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 my opinion, this shot needs to be in the repertoire of every offensive player! This is a classic Canadian / Native box lacrosse shot that we don't see as often from US players. This shot is tough on goalies because it takes advantage of two types of deception: the deception of "Where" and the deception of "When." Most people think of shooting deceptively in terms of the "Where" for example looking low and shooting high like when shooting a "Leaner." The deception of where is critical because goalie literally read every part of your body language whether they know it or not! The deception of "Where" can cause a goalie to move in the wrong direction on the release, dipping his stick on a leaner and handcuffing him on a low shot.
This shot also takes advantage of the deception of "When." Every goalie is ready to explode his body to a shot when it's released, so when the release is on time, it is an advantage to the goalie. When the shooter's release is delayed, the goalie will step early or get completely handcuffed.
This "Low-High Wind up" was coined the Crippler by John Grant Jr because it literally paralyzes the goalie! The lift holds the goalie up while the delayed release freezes him!
Joey Spallina Breakdown
There is a lot to be learned from these two breakdowns of Syracuse freshman sensation, Joey Spallina one against Princeton and one against Duke. In the Princeton game, #22 finished with four goals and five assists in a huge wing, an epic performance for any player, especially a freshman!
The Duke game was a shootout and Spallina played very well finishing with 2-3. The reason I had our editors do these breakdowns of significant touches, meaningful off ball plays as well as EMO reps was so our JM3 Athletes could learn some of the key attributes that make Joey Spallina so effective and efficient.
Here are the three key take aways:
Physical dodging: Spallina is not a big guy but he plays big. He initiates contact on his man, often times catching his defender off guard by abruptly turning a corner or slamming his man allowing him to operate as a threat to score on the island which opens up opportunities to feed. Spallina is a case study on dodging physically and why it's so effective and important.
2man Game Dodging: Spallina is a master of understanding angles, setting up his man, recognizing pick coverages and creating advantages. Sometimes Joey baits his man over a pick and puts him in a permanently trailing position. If his man is pressuring, like Duke defenders, Spallina lets them push over the pick and rolls back suddenly re-using the pick and putting the defender in a tough recovery position. Other times versus hard pressure Joey refuses the pick allowing him to get a step the opposite way. If the defenders want to go under picks, he will sit in the pocket behind the pick and look to feed. Spallina is surgical with the way he slows down, pops out, looks off picks and masterfully controls his match up to create advantages.
Vision: Spallina's head is always up, he is a good decision maker, he moves the ball on as much as he looks to feed, which allows his offense to have flow while he looks for open cutters. You can see Spallina off ball scanning the field which allows him to not only see the next pass but also position himself perfectly to make the next play.
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College Lacrosse Recruiting
One of the best ways to get an edge in college lacrosse recruiting is to learn what college coaches are looking for in a player! Below are excerpts from podcasts with Princeton Head Coach Karrin Maurer and Albany Head Coach Scotty Marr who go into depth about their thought process, where they look for players, and what they want to see / don't want to see!
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Come Around Finishing
I was watching the women's NCAA first round match up between UMass and Johns Hopkins last night and clipped this play because it's a great example of how to finish when coming around from behind. There are a couple interesting nuances to this play. First, the shooter uses a double fake finish. It's not that you always have to fake twice, but goalies can bite on one fake and still recover to the shot by throwing their stick and their bodies at the shot. This is why double fake finishing is so effective! Watch the way the goalie reacts to the first fake, then commits to what she thinks is going to be a fake high, shoot low situation. The second interesting and important nuance is the shooter fakes 2x before she even reaches the goal line. She is faking from behind the net, opening up her opportunity to finish with a very slight angle. The advantage here is that if defenders are collapsing, crashing, rotating and you're wide open but will not have time to run the crease and dunk it, this is an amazing solution.
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Have a great weekend!