A Lacrosse Weekend 8.20.22

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2022

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.

Harvard Head Coach Gerry Byrne Podcast

Yesterday I did a fantastic interview with Gerry Byrne, where we discussed in the context of Harvard Lacrosse: building culture, college lacrosse recruiting, 2man game on both sides of the ball and, as usual, we talked a lot of defense!  Gerry is, if not the best, one of the best defensive coaches / minds in the game and I LOVE listening to him expound on everything from V-Holds to communication, his non negotiable priorities to the way he teaches through creating drills from situations. I have always thought the way Byrnsey creates low impact defense vs defense environments, where the guys are intentionally providing affordances for teammates to read while executing the critical techniques of communication, stance, approaches etc is what makes his model great. 

Check out this excerpt from the podcast where Gerry discusses Harvard Recruiting.  He breaks down what makes Harvard great, how he integrates the alums into his current team and culture, as well as what he's looking for position by position.  I hope you enjoy!

CHECK OUT  >>> Lacrosse Recruiting Secrets to learn more recruiting tips and strategies from top lacrosse coaches from both the Men's and Women's game go to www.LacrosseRecruitingSecrets.com to learn more.

A Development Road Map

Now is the time where I'm meeting with JM3 Athletes and families to discuss recruiting to help them plan for the next six months of getting better before lacrosse season.  Whether you're in the recruiting process now, anxiously awaiting September 1 or a year or two away, you can't control whether coaches like you, but what you can control is getting better. 

If you are a player interested in taking your game to higher levels or if you are a coach that thinks an athlete has what it takes, consider becoming a JM3 Athlete. Becoming a JM3 Athlete is an exclusive program that is an investment that produces results, period. You can learn more about becoming a JM3 Athlete at this link: https://www.jm3sports.com/jm3-athlete 

It is critical that you use this fall and winter to make REAL strides in your game!

Strength Program

First, you must lift 2x per week (three if you're not playing a sport).  When it comes to S&C I defer to domain experts like the great Mike Boyle.  If you have a great plan, and you execute with a "Minimum effective dose" over a long period of time mentality, you will make huge gains.  Most kids get really into lifting for 2-3 months and then don't lift through lacrosse season or through summer and it's like starting over again next year.  The key is to lift with a legit program 100 times per year or two times per week all year!  If you do this, even if your lifts are 45 minutes, you will make real strides over the course of time and this model is sustainable.  Don't get caught up in these 90 minute four times per week programs that you just can't do over the course of time.

Watch this webinar I did with Mike Boyle to learn EXACTLY what to do, what to look for, how to pick a gym, as well as what a great workout should entail.  I think you will find it interesting that there is no conditioning and no agility drills.  Learn why! 

If you are interested in bringing Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning program and JM3's lacrosse training straight to your screen check out our Lacrosse Athlete collaboration with Mike Boyle. This small investment is the best you can get anywhere on the internet Check it out at LacrosseAthlete.com

The last thing I'd like you to seriously consider is to create a home gym of you don't have a facility with in 5-10 minutes from your house.  Kids are totally jammed on time and in order to make lifting sustainable and a part of every week, they need to be able to bang it out quickly.  All you need is a bench, dumb bells, a hex bar, a straight bar for hang cleans and ideally a pull up bar.  In addition, if you go to LacrosseAthlete.com you can sign up for Mike Boyle's online program which will get you to where you need to go.

A Speed Program

 Almost every serious athlete knows a speed program is important, sign up for the best local speed trainer, and feel like that box is checked.  Sadly, from what I've seen most athletes don't actually get faster and if they do, they don't really know.  They just feel like they're faster.  As Mike Boyle says, 

"If you're not timing your sprints, it's not speed training."

Mike introduced me to Tony Holler, a track coach from Illinois who is revolutionizing the way coaches in track, football and lacrosse are prioritizing speed and performance.  Tony introduced his "Feed The cats" speed program to the Princeton lacrosse program and strength coach Mark Ellis in 2021 and it had phenomenal results!  Mark called it "Feed The Tigers" and if you want to read about it, check out this article

We all know Princeton lacrosse went to the final 4 in 2022.  We saw a team that was VERY athletic!  They were very fast!  Check out the stats in a text Tony sent me last month:

Here's the great news!  You don't need a speed coach to have these types of results!  You simply have to follow Tony Holler's Atomic Workout 2-3 times per week and time your sprints!  The only way to get faster, literally, is to run your fastest.  And you can't know if you're running your fastest unless you time your sprints.

MPH is the metric Tony and other top speed coaches like to use.  Max speed is "Rising tide that raises all ships" and will have an impact on acceleration. The model then is to warm up for 10-15 minutes and run three 40's timing the last 10 yards with a Freelap timer.  If you divide 20.45 by the 10 yard time you will have your MPH.

I'm not suggesting that great coaching isn't helpful, but we get what we measure and this model is a guarantee.  Just follow the workout and get a Freelap timer!

