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!
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.
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.
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!