A Lacrosse Weekend 4.9.22

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2022

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. 

In Season Podcast

The In Season Podcast with PLL Chaos Head Coach Andy Towers is back!  We have recorded two episodes and they are worth a listen!  We decided to start mid season because talking about the same thing for 15 weeks was just going to get boring!  We are fired up to be back and AT and I are having a great time talking about Division I Men's Lacrosse.  I think you will find this podcast to be the both detailed (AT literally watches every game!) with great analysis of players, X's and O's, as well as great insights and back stories.  Oh yeah, and you'll enjoy some classic tomfoolery as well!  Click here to listen!

2man / 3man Game Terminologies

Coaches, you are going to love the content in these 2man Game and 3man Game Terminologies section of the Principles Based Lacrosse and the Coaches Training Program.  One of my favorite all time projects, this breakdown is literally every example of every action I could think or have video examples of.  Watch the video walk through to get a feel for the content!

The content in this Women's Lacrosse 2man / 3man Terminologies not only shows you the actions you need to learn, but also live examples from games and practice situations that will help you teach your players these looks and more importantly the reads.  This section of the CTP is critical for any coach or player who truly wants to learn on ball and off ball 2man game.


The content in the Men's Lacrosse 2man / 3man Terminologies section of the CTP is off the charts.  Watch this 3 minute video and you will get a sense of the scope and breadth of this content.  There are so many incredible examples of literally every action and every read I could find clips of from field lacrosse, box lacrosse and backyard lacrosse.  You will love this!


Ram Screens

As I dive deeper into the installation of a Principles Based Offense form Men's and Women's Lacrosse with the five major principles being:

  1. Possession: shot selection, feed selection, handling pressure, game management
  2. Passing: swings, one more's, in the middle of 2man games
  3. Picking on and off ball simultaneously
  4. Spacing: keep the middle open, spread the D out, 2man spacing
  5. Reads: how is the defense playing you?

I have found a means to create the ultimate in both simplicity and complexity for men's and women's lacrosse offense.  Sounds paradoxical i know, but read on and watch the videos and you will see what I mean.

One of the biggest keys to on ball 2man game is catching the defense off guard.  An on ball pick that the defense can see it coming is a lot easier for to contend with than one that is less predictable.  Frankly, this, and not reading the defense, are the main two reasons why teams can struggle generating advantages in 2man games.  I would like to introduce you to Ram Screens, a simple and effective way to create the unpredictability and variability in your offense.

A Ram Screen is a basketball terminology for an off ball pick before an on ball pick.  See the clip below where a cutter curls over a pick and then slips the on ball pick for an easy basket.

An off ball pick before an on ball pick forces the defense to guard a ball side, dangerous action right before they have to defend on ball pick action on the wing.  Often times when the defense guards the off ball action they sag in which creates a difficult approach to the ensuing on ball action for either the on ball defender or the picker's man in the on ball 2man game.   When the on ball defender is late on an approach, creating an advantage in 2man game is much easier!  And as we know from the effectiveness of Re-picks, Swing Picks, and Seal your man, then pick any time you put the picker's man in a trailing, late, approach situation, they tend to struggle to communicate and are often in no man's land guarding nobody.  Check out this example!

The video below was a 5v5 drill where I installed this concept with a HS out of New Jersey in their preseason.  The build up to this point was 1v1 + picker to learn pick placement, 4v3 Keep Away Pairs to learn picking on and off ball simultaneously and the communication that goes along with it, then this 5v5 where the two main teaching points were Ram Screens and Swing it! 

Below, is a women's lacrosse install of the same offense with two 3man sides.  This video was from a Spring Break Training Camp for Hotchkiss Girl's Lacrosse that I had the opportunity to help coach!  Head Coach Anna Traggio is a great friend and I've worked with a bunch of the Hotchkiss girls over the years and they are a truly talented and passionate group, so installing this offense was a blast!  This was Day 1 of installing Ram Screens and while it wasn't perfect, you can see great on and off ball movements.

One of the best things about Ram Screens is it allows you to put ball side focus on off ball pick actions.  Usually off ball pick actions take place backside and it's impossible for the coach to focus on the ball side and backside simultaneously.  Therefore back side pick actions and reads usually take a back seat.  Since we have an off ball action every time the ball swings, we can focus on these three teaching points: 

  1. Two players working together
  2. One player cuts to the net, one player pops
  3. Reads

If you want to learn more about Ram Screens and how they impact your team's ball side and back side offense, subscribe to the JM3 Coaches Training Program!

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Learn more about how to implement levels of development through the various programs and systems from JM3 Sports. 

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Have a great weekend!





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