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!
Michigan Head Coach Kevin Conry joined me for a podcast this week which will be posted later this weekend / early next week! It was a great lacrosse conversation! We chatted about summer recruiting, PLL Lacrosse, and then took a deep dive into how Michigan uses analytics and data to make the best possible decisions. Coach Conry and I talk 2man games, defending 2man games, how he uses Free Play to encourage competitiveness and creativity, and much more!
Coach Conry on College Lacrosse Recruiting
Below is a video excerpt from the podcast where we discuss the way the Wolverines use both in person and video to do their due diligence on players and how they have a supreme focus on getting players who will be "Great Teammates!"
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.
I've written a lot about Box Lacrosse over the years because I believe Box is purest version of the game. Box Lacrosse values passing, swinging the ball, picking on and off ball, cutting, reading and influencing the play, high level skill and creativity, team play and a team first attitude. It is my prediction that college lacrosse will become more and more "box lacrossesque" as coaches dive even more deeply into box concepts. Right now college the majority of college lacrosse offensive coordinators use a very high percentage of big little 2man game. The next evolution will be combining this with relentless off ball 2man game and rapid and timely ball movement / ball swings. If you want to see what this looks like, watch the PLL Chaos next weekend in the championship.
How Box Lacrosse Impacted My Kids
In 2010 my son Colin was 12 years old and at the time my in laws, his grandma and grandpa, were retired to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario so I asked them if they would on board for having their grandson come up and live with them for the summer so he could play real Canadian box lacrosse. After several tryouts, Colin found a team! St. Catharines, ON is one of the proudest lacrosse centers in all of Canada along with such programs as Six Nations, Orangeville, Whitby, Brampton, Burlington and many more!.
My son's coach in St Kitt's was Sean Allen, who has coached at all levels in of Canadian Box Lacrosse: Team Ontario, Head Coach and GM of the Jr. A St. Catharines Athletics and currently on the staff with NLL Philadelphia Wings. Seanny is simply one of the best and funniest dudes you'll ever meet, he's a coach that creates incredible relationships the players, and he's as good at teaching box lacrosse as anyone on the planet!
Picture above: Latrell Harris of the NLL Rock and the PLL Archers is one of the many current and future pro players that came from Sean Allen's St Catharines team.
Girls Box Lacrosse
In 2018 my two daughters said, "Dad, we want to play box lacrosse in the summer!" This was music to my ears! We moved up to Niagara on the Lake, ON signed up for St Catharines box lacrosse and started playing and training! The summers of 2018 and 2019 were two of the most fun summers my girls ever had and we played a ton of box lacrosse! Whether you are a boy or a girl, there is no question, the box environment will be a game changer for your kids! Finding good box environments is the biggest key, and once you do, ride that wave!
Pictured above are the girls who joined us in the summer of 2018: Annabelle Frist (Stanford), Bailey Mutch (Cornell), Annabelle Hasselbeck (Boston College) Mallory Hasselbeck (Boston College) Nathalie Ahn (Brown), Emily Munro (Arizona State) and Lucy Munro (Northwestern)
Head West Young Man
After five seasons in St Catharines, Colin headed west to play Jr A Lacrosse in Coquitlam, BC where he played five more summers for the Adanacs (Adanac is Canada spelled backwards). Colin had the chance to play in four Jr A National Championships winning two Minto Cups. The Minto might be the sickest sporting event in the world. Four teams make the Minto Cup, the champion of each the three main lacrosse playing provinces; Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta with the host province getting two teams in. The tourney starts with a round robin where every team plays 3 games creating a one seed who get a bye, the fourth seed who is out the the second seed plays the third seed in a semi final to get into the Minto Cup Championship five game series. Nine games in eleven days in one of the most exciting and grueling events you can imagine.
Below is a montage of goals for the Adanacs in the 2018 Minto Cup Final vs the Brampton Excelsiors and Jeff Teat which was their second Championship in three years. The level of skill and IQ is off the charts but is nothing compared to the compete level that these guys played with.
If you want to hear a breakdown of this video from Adanacs Offensive Coordinator Jason Bishop, check out the video below!
JM3 Box Lacrosse Training Opportunities
This Fall and Winter Seanny Allen and I are going to create high level Box Lacrosse training opportunities for programs who are interested having their players learn and play authentic Canadian Box Lacrosse. If you coach a Youth or HS team and are looking for box programming shoot me an email at [email protected] .
For years, Seanny has been doing training kids in box lacrosse all over the nation. Check out the video below from his work with New Canaan HS.
A Favorite Backyard Game
D2P2, which stands for Dodger, Defender, Passer, Picker, is a game I invented during the spring of 2020 lockdown and was a favorite of my three kids! It is also one of my favorites, which I have recently revisited! The reason my kids loved it is it's fun! The reason i love it is this game teaches players how to read the defense in 2man game on ball and off ball situations. Too many players are trained simply to try and break ankles, create separation or "Run by their guy" with out reading anything!
D2P2 teaches all four players how to Read and Influence the play, which in my opinion is the most important part of the game!
Here are the rules: the ball starts with a dodger, who has to pass the ball to the feeder at least one time before he scores, a defender who is trying not to allow the dodger to score, and the picker, who is reading the play and trying to set a pick to spring the dodger (cutter) free.
The situation begins with a 1v1 + a picker on ball, then it becomes a1v1 + picker off ball pick and often becomes a 1v1 + picker on ball again.
If you watch closely you will see endless nuances of "Reading and Influencing" hesitations, hitches, where the dodger, picker and feeder are all working together to read the play.
If you want to see how these reads look in a real game, watch the clips below from the girls lacrosse team I coached last spring. Watch how the players are recognizing if the defender is switching or staying, going over or under the pick, and utilizing the appropriate curl, flare or backdoor cut.
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.
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!
Get ready for your upcoming season with the power of all the premium content brought to you by Jamie Munro and hours and hours of instruction from other top coaches and pros. Now is the time to get prepared for you greatest season yet. Check out all the great content in our store. www.jm3sports.com/store
Have a great weekend!