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!
COVID-19 Impact on College Lacrosse Recruiting
Months ago I predicted that there would be a major trickle down effect from the extra year of eligibility awarded to every college lacrosse player due to the COVID cancellation of the 2020 lacrosse season. Sadly, we are now looking at the real threat of losing the 2021 college season. I don't see Ivy schools competing in 2021 unless the entire student population is back on campus for spring semester, as I don't think the league would make concessions just for athletes to be back on campus. Patriot League would likely follow suit. The implications here is that players from these conferences will have two years of eligibility remaining, which could further impact the "Trickle down."
Here's an update:
Good News on Scholarships
I heard yesterday from a DI women's coach that the NCAA has fast tracked and approved a new rule allowing for the "Stacking" of need based financial aid with athletic aid! This is huge! In the past, an athlete could either receive need based financial aid or athletic aid and if they were combined, the sum of the two amounts would count against the sports equivalency (salary cap) which meant fully funded programs couldn't stack.
Why is this so huge? Think of an athlete that qualified for 40% financial aid, but needed 80% to attend the school. Now schools will recoup that 40% and be able to award it to other players on the roster or to transfers, 5th year players coming back, etc. This rule will open up a ton of money.
The rich get richer! High end academic scholarship schools with strong endowments, that offer great need based financial aid packages, will have a huge advantage in recruiting. State schools that can't offer the same level of need based financial aid will be at a disadvantage. Even though state school's cost of attendance is usually less, it still costs 40k-50k to attend a state school as an out of state resident.
Whereas roster spots on DI teams will be tougher than ever to acquire, scholarship money will be much more readily available.
If you want to learn more about college lacrosse recruiting, check. out the JM3 Recruiting Portal. I have compiled three years worth of blog posts, interviews, webinars, videos and podcasts to create a source for great recruiting information.
I have done podcasts with dozens of DI men's and women's coaches and have edited out the excerpts on recruiting. Find out what Lars Tiffany is looking for in a player. Understand how Kelly Amonte-HIller thinks about recruiting character!
One of the exciting things about this product is that I will continually add new and updated content as I produce it!
Watch this video for a quick tour of the content:
The Art Of The Hesitation
To me, you cannot be a great dodger without using a heavy dose of hesitation moves, which are the missing ingredient for so many players. Hesitations aren't actually difficult to perform, but are difficult to remember to perform and can be counter intuitive.
Have you every watched a video of 1v1 and noticed that the defender's feet exactly match up to the feet of the offensive player? If you've never realized this fact, it will kind of blow your mind! Watch this video example from the 2019 Duke vs UVA Final Four of a defender's feet synching up with the dodger!
Press pause as you watch this clip of Alley 1v1's and you will see how the feet synch up!
If you keep watching film of 1v1's, you will notice that even when the offensive player changes direction violently, the defender's feet will almost always continue to synch up with the dodger's feet... except when hesitation moves are employed!
This is how it works. When you use a hesitation move, you are faking a change of direction, which forces the defender to breakdown. This in turn makes the defender late, which forces the defender to try and catch up and over pursue, setting up a change of direction. Using this concept, a dodger can make the defender take two extra steps!
Here's a video of Kevin Rice using hesitations to set up his rollback!
Adding fakes to your hesitation and changes of direction moves is like putting them on steroids! If a dodger draws a check on a hesitation or a change of direction, it further distorts the footwork of the defender either making them even more late on the hesi or take extra steps on the change of direction!
Once you get your defender to take two extra steps, it's time for more hesitations although this is somewhat counter intuitive: Players ask: why would I hesitate after getting a step? Won't thee defender catch up? Remember, the defender's feet will match your feet, if you hesitate, they will hesitate, allowing you to buy time for decision making and retain your step!
Watch Selena Lasota use a Hard Pump Hesitation to completely stop the feet of her defender!
Another interesting thought on how hesitation moves help a dodger get a step is in the basic premise that you are trying to get your defender to stop more than you stopped.
The video below is from the JM3 Attack/Midfield Academy and I think you will love it! There are tons of different techniques and applications of hesitations moves And when you add faking to your hesitations, it's like putting them on steroids!
If you like the content in my blogs on skills / techniques like the piece on Hesitation Moves above, you will love the JM3 Academies! If your son or daughter is a hard worker, you will be SO pumped about the results you will see. The comprehensiveness of the cutting edge skills taught in a super practical and refreshing way, will be a game changer.
But they have to do the work! That's the only pre-requisite!
These 10 chapter courses shows you drills you can do by yourself, with a friend, or a small groups with a "Backyard Curriculum!"
If you wan to check out the academies, check out the video walk throughs below!
A lot of kids are working hard, but few are actually getting better at the game itself.
Read this article by Raymond Verhejein, a world renowned soccer coach: Isolated Technique Training Slows Down Development.
Most of the world is banging out #Reps on the bounce back, #Reps shooting balls on empty nets, #Reps dodging cones. #Reps in the speed ladder while cradling at the same time. While there is value in sharpening skills, these #Reps won't actually make you better at playing the game.
In quarantine with my three kids, I created The Backyard Curriculum which is my greatest creation for player development. My kids and JM3 Athletes need to ACTUALLY get better at the game of lacrosse which means: We have to dodge people; Shoot on humans; Play defense versus live dodges; Manipulate defenders in 2man games on and off ball, etc.
I would say the best way to characterize The Backyard Curriculum is it teaches a "Feel" for the game.
JM3 Athlete Program - Sold out
The way I like to describe what I do is put athletes and families on a New Trajectory of development. This program does provide recruiting advice and advocacy when the time comes and it's going to be more competitive than ever! However, if you're not good enough, there's nothing to talk about. Being good enough is by far the #1 priority. My job is to help kids become good enough.
The results I've had with my JM3 Athletes has been phenomenal on many different levels: recruiting, honors earned, huge improvements, access to better club teams, and a true understanding of the game and their game!
JM3 Athlete Recruiting
It will be more competitive than ever to be recruited to play high level college lacrosse. Things get more competitive every year anyway, but now with the COVID crisis, we have a log jam for the next four years with every college lacrosse player receiving an extra year of eligibility. With out question, this will have a trickle down effect on the current 2021's-2024's. College coaches will plan for the potential of 5th year players by saving money and spots. We will see more re-classing as pretty much all 2021's will become 22's!
With the fact that summer is going to be a least partially if not fully lost, college coaches will be in a position where they simply won't know the class of 2022 as well as they want to and advocates will become more important than ever. If you listen to my podcasts, you will discover how well I know the majority of coaches in college lacrosse. Having an insider in your corner is no guarantee, but it's helpful.
Will Your Kid Be Good Enough?
With the lost season and now the potential of a lost summer, how will your son/daughter keep improving? By doing more wall ball? By dodging cones and doing speed ladder work? By shooting on empty nets. I have create a backyard curriculum to go along with my Sandlot Model approach that has given my JM3 Athletes a huge leg up on the competition! My athletes have made tangible gains in their dodging, shooting, and 2man games.
If you want a taste of the type of detail my JM3 Athletes receive, watch this video assessment I did for UVA All-American Michael Kraus.
Imagine getting this type of feedback every week!
I used to offer Video Assessments as a product for the general public, but now I only do this for my JM3 Athletes.
JM3 Athlete Zoom Calls
I do weekly zoom calls with my athletes where we watch film together:
The bottom line is there are a lot of motivated kids out there that need help optimizing and learning. The kids that do this will have a huge advantage over those that a simply pounding out #Reps.
This program is currently sold out, but you can learn more and get on a waitlist. I will likely have an open enrollment opportunity in July.
Have a great weekend!