A Lacrosse Weekend 8.1.20

Uncategorized Aug 01, 2020

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! 

Premier Lacrosse League

It has been SO GREAT to have PLL on TV every night!  I think I've watched every game and I have some thoughts I want to share with you. 

  • I'm rooting for the Chaos and Head Coach Andy Towers, but they haven't gotten into synch offensively and are surprisingly struggling at the face off X
  • The nice thing about this tournament is all you have to do is get hot at the right time! 
  • The Whipsnakes look better than ever with the addition of Zed Williams.
  • Kyle Bernlohr and Blaze Riorden have been insane!  Wow!
  • Refs are letting too much physicality, slashing, holding and interference occur and I think it hurts the product.  I'd rather see a goal than a hold any day!
  • Grant Ament is the real deal in every way!  He's a text book on what I believe in and it's not just his straight speed, it's the way he slows down and uses deception constantly.  
  • Zed Williams is a beast with box skills and he's just getting going!  What a handful to be partnered with another handful named  Rambo!
  • John Haus is the most underrated player in the league.
  • I can never remember which McIntosh is which, but both Jordan and Ben are such smart, skilled righty goal scorers!
  • The players that dodge slower and under control with fakes, hesitations and rollbacks are having more success than the pure speed dodgers.
  • I like watching Jack Rowlett play defense....  So tough and athletic!
  • It's good to see the Rattlers, I mean the Chrome winning again!  They needed Sudo!
  • Costabile is a freak. I can't believe how well he defends!  I plan on doing a full breakdown and film study on his on ball defense.

Interesting PLL Videos

This morning I went through  bunch of games and pulled out some clips that I thought were interesting  that I wanted to share with you!  I hope you enjoy the clips, the insights and the detail I try an provide!

Austin Staats's 1 Hand Pass

This is one of the most interesting plays I've seen so far in these PLL games.  First of all, the way Staats uses a subtle Double Hitch to set up his split is vintage box lacrosse.  The next thing that is so interesting is the way he fakes a one hand shot to set up the feed.  One Hand Feeds can be relatively easy to see coming by collapsing defenders, which is why Staats Hitches with one hand.  Watch the goalie react to the fake and watch the backside defenders who could have been there, show up on the scene a little late.  Finally the handle and finish by Miles Thompson was so cool!  This is the second time I've seen Miles shoot a BTB screen shot around the head of the collapsing defender.

Zed's Underhand Twister

All Canadians shoot Twisters or Curve Balls to create misdirection and deception of their shot.  If you're wondering how it works, think of your Sidearm shot where the swing angle sells far side and that when you pull it nearside it often times gets the goalie stepping to the wrong side.  Watch Chrome's Jordan McIntosh deceive a goalie on a sidearm pull shot.

Overhand Twisters, also called Curveball's deceive goalies with an inside out swing angle isas opposed to the side arm outside in swing angle.  Check out Cockerton's Curveball below.

In box lacrosse you will see Underhand Twisters executed more often than in field lacrosse, in fact, this may be the first one I've seen!  Notice how Zed's swing angle is inside out and gives the goalie the feeling of nearside as he releases it far side.  If you watch the Atlas goalie closely,  you will see him reading the shot as nearside low.

Zed Draws a Quintuple

When Zed swam a slide and literally drew five players, all I could think of was the line from Pulp Fiction below:

Somehow, Zed was able to get a shot off with literally five guys on him!  The shot was retrieved at X by Matt Rambo who then just kind of ran it in for goal while everyone was recovering back to their match ups.   Just like coach Stags drew it up!


Canadian / Native Box Shooters  vs American Field Shooters

I've written about this before.  Over the past 10 plus years in NCAA lacrosse, Box players have shot 34% while Americans have shot at 28%.  This is over a 20% difference year after year.  Americans are taught the mechanics of shooting with accuracy and getting shots off quickly whereas box players learn how to shoot in the context of defenders and goalies that have to be manipulated.  Watch Zed execute a beautiful Mulit Hitch shot that makes the defenders get out of the way and simultaneously freeze the goalie!

Rowlett's Compete Level 

We knew how good of a competitor Rowlett was four years ago when he was a big part of the UNC National Championship run!  He was a best as a freshman!

Watch the way Jack Rowlett plays defense on Zed in the video below.  He knows Zed is a strong Righty and doesn't want to give up too much angle for a right handed shot or a BTB shot so he uses a Reverse V Hold technique, which we are seeing a lot of these days in college and Pro lacrosse.  Remember, Zed is very strong and for Rowlett to have stopped Williams in his tracks with that Reverse V Hold was kind of crazy!  Then, just as Zed pivots to shoot underhand righty, Rowlett is able to chop down right on right and disrupt the play.  

If Zed bounces, fakes, and or hesitates, it will be much tougher for 99 to make that play!

Easy As Possible

The best dodgers in the PLL don't necessarily break ankles and blow by their man with massive separation.  In fact, the best players barely beat their man, which makes it very difficult to slide to!  Watch the series of videos below illustrating the use of fakes, hesitations, and hitches to get great shots off and to hold off sliders.

