difficulty on this play relatively high.  I believe this new "Pick with the ball" sub game technique will create enough time where the open player running in would not initially have a trailer at all and could therefore catch, wind up, hitch, drag, and make better decisions.

OK coaches, have at it!  And please send me a clip if you do it!

 Be sure to check out the Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast with Jamie Munro  >>> www.PHILACROSSEOPHY.com <<<

The 2019 Penn State Offense

Terry Foy, CEO of Inside Lacrosse confirmed with me this morning that the 2019 Penn State offense was the most efficient offense in NCAA Lacrosse history led by Grant Ament and Mac O'Keefe.  This 2man side / 3man side system looked like a classic 1-3-2 or a 1-4-1 (counting from behind) where the ball side was the 2man side where there was either a pick or mirror while the backside used either a 3man cycle rotation or a crease-wing exchange.  We are seeing more and more offenses use this 2man side 3man side model including UVA, UNC, Syracuse, Princeton and more!

The webinar below is one of the most popular I've ever created for the Men's Lacrosse Coaches Training Program and I'm very excited to share it with you all!  This offense is sick and the breakdown will give you a great foundation for learning to run this offense!

 In Next week's blog I will show you how teams in 2023 are using the 2man side / 3man side Penn State Offense concepts with great success! 

FINISH YOUR SEASON STRONG! Get access to the largest lacrosse video library on the internet JM3 Sports Coaches Training Program. There are membership levels for any budget and team size. Check it out here

If you are interested in learning more about how to create practices like this, check out the Women's Coaches Training Program.  It is an incredible resource with invaluable content for every aspect of the game!   You will learn the power of the Constraints Led Approach, Differential Learning (repetition without repetition), Free Play, as over arching teaching models, an endless supply of great drill and game environments,  how to construct great team offenses and team defenses and of course all of the special teams of transition, rides/clears, draws etc.

There are membership levels for everyone. Check it out at www.jm3sports.com/ctp

College Lacrosse Recruiting with Harvard Head Coach Devon Wills

Below is an excerpt from a podcast I did with Harvard Head Coach Devon Wills a few summers ago.  You can get into the mind of Coach Wills and what she values, what she's looking for in the form of skill, IQ, and intangibles.  It's a fascinating video!

Words of Advice from Penn State Head Coach Jeff Tambroni

In the video below you can listen to Penn State Head Coach Jeff Tambroni discuss some incredibly important thoughts on recruiting.

  • How PSU actually stats your dodging
  • Must be able to "Eliminate" a short stick defender
  • The importance of balance and angles: Study Rob Pannell
  • 45 Degree Angles
  • Keeping your defender off balance by creating minor advantages
  • How to try and fit your family values into your recruiting process
  • Everyone's journey is differnent
  • There is not a spot in DI or DIII for everyone. 


Check out this amazing subscription: www.virtuallacrossesummit.com/subscribe


Virtual Lacrosse Summit 10 was a huge success. The talks below have some of the most advanced thought on the game of lacrosse and are absolute masterclasses.

All of these talks are included in the Virtual Lacrosse Summit subscription as well as the CTP ALL Access subscription the largest video vault of lacrosse education on the internet! 

Jess Hanson Sports Psych Coach For JM3 Athletes

In our JM3 Athlete Program, we pride ourselves in being the "High Performance" coaches for our athletes.  High Performance is binging together: The Technical, The Tactical, The Physical and the Psychological.  Of course our expertise is in the technical and the tactical, so we search out great people and experts to help our JM3 Athletes in a 360 degree fashion.  I am thrilled to introduce to you on this blog Jess Hanson who has begun working with dozens of JM3 Athletes with amazing results and feedback!

Jess Hanson is a sport psych coach and certified mental performance consultant (CMPC) who works with athletes to train the mental aspects of the game to translate into on field play.

Through sport psychology, Jess works with athletes on an array of different mental skills, such as mindfulness, confidence, consistency, handling pressure, fear of making mistakes, setting clear goals, coping with injuries, comparison to others, and so much more. These are all skills that athletes know play a big role in performing well, and through sport psych coaching, they get the opportunity to hone in on these skills and use them to make them the best athlete and person they can be. 

Jess received her M.A. in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver, is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, and has been practicing ever since, working with high-level youth, HS, and college aged athletes in both group and individual settings. She spends a majority of her time working with lacrosse athletes, and has worked this season with the entire University of Denver women's lacrosse team, being a part of bringing them to their best season in program history. 

Jess has an extensive lacrosse background, as she grew up playing in Northern California and went on to play at George Fox University. During her time at GFU, she broke multiple school and conference records, was '18's Northwest Conference player of the year, and the program's first All-American Runner Up. Since then, she has coached for years at the club level (at 3d CO and Tenacity), and is the current Head Coach at Chatfield Senior High School. 

If you have interest in becoming a JM3 Athlete or working with Jess Hanson feel free to email me at [email protected].


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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