If you don't know Tony Holler, I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and get your athletes training for speed, prioritizing performance, and get on board with the Feed The Cats program.  

Tony's Atomic Workout is designed for kids who want to get faster, but don't have a ton of extra time.  I've had Tony working with my JM3 Athletes and he came up with this simple yet effective approach because so many of the kids I work with have so much stuff going on, they just couldn't consistently get speed training going.  This workout takes 15 minutes and it is guaranteed to make you faster!

How do we know?  Because you will time yourself with a FreeLap Timer and you will know your flying 10 yard time!  And you will be hunting new personal records every time you train.  If you're not timing yourself and not hunting for a new PR, then it's not going to be effective training. Period!

Check out the Tik Tok below to see how easy it is to do this workout and use the FreeLap Timing System!

JM3 SPORTS uses the FreeLap speed timing system with our Athletes along with Tony Hollers Atomic Speed Workout and the results are phenomenal! 


Here's a video on how to set up the Freelap! 

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 <<<

A Lacrosse Program

The biggest misconception about improving at a sport is that players must rep skills like in order to master them or use them in games.  It makes sense that you couldn't do a skill in a game that you haven't practiced, but it's not actually true.  The way humans work is we perceive what's happening around us and we act.  This is called Perception-Action Coupling and this process precedes the execution of any skill.  This is why kids who can do every skill in the book on the wall or the bounce back don't use those skills in games.  Listen to this podcast with basketball coach Alex Sarama (my best pod ever!) for more information on this incredible concept!

Skill = Technique + Decision.

To get better at lacrosse you must play lacrosse with and against other human beings.  Dodging cones, working against air, any unopposed activity can't make you better at the game because there are no affordances provided and no decisions to be made. 

Pick up games 1x Per Week

I ask my JM3 Athletes to play small sided pick up games with family and friends at least 1x per week.  The kids who have played a lot have seen incredible improvement!  Not being told what to do, what not to do, kids can experiment, make mistakes and most of all, they are repping perception-action coupling and decision making, which is the name of the game!  When players begin to use creative skills like a behind the back feeds in pick up, it actually translates to real games!  The small games we play resemble box lacrosse with small nets and box style goalies.  Box lacrosse is the ultimate development environment.  Listen to this podcast on box lacrosse to learn why!

We want our athletes to play uneven games and all even games, bigger games and smaller games to create all sorts of adaptations in key principles of deception, communication, vision of the field, ball movement, on and off ball defense and more.  Amazingly, the skills and techniques emerge from these situations naturally!

Uneven games teach draw and dump, deceptive passing and shooting, hitches and all kinds of new passing, shooting and faking angles to experiment with, while the all even games create opportunities for dodging and 2man game on and off ball. Watch the video below and you will see elite skill (technique + decision making) in a myriad of situations!   

Live Small Group Workouts 1x per Week

I ask my JM3 Athletes to find a small group of friends and ideally a goalie to work out 1x per week.  Boys with full equipment and a few poles; Girls with goggles, cleats and girls sticks..... these small group sessions focus on dodging, defending, shooting and 2man games.   Check out the video below and you'll see the kind of drills we do live:

  • Keep Away
  • 1v1 + Picker
  • 3v3 on a side + Feeder
  • 4v4 Pairs
  • Area 1v1's
  • Shooting on a goalie

Here's a video of small group action with real context of teammates and defenders in women's lacrosse:

Zoom Calls 1x per week

The final piece in our JM3 Athlete plan is weekly zoom calls with me, Mike O'Neil and Colleen Magarity.  The key to these calls is getting to know the athlete, prescribing plans that fit their busy schedule and most of all watching film together.  The power of film is for the first time athletes can actually see what happened and understand what happened.  This is huge!  Remember the concept of Perception-Action Coupling where the athlete perceives their surroundings and makes a decision.  When the athlete understands what they're perceiving, it allows for better decision making.  This is why film is powerful.  Furthermore, in our calls we help optimize the pick up environments, the small group session and every other element of their development! 

In summary

If you follow this simple five hour weekly plan, of athletic and lacrosse development I guarantee you will see huge results!  

  • Lift 2x per week 90 minutes
  • Sprint 2-3 times per week 60 minutes
  • Pick up 1x per week 75 minutes
  • Small group on field 1x per week 45 minutes
  • Zoom call with coach 1x per week 30 minutes

Sadly, most kids will go right back to endless shooting, wall ball, private lessons, and sub optimal strength and speed workouts.  Yes they will work hard, but will be spinning their wheels and not create great results!  If you want more information about the JM3 Athlete Program email me at [email protected].

Coaches NOW is the time! If you are not subscribed to the Coaches Training Program you are missing out on hundreds of hours of top level drills, skills and strategies from my research as well as hundreds of other top level coaches, players, and mentors. There is a membership for every level Subscribe today 


Have a great weekend!




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