A Lacrosse Weekend 6.9.18

Uncategorized Jun 09, 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 interesting.

Today is my fourth straight weekend away from home as I’m writing this blog from another hotel lobby…the Jonestown, PA Fairfield Inn Lobby to be exact. I’m here with my wife and youngest daughter for a girl’s lacrosse tourney, Summer Genesis.The team Lucy’s playing for is called 212 Lacrosse and is run by former Tar Heel Lacrosse player, Mike Acee.

This 212 “2021” team is playing in support of Graham Harden, a North Carolina legend, “1991 Defenseman of the Year” who is battling ALS.Mike reached out to his vast network of friends in the Carolina Lacrosse family and lacrosse community and put together a roster of kids from all over North America: CA, UT, CO, TN, CT, NC, VA, ON,

Graham’s motto is “Game on”…. His first words upon hearing the diagnosis. Please check out Graham’s story on his YouCaring page: https://www.youcaring.com/graham-harden-ii-family-trust-660908

One of this weekend’s highlights for me is I get to coach with three of my great friends Chip Mayer (UNC ’90), Andy Towers (Brown ’93), and Mike Acee (UNC ’92). If you don’t know any of these guys, suffice it to say it’s an all-star cast of lacrosse knowledge and fun!

I met Mike Acee and “Chop” Mayer when I started my coaching career as an assistant at Yale in 1991. That summer I decided it would be smart to work camps at various schools to get to know the head coaches by working hard and doing a good job.The UNC camp was an amazing opportunity to be around some of the great coaches and players of the early ’90’s. Beauties like Dennis Goldstein, John Webster, Billy Daye, Double D, Barney Aburn, Greg Paradine, Eric Seremet,… we got it done on the field, at “He’s Not Here” and on the hoop court!

Working with Mike Acee has been great, but the funny thing is I’ve spent way more time with Mike’s dad than with Mike! Fred Acee, is the Hall of Fame coach from Farmingdale Community College and the Air Force Academy who is one of the all-time great guys, great coaches and important mentors in my life. Fred first had an impacted my life in 1996 when he afforded me the opportunity to speak at the US Lacrosse (at the time USCLA) Lacrosse Convention. Freddy hooked me up with a primetime speaking slot and I presented on a new curriculum and video called the USA Lacrosse Progression. That day had a huge impact on my career.

The USA Lacrosse Progression was my first official attempt, in a never ending quest, to create the ultimate lacrosse teaching methodology. A couple classmates from Brown, including Joe Madden (son of HOF football coach John Madden) started a video production company where servicing John was their first priority, but had other projects. One such project was working with me on endeavoring to produce the best instructional lacrosse video ever!

You know how when you write a paper you learn the subject matter deeply? Well, I attempted to break down the game lacrosse … in its entirety… and I learned so much! The content script grew and grew - until the ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around - oops that was a random insertion from my favorite book “Where the Wild Things Are” - The content script grew and grew until it covered literally everything I could think of in the sport of lacrosse. It literally took three years to produce!

Some highlights from the USA Lacrosse Progression Video Series:

  • Film shoot with Mark Millon, Joe Breschi, Andy Towers, Dennis Goldstein, Chip Mayer, Jim McAleavey, Jay Stalfort in the goal, running cutting edge drills at Yale’s Coxe Cage.
  • The Yale Physics Professor, Bob Adair and baseball aficionado who wrote a book, the Physics of Baseball, broke down shot speed and goalie reaction time.
  • A trip to Cornell to meet with Hall of Fame coach Richie Moran telling stories about Eamon McEneny.
  • A trip to Indiana University to learn Bobby Knight’s motion offense first hand
  • The film shoot on the basketball court in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco where we showed the similarities from our 2v2 hoop game to the sport of lacrosse.
  • Meeting John Vassallo, A.K.A. JV, current Senior Coordinating Producer of ESPNU and Lacrosse (that’s how I got in with ESPNU) JV got his start with the New England Sports Network NESN and served as a play by play guy for college lacrosse. As a player at Brown I was interviewed by him a few times so when I was in search of game footage I reached out to JV and he hooked me up big time!I got access to all college lacrosse video from ’86-’90…. Brown, Yale, UMass, Army, Syracuse, Dartmouth and Harvard …..There were some pretty ridiculous players and teams from those days!

