A Lacrosse Weekend 6.2.18

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2018

Welcome to “A Lacrosse Weekend,” my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths/truths about the great game of lacrosse! I hope you find it enjoyable.

I write today from the lobby of the Hilton-Garden Inn Rochester. Our daughters are attending the FCA Girls Lacrosse Training Camp this weekend and playing with their 2021 team. We have never participated in an FCA event and are really looking forward to it! Last night we kicked off our stay at a Roch-Vegas classic: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which is a restaurant, blues venue, and biker bar chain located mostly in upstate New York. It didn’t disappoint!

Yale Bulldogs are National Champions!

Congrats to Andy Shay and the Yale Lacrosse team for pulling off an epic run of excellence in all phases of the game (and probably a team AI of 215). Everything Yale did was sound and cutting edge.This team could have beaten teams of any era! Their offense was athletic, skilled, and balanced even though they have Tewaaraton winner Ben Reeves! Their close defense was physical, athletic, skilled and nasty; their shorts were stallions, they employed a killer 10 man ride, and they could win face-offs against anyone in DI.

Yale Lacrosse and Recruiting

When Brown had their run in 2016 it was a combination of great talent and great coaching, but the mass of talent was luck (It usually is)…. Dillon Molloy was a late bloomer (JV as a sophomore) and no one knew there would be 4-5 1st team All-Americans and 10 future pros in those recruiting classes and Brown hasn’t sustained that level of talent. Has Andy Shay cracked a code in player evaluation? Since 2010, Yale has won three regular season titles, five Ivy Tournament Championships, and his national rankings have improved every year. Yale looked like the most athletic team in DI this year. Sure, Ben Reeves is a generational talent, but the Yale kids looked more athletic than their opponents all year… no matter who they played.

Andy’s Angles

Andy Shay always has a smart angle on things. When I talk to him he is both super interesting and interested. He is always looking for an edge. He’ll say things like, “Bro, I’ve got a shooting technique that is unreal, but you can’t tell anyone about it!” The thing is, he’s got a cutting edge angle on every element of the game… and it adds up.

Congrats to Wesleyan Lacrosse

I was so happy that Coach John Raba and Wesleyan won the DIII National Championship! Coach Raba is a great guy and has developed a perennial power. In January 2015, I saw coach Raba at 3d Blue Chip in Orlando, FL and we were shooting the breeze when I asked him if he was still looking for seniors. John said it was late, but he could be looking… who was I talking about? I had this lefty at Mountain Vista HS named Christian Barker, a late bloomer who had slipped through the cracks, but was a definite DI caliber player and a great student. This just goes to show you that if you keep working hard and keep the faith, good things will happen. Christian was an All-American as a sophomore last year and was a pivotal playmaker in their championship run this year.

Box Lacrosse in Canada

We have had quite the week of lacrosse! As I have mentioned a couple times, my daughter and a few other girls decided to play girls box lacrosse this summer so we rented a house in Niagara on the Lake, ON and the girls are being completely immersed in box lacrosse. Here was our first week:

  • Saturday/Sunday: Box Tourney in Waterloo, ON
  • Monday: Worked on a couple things in the backyard, Watched the National Championship at the Brickyard, stopped by Darris Kilgour’s house on the Tuscarora Reservation and played 3v3 pick up in his back yard (Darris is a sick box goalie), and box practice to cap off the day
  • Tuesday: a little backyard work then a box game vs Six Nations at night
  • Wednesday: An hour of shooting on a box goalie, watched the Jr A Athletics vs Peterborough, then box practice
  • Thursday: backyard BTB work and a box game up in Lincoln, ON (one of our girls broke her shaft on a girl with a cross check haha)

  • Friday: tuned up their girls sticks in preparation for the weekend

Girls Box Lacrosse

We all know box lacrosse is a skill and IQ accelerator and I’ve written about it a ton. It’s the box lacrosse environment of confined space, small nets, 5v5, shot clock, etc that make it more effective at developing players than the field environment. Box lacrosse is especially important for girls. Why? Because Box Lacrosse (and boys field for that matter) is closer to women’s lacrosse than girls lacrosse is to women’s lacrosse. Women’s lacrosse is a fast and physical game with great skill, passing and pressure. Girls youth lacrosse is a game where you literally can’t touch anyone and there is often times no reason to pass.

