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A Lacrosse Weekend 8.31.19

 

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!

 "Free Play" Podcast

This week I posted new Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast with Joy of the People  Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Ted Kroeten.  This is my FAVORITE PODCAST I've ever done because I am so passionate about "Pick up Games," "Sandlot," and "Free Play" and the way Kroeten dives into theories and realities of unstructured play is fascinating and validating.  The concepts of "Under -loading", Second Language Learning Theory where acquisition must come before learning,  the myths about the best soccer academies in the world and much more!

Click here to check out the Ted Kroeten Podcast.

Box Lacrosse Creates Better Fluency Than Field Lacrosse

There are fewer than 100,000 lacrosse players in Canada compared to the greater than 750,000 players in the United States and yet at the national team level, the US and Canada are neck and neck with each country winning two of the last four world championships.  

The reason fluency is gained more readily in box lacrosse is because of its rules.  Smaller sided, 30 second shot clock takes coaching control out of the equation, no long poles means everyone develops skills, the smaller nets force players to get to the middle to score.  The off ball movements are different too!  You can't just clear space for a dodger like you can in field lacrosse.  The way to make space is to bring players together in 2-man games on and off the ball which can spring a player free to the middle.  Unlike field which is pull it out, dodge, and draw a slide to create offense, box lacrosse is more fluid and it a feeding, cutting, picking game where dodging definitely occurs, but in the flow of pick and rolls and through traffic.

The ability to be fluent is the ability to "Communicate" with your opponents and teammates all at the same time.  This type of communication allows players to manipulate the opposition while reading their own teammates.  In box lacrosse the ball side action is picking and re-picking looking for an opening to get to the net off the dodge or the Pick and Roll.  On the backside, there is picking and cutting that not only occupies defenders from helping on the ball side, but also creating off ball opportunities to score goals. 

The fluent player can see it all!  Watch this clip below of Six Nations Chiefs player Randy Staats (one of my top 5 favorite players in the world in field and box!) demonstrate such fluency.  He is operating in a re-pick situation looking to get to the goal, but simultaneously reading the actions on the backside.  You can see from this clip why this game develops players to a world class level! 

Teaching 2man Game

I have figured out a new way of teaching 2man and it's a game changer and so simple!  It's funny how often what we teach and what actually happens are two different things!  For those of you in the  JM3 Coaches Training Program, I will have videos posted on this soon, but in the meantime, listen to the most recent "Flying Solo Podcast" on the membership site.  You will love this new concept in teaching 2man game!  It's so sick!  And by the way, there are a couple of stories in that podcast that are hilarious!

If you coach men's or women's lacrosse and want to learn more about this new 2man Game teaching model, you should check out the JM3 Coaches Training Program or email me if you have ideas yourself!

College Lacrosse Recruiting

My daughter plays for HHH Lacrosse Club out of Philly.  The girls side is run by Colleen Magarity, who is simply one of the best and brightest coaches in the women's game.  Colleen, who was an All-American and multi time NCAA Championship winner at Northwestern also coached DI  lacrosse at the University of Colorado for 3 years.   HHH, which is owned by Billy McKinney, was a captain for me at the University of Denver on our first NCAA Tourney team.  HHH boys lacrosse is a perennial power sending top recruits to top DI schools every year.

Below is a fantastic email HHH sent out to their 2021 teams about what to expect on 9/1.

HHH 2021 Team,
 
I hope you are well and excited for the change of seasons! The 2021 class is the first to go through the full recruiting process with the new rules in place. You must understand that 9/1 is the START of the recruiting process, not the culmination. If you do not hear from a school on the 1st, it does not mean that the door is closed at that program. We have a player on our 2020 team that is committed to Penn and she did not speak to them until the Spring after her junior year. 