NESN Stars from the late 80’s:

  • Greg Canella and Tom Carmean tearing it up for the '86 Umass on attack
  • The match up between Tom Carmean- and Brown’s Darren Muller match-up was epic
  • Gerry Byrne, going over guy’s heads and throwing “Ding Dongs” non stop
  • Gait Brothers, John Zulberti, Tom Marachek, Pat McCabe, Goalie Syracuse teams were stupid.
  • Dartmouth still sucked, but Chris Bates was a tough cover!
  • Havard had Mick Cavouti, Tom Corcoran, and David Kramer
  • Danny Williams from Army shredding everybody.. except maybe Tommy Carmean!
  • Repping Yale was John Reese, Mike Babcock, Jason O’Neil, Brian Walter etc …3 straight Ivy Championships in there!
  • A second wave of star UMass players in Scott Hiller, the Carr brothers, Timmy Sudan, Jimmy "the Irish Rover" McAleavey, and maybe the greatest goalie of all time, Sal Locasio.
  • UMass/Syracuse games had some of the greatest players in the history of the game!
  • Brown had some sick teams too… in one of the best NESN memories was when sophomore Andy Towers scored the game winner in OT at UMass, the hill was packed with fans and kegs, and after Andy scored, he ran up the field waving to the hill as only Andy could!
  • Brown showcased Darren Lowe, Jay McMahon, Lars Tiffany, your truly, Tommy Gagnon, Bernie Buonanno, my little brother Neil Munro… some great teammates!

How to get Recruited

I did interviews of some of the top DI women’s lacrosse coaches: Gary Gait (Syracuse), Kelly Amonte-Hiller (Northwestern), Hannah Nielson (Michigan), and Jenny Levy (North Carolina). The #1 trait that all of these coaches talked bout wanting; Toughness. If you aren’t physical, gritty, and ultra competitive, they’re not gonna be interested.

Watch this recruiting video www.JM3GetRecruited.comwith your boys and see what DI Men’s coaches are looking for. Interviews with Joe Breschi - North Carolina, Matt Madalon - Princeton, Kevin Corrigan - Notre Dame and Lars Tiffany - Virginia.

“Looking for opportunities”

One of my biggest pieces of advice for players who want to play their best: learn to look for opportunities to use your skills. I’ll tell you what I would do if I was playing.

First, I would see if I could get a defender to over play me… some type of fake pass and split, MJ move or “open up” re-dodge… suck’em out and run by them.

Next I would Run right at my guy as hard as I could and see if he could handle it.

I’d test his change of direction with a hard split dodge, stop and go, roll back.

I would coordinate a little fishhook cut opportunity with one of my attack mates and get an easy goal.

If I were playing midfield I would coordinate a little give and go with an attackman where I would pass it down, pretend I was jogging into the crease to lull my man to sleep, then I’d cut hard and receive a pass for an easy one!

The point here is, if you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to score and make plays, if you’re not looking for these opportunities constantly, there’s no way you will play as well as you could. Regardless of your position, you need to have a prioritized checklist of what you’re going to do and what you’re going to look for based on what you’re best at and what’s required of your position. You must be intentional about it!

The question is: How are you going to figure out what this checklist should consist of? This five minute video outlines the JM3 Video Assessment tool…. It’s worth the watch because whether you want me to do it, or get advice from another expert, every player needs help in putting together their own checklist.

The JM3 Video Assessment: https://vimeo.com/272801272 is the best kept secret and might have a bigger impact on your game than any other factor.

Coaching Lacrosse

As some of you may know, I launched a Coaches Training Program in February. My goal was to provide the best on line education and lacrosse teaching content found anywhere on the web. I produced instructional webinars 2x per week for roughly 10 weeks on every topic you can imagine.

Below is a screenshot of the Membership Area of the Coaches Training Program, which will give you just a small glimpse into the content that is included:

This summer I’ve created a really cool learning opportunity for our subscribers where I do game breakdowns with guests. Similar to the new analysis show "Detail" with Kobe Bryant, our goal is education on the details of individual and team play. I relate all the “Detail" back to the content that can be found in the membership area and I’m finding it’s an amazing way to teach and learn.

This past week Chris Feifs, Head Coach at Vermont, came on the show and we broke down the Maryland-Duke Semi Final game. It was such a blast! Chris Feifs is as astute of a coach as you will find! And he’s a better guy!



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