Girls Box Lacrosse Part II

You can’t believe how ferociously these girls play! I can’t explain it, but it must be because of the culture and reffing, but they finish their checks just like the boys do! And give you an extra shot for good measure… the chippiness is fantastic! A girl got in my daughter's face as if she wanted to “Go”. After the game I asked Lucy if she was scared…her reply, “Yeah, a little…. I looked right at her, blinked twice, and got out of there.”

Girls playing with boy’s sticks

This is a huge skill accelerator! Nowadays, women’s sticks can have great hold and the top women in college lacrosse like Kylie Ohlmiller and Selena Lasota can literally do anything with their sticks than can be done with a men’s stick. Here’s the key: girls need to learn how to play with the ball on their shooting strings and use centrifugal force to cradle and release it at all angles.This is more easily learned with a boy’s stick and transferred to a girl’s stick than trying to learn on a girl’s stick. Especially if the girl;s stick being learned on doesn’t have great hold. Due to the pockets, girls grow up pushing the ball with hands spread apart where boys grow up whipping it, getting their bodies into the throw and controlling the shot with fine wrist adjustments.I’m not saying it’s impossible to learn these skills with a girl’s stick. I am saying it’s easier and quicker to learn more skills with a boy;s stick and transfer it over.

Girls lacrosse and physicality

One of the biggest problems with the youth girl’s lacrosse environment is the lack of checking. In women’s lacrosse to run around a defender you must evade a cross check. And if you do evade a defender’s’ cross check, they can still check your stick! Girls can’t learn this until checking is allowed. Why wait until “modified checking” is allowed or full checking is allowed to have your first go at a real 1v1! I say if you’re that worried about safety, fine, put equipment on them and let them actually learn how to dodge a real defender and protect your stick!

2015 U19 Girls FIL World Championships

There are so many more girls playing lacrosse in the US than in Canada it’s ridiculous, yet Canada won the gold medal. How? Because their best players grew up playing box lacrosse. Watch my player analysis on Selena Lasota and you will see what I mean.

Recruiting is a Crapshoot

First, we must understand that recruiting is a crapshoot and much of it you cannot control. Here’s an example: You’re at a tourney, all the schools of your dreams are lined up on the sideline and then....

  • A thunderstorm rolls in and the day is cancelled
  • Your team wins or loses every face-off and as a result you don’t really get to do anything that game
  • The man you’re covering never dodges because his coach only dodges short sticks
  • This one kid on the team never passes because his dad told him he needed to be more selfish and your coach doesn’t really coach
  • It’s your turn to be in and a kid gets hurt and the delay kills the entire half you were going to play

Control what you can Control

What you can control is your development as a player, how hard you play, what club you choose to play for, what events you’re going to go to. Your best chance is to have a great plan for development of athleticism and skill, great coaching that will help you know YOUR GAME and THE GAME, and a balance of playing “Pick up games,” practices, and exposure events.

Your Best/Worst Day

I’ve heard so many parents say “My Johnny had a great game and scored 5 goals in front of Coach So and So, I can’t believe they recruited Jimmy instead! Jimmy only scored 2 goals.” First of all, your opinion of “Great game” is probably different than a college coach’s opinion of “Great game.” Second, coaches are looking for a foundation of athleticism, skill and IQ… not just a great statistical day. I remember Dom Starsia would say “I can see a player on his worst day and know he’s good enough.”Work on your foundation of athleticism, skill and IQ!

The Smartest Thing you Can Do This Summer

I have created a tool that will seriously have the biggest positive impact on your recruiting if you try it! Watch this video and you will have a sense of what I’m talking about. And there’s a money back guarantee.

JM3 Video Assessment

  • Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone give you a non-biased in depth evaluation of your player?
  • Video = Truth
  • Sometimes you need another voice to get through to your kids
  • Kids have MANY more skills than they use and you’ve seen it! Imagine if they used all their skills in games?
  • Being in the right place at the right time is the whole key…Does your son/daughter know exactly where to be?
  • What if I could help you double or triple your your productivity?

BTB Passing

If you can feed behind the back consistently, your stock as a player will rise. Yes, it looks cool, but that’s not the reason to learn how to feed behind the back. It’s actually easier. Practice your BTB’s so much that you can have the confidence to use this skill. The best players in the world use their BTB’s all the time… why can’t you? Here’s why BTB’s work:

  1. You can feed from closer and with a defender right on your hands, but your BTB is always open
  2. The receiver always has more time because no one sees it coming
  3. You can actually be late with a BTB and and it’s not too late for it to work beautifully.

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