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!
I love watching PLL games and i'm pumped about my favorite team The PLL Chaos winning their quarterfinal game vs Archers. Head Coach Andy Towers has made a move to a full Canadian line up on offense with the exception of Mac O'Keefe, who plays like a Canadian and played Jr A Box Lacrosse in Orangeville, Ontario. Simultaneously, AT has prioritized "Team first guys" which is creating the type of chemistry you need in order to come away with favorable results when the competition is at its highest and the margin for winning or losing is razor thin.
Here's why I think AT's Canadian Line up combined with "Team first guys" is so smart:
Swinging the Ball During Simultaneous 2man Games
Watch this clip of the Chaos offense out of their Pairs look initiating the offense with the lefty side and a little "Rattle" look from O'Keefe, then the lefties swing it to the righties who run an immediate pass down pick down while the lefty Byrne picks for O'Keefe's Flare Cut. This is beautiful offense!
Sometimes the Chaos initiate with a Single Invert but notice that when the ball kicks up, the picking motions and unscripted movements create a great dodging situation when a short stick ends up on Josh Byrne. The defense feels the have to slide and help and it leaves a backside lay up opportunity. Unlike in the "Field Lacrosse Paradigm" where dodging is predictable and in a "Set", when mismatch type dodges occur in the Box Paradigm, the defense is in compromised positions to slide and second slide.
Here is another example of the Chaos taking advantage a sudden isolation from a great 1v1 match up. The unpredictable Amoeba type of offense exposes the defense while they're trying to help but are unsure who should slide / 2nd slide. The combination of on and off bll picking and no set formation it makes it extremely difficult on the defense to be coordinated on their slides and collapse.
You can google or search YouTube all you want and will not find hundreds and hundreds of hours of lacrosse instruction from top coaches and pros.
As Coaches we want to bring our players and coaches the most current and most effective skills and strategies in the game.
This next play is classic box lacrosse with incredible on ball and off ball picking combined with ball movement! First Byrne picks for O'Keefe who carries topside drawing the switch, then Berg picks for O'Keefe who moves the ball brilliantly in the middle of the two man game, causing a moment of communication to figure out who's guarding whom, taking them out of the possibility of helping down on the Jackson up pick slip for Byrne, the original picker in the play, which is a Spain Look with the Slip being open!
Nations Looks and More!
This play is so sick! A Nations (Two pass pick and roll) executed to perfection with O'Keefe moving the ball in the middle of the two man game, where two players were momentarily engaged with the ball allowing Smith to be open on the cut to the net. Notice Dhane Smith moving up to pick off ball during this Nations look that took his man out of the ability to help on this play.
One of the keys to running a box lacrosse style offenses is NOT to look for your own pick and roll, but rather move the ball early in the 2man game to a 3rd player. Looking for your own 2man game can work but often leads to turn overs and stalls the flow of the offense.
Not looking for your own Pick & Roll has several benefits:
Box on The Field in Women's Lacrosse
Some would say that in order to run this Box Lacrosse style offense you would have to have pro level players / box players to have success, but this past spring we ran a Box Lacrosse offense for our ThunderRidge HS girls team using the principles of picking on and off ball combined with ball movement.
Here is a video of all the offensive possessions of our quarterfinal game at Cherry Creek HS. Notice one of our players was being face guarded, and it didn't slow down the motions, and picking, because the players knew how to read the defense.
If you watch closely you will see the ball swinging, multiple Nations Looks, girls reading the defense on picks: are they switching or are they staying? If they're staying, are they going under or over the picks?
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.
Deerfield Academy Running the Principles Based Offense
Last March I had the opportunity to work with the Deerfield Academy team because their coaches weren't allowed to participate in Spring Break due to Covid restrictions. With the blessing of Head Coach Chip Davis, I installed what I call the Principles Based Offense which fits into a Box Paradigm offense. With picking on and off ball and ball movement as the foundation, this offense unlocked players' creativity and ability to read the defense.
How To Install a Box Lacrosse Paradigm Style Offense
If you want to learn how to install and coach these offenses for men's and women's lacrosse, I will be producing a tremendous amount of content of the skills, drills, reads, concepts that will inserted into both the Men's and Women's JM3 Coaches Training Programs.
Learning to teach this offense will allow you to maximize the potential for all of your players: Your best players will have space and freedom to dodge without a set slide package while your off ball players will be able to avoid doing the things they're not good at like trying to draw slides on command. Instead, they will be able to take advantage of creating off ball double teams and attacking approaches with an un-set defense and move the ball.
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!
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Have a great weekend!