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!
Best Fake Ever
My favorite team in the PLL is the Chaos, coached by my good friend and former teammate Andy Towers. I love the way they play offense combining box players with traditional field players; the insane skill of one handed players combined with hyper athletic, two handed players, all making good decisions and playing unselfishly. Attackman, Connor Fields is my favorite player in the world right now. An unselfish X guy, who is an incredible decision maker, Fields uses deception, IQ and repertoire fakes, moves, passes and shots that are mind blowing!
Everyone has probably seen this fake by now. I have watched it 100 times trying to identify the subtleties of the entire play. If you listened to the interview, Fields noted that he had hurled a BTB shot at the net earlier in the game, which set up the opportunity to use this fake. The hard pump of the BTB fake itself is impressive and cool, but the biggest reason this fake worked is the way Fields kept selling the fake that he didn't have the ball. Allowing himself to be pushed, his body limp, and using the very rare "Drunk Step" a term I coined in the late 80's. It is the staggering step you take when you're pretending not to have the ball anymore.
One little subtlety to this fake that I bet Fields did, but we can't tell through this video is the big grunt (similar to a tennis player hitting the ball) upon faking the BTB shot. the set up, the grunt, and the staggering Drunk Step will turn a Big Koala around!
After taking a few months off from my weekly podcasts with college coaches, I got it going again this month with two amazing guest, Shawn Nadelen, Head Coach from Towson and John Galloway, Head Coach from Jacksonville.
Both of these guys are incredible leaders, have great passion for the game, are tireless workers and had the benefits of great mentors. To learn and listen to their lacrosse journeys is incredible. Click here to listen to the Shawn Nadelen and John Galloway podcasts.
How about this for a mind blowing revelation: Coach Galloway, who played at West Genesee HS, said he learned the "West Genny" drill years after he graduated from high school. West Genesee HS doesn't run "West Genny!" Pretty funny!
Coaching Lacrosse: Finishing
Is there a more important part of the game than finishing? How many times have you lamented after a loss, "If we could have just finished 50% of our 1v1's with the goalie we would have won by five!" College coaches pay for finishers, box lacrosse produces the best finishers, most coaches don't come close to working on finishing enough and don't know how to teach it.
There are a ton of important elements to finishing:
Angle: get to the middle, come across the front of the net, don't fade, stick to the middle. As the late great Dave Huntley would say, "Players that fade behind the net are 'coach killers'"
"Your Stick has Eyes" you must be able to reach around the goalie far side and twister it around the goalie near side. Do not rely on your own two eyes to see net to finish, rely on the imaginary eyes on your stick to see net and finish. Reach Far, Twister Near!
Faking: most field players think of faking "High and Low" while box players think of faking "Near and Far". Both are applicable in field lacrosse in order to move a goalie.
Double Fake Theory: Goalies are able to react and recover from one fake. For example, if you fake high and near and shoot low and far, a good goalie will explode and often times make that save. Now imagine that your low and far shot was actually a second fake. The goalie would still explode out of his shoes to save that ball, leaving the nearside high wide open.
Hesitations: one of the keys to finishing is hesitating or freezing the goalie. You can use hesitations with your stick on a hard pump, while you cock your stick, as well as combined with footwork like shuffles and one foot hesitations.
Check out this video I shot 4-5 years ago of John Grant Jr doing a finishing demo at the 3d Lacrosse Summit. This video is an insane display of Jr being Jr and using 5 fakes in a matter of seconds. Let's break it down:
In the JM3 Coaches Training Program I have created some of the most incredible content on on the World Wide Web and on every topic imaginable. Webinars and videos on Skills, drills, X's and O's, interviews, practice plans for all levels of men's and women's field and box lacrosse!
The video below is an excerpt from the CTP and the topic is how to teach shooting and finishing in one of the most interesting and "Player intuitive" methods; By simply using quicksticks! If you are a coach who struggles teaching advanced skills or if you're a coach like me with years of cutting edge experience, this is a critical teaching methodology for you! Good habits and efficiencies gained from using quicksticks is the early stage result of this method, the subtleties of hesitations, reach/twister, and leaning are what the kids pick up (this is the whole key, the kids pick it up) as you continue to have them use quicksticks to shoot and finish. This is a foolproof methodology for teaching shooting!.
JM3 Academy Breakdown Attack Play in Transition
If you ask most college coaches, they are in dire need of great attackmen! Being a great attackman means you know the IQ of the game as well as the skills. One of the most important elements to the attack position in men's lacrosse is the ability to understand all of the looks, positioning and spacing in fast break and transition offense. In the JM3 Academy not only do we breakdown for players every variation of every skill, but we also breakdown different portions of the game from an IQ standpoint. The video below comes from Chapter 8 of the Attack/Midfield Academy. The content from this video is critical for every attackman and midfielder. it is fundamental AND cutting edge at the same time. It is applicable to Pro lacrosse, college lacrosse, high school lacrosse and youth lacrosse.
For those of you who have aspiring lacrosse players but you worry that they are falling behind because you don't live in a hotbed or your coaching is old school. I promise you, the JM3 Academy will be a solution! Here is the simple truth: you will probably never otherwise learn all the details of lacrosse skill and IQ that this academy provides.
Have a great weekend!
Have a great weekend!