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.
If you are interested in having your athlete apply to become a JM3 Athlete learn more here [LEARN MORE]
JM3 Athlete Training
This past June 70 JM3 Athletes and friends from all over the country joined Mike O'Neil and me in Denver for the first ever Colorado Girls Lacrosse Training Camp (CGTC). This three day camp camp is unique in many ways. First, as is the case with all JM3 Training events, the CGTC is free! We invite our JM3 Athletes, their friends and our friends to ensure great competition and fun! Mike O'Neil, Colleen Magarity and I provide high level coaching to create great on field environments and experiences for our JM3 Athletes! A huge part of the JM3 Training experience is to meet and play with kids from all over the nation. Second, with JM3 Training Camps, we try to hold them in awesome destinations where the kids can play great lacrosse but also hang out with new friends in fun places like Denver, Delray Beach, FL or Narragansett, RI. We are trying to build a community of motivated, passionate lacrosse playing kids who also love to hang out and do fun kid stuff, like go to the beach, shop, or cruise around before and after awesome dinners.
This month of July JM3 training continues in Narragansett, RI where we have been playing lacrosse weekdays from 4pm-6pm. Each day we have between 15-30 boys and girls show up to play on field and pick up. When we go on the field with full equipment the boys train at one end and girls at the other, but when we play pick up we mix boys and girls together, shuffle sticks for new teams every game and play with multiple goals going on in a king of the hill format. As I wrote in my blog last week, we play with all different constraints, different scoring, shot clocks, different goalies, and numbers which allows for players to adapt in new situations. Kids drive in for day trips from Boston, Connecticut, and Providence while others stay for a week at a time coming from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Colorado.
Would you like to
Check out the highlights from this past week. The video starts off with a 3x on the side working on Natural Side draw and dump, movements and angles, 2v2 + feeder working on ball / off ball 2man reads, and finally a game of 5x which becomes an all time 5v4 teaching both man up and man to man concepts of 2man / 3man actions, swinging the ball, skip passes etc. Notice we had a goalie suited up in full box gear making for an extremely fun environment!
JM3 Training sessions are incredibly valuable for many reasons. JM3 was built on Zoom calls with athletes which is highly effective for teaching/learning from film, but the in person time in a small group setting is great building relationships. My favorite part of JM3 Training Sessions is playing pick up WITH the athletes and not just coaching them. There is no better way to bond with people than to play sports with them! Playing with players is also the ultimate way to deeply evaluate their game. After a few days playing pick up with athletes you can learn a lot about their compete level, their understanding of concepts, and simply if you like playing with them. Finally the mixed ages and genders creates opportunities for overloading and underloading (check out this Free Play Podcast to learn more about these critical concepts!) with plenty of experimentation along the way. And finally, the film we create is ideal for more Zoom calls with our JM3 Athletes.
Check out the film below from an on field session with JM3 Athletes in full pads.
The 1v1 + Picker Drill is incredibly impactful for the dodger, the defender and the picker!
The dodger learns 1v1's in the context of a pick and how his man is playing him and what affordances are being offered. You will se the frequent use of hesitation moves and intentional baiting under or over the pick, refusals, fake refusals, and more!
The defender learns to play the ball hard to get over the pick or faking playing the ball hard to get under the pick in a very challenging but realistic scenario of no switch 2man game.
The picker learns pick placement and pick adjustment depending upon if the defender goes under or over the pick, which is one of the most under taught and important elements to 2man game!
The 3v3 on a side + Feeder is so good for so many elements of the game. In this session we focused on on Middle Entry concept (from a couple blogs ago), 2man games, reads of Nations and Give & Go, and the read of the Middle Entry player to Mirror, be the Nations Feeder, or a secondary picker. Learning how to swing the ball to get it back and set up Swing Nations and Spain Looks is learning good team lacrosse. When the players are all reading the same thing: the dodger, the picker, the middle entry player and the feeder, advantages can be generously created!
JM3 Training Calendar
Below is a tentative schedule for our JM3 Athlete Training Sessions throughout the country. These sessions are invite only for our JM3 Athletes and friends designed to give our athletes plenty of opportunity throughout the year to play in awesome lacrosse environments!
July / August: weekdays in Narragansett RI, NorCal, Denver, Nantucket
September/October: weekends in Denver, Boston, NJ, CT/NY, OR, MN, Chicago and more...
December 18-22 Delray Beach, FL
January 27-29 Delray Part 2
February: NJ, CT/NY
March: Delray part 3
June: Boston, CT/NY, NJ
5v5 Keep Away
At the CGTC we ran one of my favorite drills, 5v5 Keep Away and added some new tweaks. I view this drill / game as one of the most important in all of the Principles Based Lacrosse curriculum. I would do this drill at least 2x per week in season.
First, the main principle this all even pressure keep away teaches is possession; handling pressure on ball, completing passes versus pressure on off ball adjacent players, as well as handling double teams on picks in a confined space. I like 5v5 better than 4v4 because It provides more variability. Since we require picks on and off ball simultaneously, the drill naturally evolves where there will be a 2man action and a 3man action.
Another critical principle at work in 5v5 Keep Away is learning how to read the defense in on and off ball 2man situations. Once you get your players to set picks, it forces the defense into a coverage. If your players can identify the coverage, they can use the appropriate solution and punish the defense. For example if the defense switches, the picker can slip while the dodger or cutter engages both defenders. Or, if the on ball defender pushes out over the pick, the picker sticks the pick and the dodger or cutter can bait or "Invite" the defender over the pick, putting her in a permanently trailing position. Quite frankly, this is the secret sauce to the Principles Based Offense. With an ability to recognize coverage solutions, your offense will create advantages consistently.
In women's lacrosse, on ball pick defense is predominantly played in two ways: switch or pressure / fight over the pick and switch late if you have to. In this 5v5 Keep Away Drill we focus on solutions versus the pressure / get over the pick / no switch because I feel that the most athletic teams will play this way and bully your pick game and if you can master this situation, the switch / slip / Nations looks will be easy. The full pressure allows the dodger to learn how to control their defender with posture, with pick refusals and fake refusals that result in the ultimate in dodging practice. You will see jabs, hesitations, roll backs and hostage dribble, post ups and look offs used to perfection, or not!
Off ball, we allow the defense to switch picks, opening up opportunities for seals and slips, but we also selectively use a face guard on one player to work on this situation both in preparation for being face guarded, but also to practice the solution to the ultimate no switch situation.
Finally, a principle that is overlooked on offense that is a major emphasis in the Principles Based Lacrosse model is communication. Without communication
When you watch the video of this drill I want you to watch for two main things: first, did the dodger bring her defender over the pick and turn the corner at a right angle? If you see dodgers run flat or straight, they didn't create an advantage. If you see the dodger turn a corner at a right angle, she created an advantage. Second, is off ball communication occurring as to who is picking for whom? And third, is the off ball cutter cutting blindly to the ball, or reading her defender and making an appropriate read?
JM3 SPORTS uses the FreeLap speed timing system with our Athletes along with Tony Hollers Atomic Speed Workout and the results are phenomenal!
Start seeing speed gains in weeks! Get your FreeLap speed timer >>>CLICK HERE <<<
If you want to get Tony Holler's Speed Training for Lacrosse go to this link >>> CLICK HERE <<<
Getting the Most Out of Your FreeLap Timing System >>> CLICK HERE <<<
Be sure to get your own Small Sided Box Lacrosse Goal @ BoxLacrosseGoals.com
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!