I love the way Jesse King uses hesitations down the wing to his weak hand to set up his strong hand roll back.  I really love the subtle hitch coming out of his rollback that draws the check and opens the window for his shot!

McIntosh makes it look pretty easy here.  Many times when dodgers operate in a grey area in terms of where the defense wants to pressure or not and the wings are particularly good for making it hard on a defender to know where he is.  Here McIntosh jogs along in that greay area.  He knows he's going to be in shooting range, and uses a little underhand hitch to draw a cross check, opening the window for his shot!

Watch Chrome McIntosh operating on the corner.  As he's coming topside he gives a sequence of moves to get his hands free that are all kind of the same move of selling underneath in order to get topside / strong hand.  Each time he sold his underneath a little more until he had his shot!

  • A Dead Shoulder Rocker
  • A 3 Step Rollback
  • A 5 step Rollback and shot

Here, Rambo knows when he gets a short stick and he initiates contact, it's a signal to the defense to slide.  He also knows that when he initiates contact its virtually impossible for the on ball defender to stop his spin move roll back.  This is smart dodging that creates great offense!


Hesitation Moves

Grant Ament is super fast and his change of direction is excellent.  That said, for Grant Ament of anyone else, the use of Hesitations is what actually gets the job done.  Watch the video below and you will see a perfect example.  

  • Right to Right V Cut
  • Rollback
  • Hezzi

 The Very Rare Backup Pick

Watch this video closely and you will see Atlas attackman Erik Law spring Ryan Brown wide open with a Backup Pick.  In this Hang up situation, the defense is usually content to wait it out, cover their men in front and switch picks.  The reason why Back up Picks work so well is because the defender guarding the picker doesn't recognize a pick is being set and therefore doesn't switch.  Erik Law has been doing this for years and learned from DU Offensive Coordinator Matt Brown who used to set back up picks when I coached him at DU in the early 2000's.  

Rooting For BJ Grill

I'm so happy for BJ Grill!  He's proving to the world that if you give him a chance, despite always being in a size mismatch, that he can the job done!  BJ did an unbelievable job on Jordan Wolf who is arguably the toughest cover in the league.  Watch here how he gets under the pick and turns Wolf at the island setting up a great double team opportunity by the shorty!


Here watch Grill get under a pick and D up Wolf on the Island!  This is a play that not many defenders in the PLL have the quickness to do!

 I have gotten to know BJ over the past few years and as good of a player as he is, he is an even better person!  And what a coach!

JM3 Athlete Program

In two weeks from today, I will be opening up a registration window for six boys and girls players to sign up for the JM3 Athlete Program.  In this program I work with athletes and families and put them on a trajectory of development and exposure that they would otherwise never know.   I have created a new model of player development that is so effective and such a breath of fresh air you may not believe it!  

This program is not cheap, but it has been wildly effective at helping players and families achieve their goals and follow their dreams. 

If you want to learn more, please take the time to read A Lacrosse Life, an in depth bio, which explains how my philosophies have evolved through my experiences as a coach at all levels, an entrepreneur, and a dad of three lax players, two girls and a boy.

If you're interested, email me at [email protected].  I will be happy to provide references of current and former clients.

Here's a video of the content I use for my JM3 Athletes

Girls Lacrosse Player Development

I am a proud girl dad and because of that I've put a ton of time into understanding women's lacrosse and trying to find the best ways to help girls develop into high level players!  I coach girls HS lacrosse and I have worked with a ton of girls in my JM3 Athlete Program with exceptional success on the field, in recruiting, and in a love of the game!

Check out this testimonial from the dad of one of my players.  If you think this would be the kind of program you would like for your daughter, feel free to email me at [email protected] .  The JM3 Athlete Program is not for everyone and it is not cheap, but the results have been incredible! 

Another element of the JM3 Athlete Program for girls that is incredibly exciting is the girls truly learn the game at a new level.  A club coach was telling me yesterday that he over heard one of my JM3 Athletes explaining to teammates at a club practice off ball motions that involved her sealing her own man for her teammate to Curl over the top.  This type of knowledge and understanding is rare in men's and women's lacrosse!  This is the type of IQ that provides a huge advantage both on the field and in a coaches office during an interview!

JM3 Girls Lacrosse Academy

In the video testimonial above, this dad references the online content in the JM3 program.  This is the most comprehensive development model you will find anywhere!  Check out this video walk through. 

 The Gait Stick

Make no mistake, the Flex Mesh pocket will change the game of women's lacrosse. The pocket expands with centrifugal force aka cradling and has created the best hold of any women's stick that still throws great!  

My daughters play with these sticks and call them, "The best stick they have ever had!"  Check out the descriptions below:



If you want to get the JM3 Discount or see more, go to Laxpocket.com and use the coupon code JM3 to get 10% off these incredible sticks!


Have a great weekend!






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