There will be a lot of  players on our roster that will not receive a phone call this week, and there will be a handful that do get a call. If you do not receive a call it does not mean that you are not a talented player and you will not have the opportunity to play college lacrosse. It simply means that you are not currently on the top of the list for a school right now. You will have plenty of opportunities to get to the top of a program’s list in front of you. If you do receive a call, be polite and willing to contribute to the conversation. College coaches are professionals on the phone and will lead the conversation. They are also understanding that kids these days don’t speak to each other as much as they text and send pictures, so do not freak out and get nervous- just be yourself. Make sure the coach you are speaking to understands that you are willing to work you tail off in college- REFRAIN from asking where you will fit in and how many players you will have to compete against for playing time. Do not tell a program that you are not interested (unless it is a military academy and you have no interest in serving the country). My advice is to not tell any program “no” until you are going to tell a program “yes”. I can walk you though how to stay engaged with a program that you are not very interested in without blowing them off. 

Players- make sure I have your cell # in the google doc and all the correct contact information.

Lastly- the seemingly complex question “what do I need to do to get recruited?” has a simple answer- work on your fitness and skill. Signing up to as many prospects days and showcases is not the answer. Playing well in front of coaches is far more significant that playing often in front of college coaches. Working hard to get better is imperative and it includes building strength, building skill, and building endurance (working hard in the classroom goes without saying). Strength/muscle mass, skill level, and endurance are all major factors of this process. Do not neglect any of these factors. I will be frank and let you know what you need to focus more on while we are working together at practice, whether it be fitness or just simply wanting to get better through hard work and a desire to be the best.

Coaches love to watch the 2nd half of our 3rd game during recruiting events or at the end of a long play and if you are on the sideline with your helmet off gasping for air while others are on the field playing at a high level in that moment, that doesn’t help your spot on a list. Any player that has aspirations to play in college should be able to run a mile in under 7:00 and middies under 6:30 mins. Make these goals, and if you don’t get that phone call you want on Sunday don’t get upset.  Focus on what you can control and work hard to make them notice you the next time you are on the field in November 👊 

List of questions to Ask:

1. What is your coaching philosophy?
2. What is a common major on the team?
3. Do you have an academic advisor for your team?
4. What is a typical day like in the fall and spring?
5. What kind of offense and defense do you like to play?

Avoid:
1. Will I get playing time? 
2. What do I do to get playing time?
3. Any questions that makes you seem self focused and you don’t put the team first.

Homework:
-If they ask you your X factor have an answer - What separates you from the rest of the recruits? What makes you the better then another person? Work ethic? Coach-ability? Passion ? Drive? Ability to score or finish? Feeding? Draws??

-What do you want in a program?? Good answer: A program that challenges me to be the best I can be, supports one another, and academically is challenging as well. You will do whatever it takes to help the team be successful. Something along    those lines.

Know about your top schools you are interested in:
-How they did last year?
-Top players on their team
-Biggest rival in the conference 
-Big wins from last season 
-A little bit about the coach

Answer to a program you like but are not that interested in:
Thank you so much at this moment I am exploring all of my opportunities and I look forward to continuing the process with you. 

Answer to a program you really are not interested in: Thank you for your interest at this point it is not on my list but I will be sure to reach out if that changes.

Top program you love: You can tell them it’s your top choice etc. They will tell you what the next step is and if not you can ask them.

The Cody Jamieson Twister
 
Cody Jamieson is one of the best shooters in the history of the game and he uses the "Twister" technique almost all the time.  He is capable to shooting this shot to all four corners of the net and it gives goalies fits.  First, it opens up nearside angle for him and at the same time that it sells nearside which in turn makes a goalie move to cover short side, opening up far side.  You know how when you shoot a side arm shot it sells the goalie on far side, often times opening up nearside?  A Twister works in the same way, only the swing is inside out.  My friend Darris Kilgour calls this shot a Curve Ball because it seemingly curves from nearside to far side.  Check out the video below to understand!

If you want to learn more about how to shoot these shots or teach this level of skill, check out the JM3 Academy made for all positions where we will teach you every variation of every skill!

Have a great weekend!

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