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.
Today is an exciting day in the Munro family: our two older kids' teams are competing in their respective conference finals. The ASU Sun Devils defeated the USC Trojans on Thursday night to make their first ever finals appearance today at 3pm ET vs the #1 seed Stanford. ASU split with Stanford this season and this will be an amazing rubber match! Georgetown plays Villanova in the Big East Finals today at 430pm. G'town defeated an improved Marquette team on Thursday night while Villanova upset #2 seed Denver in an amazing game! With both kids in their 5th and final year of college, it's bitter sweet. It has been a joy to watch both of them play college lacrosse and while we're sad it's coming to an end, the only bonus is not having two college tuitions lol!
The only problem has been the games are on at the same time! This was us during the semi finals! And today it's pouring rain in DC!
If you are a men's or women's coach or if you have kids who play lacrosse, this podcast is a must listen with critical concepts that will make a big difference for your players!
I don't usually go back and listen to my own podcasts, but with Alex Sarama, Content Creator Basket Ball Immersion, Coach of Basketball at the Italian National Academy and formerly of NBA Europe, I had to do just that. And I will likely go back and listen again! The information is too important not to!
I first came across Alex Sarama when I read a blog post titled, "Do players really need 'Fundamentals' in order to play the game?" This was the best piece of content I'd ever seen explaining the misconceptions of the word fundamentals, what skill really is and how skills emerge as well as the science, evidence and studies that explain how humans learn.
I immediately reached out to Alex and set up a zoom call to talk shop and to learn more. Alex is a great guy who is brilliant at articulating everything from skills to concepts to philosophy!
In our conversation Alex and I talk about the misconception of fundamentals; fundamentals are not techniques like overhand passing, they are concepts such as possession, deception, and communication, Alex explains the definition of skill: skills are: not techniques to be repped, but rather solutions to situations that the athlete responds to in real time. Skill therefore emerge from the context of the environment. Alex dives into the concepts of Ecological Psychology, Dynamic Systems and how they fit into the Constraints Lead Approach and how coaches are the architects of the environment first and a part of it second. What's great about this podcast is it not only clearly explains key concepts and the evidence / science behind them, but it also provides simple ways to apply them to your practices.
Sarama and I have been on parallel paths of teaching, learning and philosophy in terms of player development and team development. JM3 Principles Based Lacrosse and Sarama's Conceptual Basketball are a mirror image of each other!
If you want more information about Principles Based Lacrosse or the JM3 Coaches Training Program, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] we have deep and detailed content but we also consult with coaches, players and parents.
D2P2 with Staggered Picks
The Keys To A Good Highlight Video
In this blog, I would like to write about highlight videos. Everyone knows highlight videos are critical to the recruiting process, but I don't think most folks know the details of what' should be in a great highlight video.
Good competition: If you put highlights that are clearly against weak competition, it degrades your film. Don't bother clips against terrible teams.
Good Highlights: if your video has has clips of shots that aren't goals, or passes that aren't assists, it's a sign you don't have enough content for a great highlight video and you're better off waiting until you do have enough. Coaches will see all these good plays that don't result in goals when they watch a full game.
Groundhog Day: if your highlight video resembles the movie "Groundhog Day" meaning, it shows the same play over and over and over.... the same lefty finish or the same alley dodge every time, it is less impressive than the highlight video that has an wide array of skill usages.
Skill: how skilled are you AND how many skills do you use in your highlight video? How many different types of dodges do you use? How many different feeds, finishes, shots do you employ? How many ways do you know how to get your shot off? The top offensive recruits in the nation are using a ton of skills.
Defense: make sure you know what college coaches want. A highlight of a defensive player stripping a dodger seems appropriate for the video, but if the clip is actually terrible fundamental defense, it could get you crossed off a list!
Off Ball Defense: your posture will be noted. If you are standing straight up on your videos and not in an athletic position, sideways to the ball and turning your head, you will likely not be recruited.
Defenders with the ball: many highlight videos of defenders are 75% with the ball playmaking situations which are great, but make sure you have enough on ball and off ball defensive clips!
Double Teams: if your video shows you anticipating and either sneaking up on dodgers when they turn their heads or jumping dodgers on picks or clear throughs, it will be well received.
Communication: As a defensive player, your highlight video won't usually allow for communication to be recognized, with the exception of "Pointing." Pointing a recovery, pointing to a midfielder to move the ball to the point attackman or pointing a midfielder defensively to the point attackman so the point defenseman can stop the ball will stand out on your video.
Toughness: make sure you have some highlights of hustle plays and toughness plays. A great ground ball, a ride, or a big time slide and "Hold'm up" where you get there with a great approach and slow the dodger down, and let the on ball player strip the ball.
Vision: showing your ability to see the field with quick decision passing, moving the ball off the ground, one-timing a pass on the one more. The ability to deliver great and deceptive passes buy time for your receiver is a part of what college coaches are looking for.
Showing your strengths: for example, if athleticism is your calling card, then make sure you are properly highlighting it. I remember seeing a highlight video of a super fast midfielder who was a converted pole. The kid was fast as hell, but not super skilled. His speed was obvious in the between the lines situations, great on ball defense, and on ground balls. The problem was, he included a ton of alley dodge clips where his lack of great skill was also obvious. Make sure you highlight your strengths.
2man game: knowing how to play pick and roll is a pre-requisite for most DI offenses in men's and women's lacrosse. If you have no 2man games in your highlight film it probably shows a lack of the team offenses college teams are playing . Learn how to play 2man game!
On Ball Defense: pressure the ball! . There is nothing that shows athleticism like the ability to pressure the ball and run with your man! Coaches will have a much easier time evaluating you if you pressure!
Goalies: Coaches want to evaluate your ready position, your technique on saving shots, inside saves, outside shots, come around shots, pipe to pipe, whether or not you false step or dip, your quickness, the quality of shots your saving, your athleticism, as well as your ability to throw a great outlet. Make sure you have all of these bases covered versus great competition!
Shooting: One thing college coaches need as much as anything is great shooters! Time and room shots, on the run shots, and finishes. Sure coaches want to see velocity and accuracy, but they also want to see great shot selection (no bad angle shots or too far out shots), deception (do you move goalies) and finishes where you gain angle coming across the middle. If your film shows you scoring goals where you are "Fading" behind the net it's not great. Can you shoot low high wind ups? Leaners? Screen shots? Double Fake Finishes?
Physical Dodging: there are a ton of fast and quick dodgers out there who have a great change of direction and can beat players at the high school level. When you get to the college level, dodgers must be physical. When a dodger makes a move either he will initiate contact on the recovering defender or the defender will initiate contact on the dodger to get them off track. Turning corners and initiating contact is what college coaches are looking for! If you're not physical, you're probably not a good enough dodger.
Post ups: there is a time and place to post your man up and the best players do this. Beating your man with speed and quickness is great, but what happens when you get to "The Island" and your man is still right there? It's time to have moves to get your shot off. Squared up Post up, Shuffle Post up, Back in Post up all have an important place at the highest level and whether you're a midfielder or an attackman you need to have this in your repertoire and you will separate yourself from the pack if you film has sick post up moves.
Position-less Lacrosse: Versatility is critical. You need to be able to play out front, behind and on the wings. You need to play on ball, off ball, and in 2man games. Your video should show this. If you are a midfielder, you should be skilled enough to play attack. If you are an attackman, you should be athletic enough to play out top.
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Have a great weekend!