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.
A Visit From Alex Sarama
If you haven't listened to the podcast I did with NBA Europe and Basketball Immersion content creator Alex Sarama, please click here and listen ASAP! And take notes! If you have already listened, I would encourage you listen again! I've gone back and re-listened (which I usually do not do) because this is the most important and impactful content I've ever been a part of and I need to learn how to articulate these concepts the way Alex articulates them!
Amazingly, Alex was in Denver last week and was able to come visit me in Highlands Ranch and not only check out an epic street pick up game, but he also ran a hoop clinic in my backyard with a bunch of Mountain Vista HS kids.
Watching Alex coach 8 players in my backyard with the Constraints Lead Approach on display in a series of small game environments was incredible! I will be spending a lot of time studying the way Alex constantly manipulates rules, tasks and conditions to elicit various responses and adaptations in the players.
Here is a really cool 1v1 + Picker Drill Alex does that is very similar to a drill I use call Area 1v1 + Picker. As you will learn later in the blog, learning to dodge in the context of 2man game has tremendous advantages in terms of reading the play and employing various deception and moves.
2man Game And Dodging
One common misconception about the Principles Based Offense, which utilizes simultaneous 2man and 3man on ball and off ball actions coupled with ball movement and spacing, is that it's not a dodging offense. When coaches think of dodging they think of iso's, 1v1's, speed dodges. or ankle breaking moves. However, every coach knows that a key to great dodging is a player's ability to change speed, change direction and change planes (pop outs). Let's not forget the fact that we must also understand how the defense is playing us and what 'Affordances" they are providing. Oh yeah, we also have to be aware of sliders, adjacent defenders and backside defenders all the while being ready to feed an open teammate!
The truth is, dodging is a lot more than just running by your defender!
This is why I believe the ultimate way to become a great dodger is to learn dodging in the context of 2man game. Not only are dodgers forced to learn the nuances of changing speed / direction / planes, but players learn to dodge while reading the defense. Is there anything more important than this?! I don't think so! Are they switching or are they staying? If the defense is staying, are they going under or are they going over the pick. The offense can learn to punish the defense versus all coverages!
Another important advantage of learning to dodge in the context of 2man game is how to leverage the art of deception. Some examples are: using your eyes to look off the pick to get a step or selling to your defender that you're going to use the pick to set up a pick refusal, faking a refusal to set up using the pick, hesitations, stick fakes, hand gestures, communication are among the countless ways to use deception.
Check out the video below of Steve Nash titled, "Pick and Roll Set up" and watch how Nash uses a myriad of dodges, hesi's, spin moves, to set up his 2man game while he masterfully reads and influences (deception) the defense.
On Wednesday of this week we did a training session in Colorado with a group of college and committed HS players where we played a ton of 7v7. The offense played with two 3man sides and one player at X who rotate in with the righty side. The Simultaneous actions involved Ram Screens ball side, and a "Middle Entry" concept I learned recently from University of Denver Offensive Coordinator Matt Brown which basically gets into an off ball version of Ram Screens.
One key to the environment we created is we guided the defense, having the girls change and communicate three different coverages: Switch, pressure the ball and try to get over the pick, and double team the pick. This is critical for both sides of the ball!
Watch the video below of solutions the ball carriers used to set up their 2man actions. You will notice they are very similar to that of Steve Nash! I have always believed that lacrosse players should learn to dodge like a basketball player, and 2man game makes this happen!
Terps Shadow 1v1 Drill
I learned this 1v1 drill from Maryland Defensive Coordinator and PLL pro Jesse Bernhardt and I used it last week at a camp I was running for JM3 Athletes in Atlanta, Georgia. It is an amazing way for defenders to learn how to keep a perfect cushion, maintain the proper topside shade including "Trailing to X" as well as learning to approach or close out on pop outs without over playing.
This drill will hugely impact a defender's ability to maintain position throughout a dodge which will translate in better and more consistent on ball defense. Try it! I think you will like it!
If you want to learn a more in-depth approach to all of the drills in this blog check out our premium content. Thousands of athletes, parents, coaches, and programs are subscribed to one of our memberships and have joined the JM3 community to take their lacrosse skills and IQ to an entirely new level.
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JM3 Interns Needed
Here at JM3 Sports we are opening up a hiring process for interns for social media, editing, content creation, and videography. We are extremely excited about the JM3 team and mission and are expanding to serve even more athletes and programs. We need your help!
Email me at [email protected] if you have the skills and would like to become a part of our team.
Social Media Interns:
JM3 Sports is looking for a social media team that will help run the day to day operations of all of JM3 social media - Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook
JM3 Sports is looking for editors that:
-Can recognize relevant lacrosse plays on offense and defense in both boys and girls lacrosse
-Can identify and keep track of a player or players throughout a game
-Are able to screen record on their computer and have general knowledge of how to use Imovie
-Are able to communicate through text/phone effectively
-Can watch multiple lacrosse games in a day on same day/1 day notice
Highlight Video Editing Intern:
JM3 Sports is looking for editors that:
-Have a computer that can screen record/download games
-Have Imovie or another video editing software
-Have general knowledge about Imovie or other video editing software
-Can format title slides
-Can identify which clips are better than others and organize them from best to worst
-Can use freeze frames and arrows/circles to identify players
-Can communicate effectively through email and text message
Check out this Awesome Video we produced!
Have a great weekend!