Welcome to “A Lacrosse Weekend,” my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths/truths about the great game of lacrosse! I hope you find it enjoyable.
Watching Lacrosse Video
I've watched a lot of lacrosse in the last 10 days. It's that time again where I need to dive in and watch the best players in the world so I can figure out what they're doing! For men's lacrosse, my focus has been on individual skills so I've watched mostly MLL and Box Lacrosse. For women's lacrosse I'm studying both x's and o's as well as skill, so NCAA lacrosse is perfect for that. My business is Remote Coaching and online education, so collecting video examples of EVERYTHING is the task at hand.
Below are the games I've recently studied:
Here are a few things I learned from watching those videos with links to clips:
The Power of Video
In the sport of golf, you would not consider an instructor who didn't use video.
Division I lacrosse programs use multiple film angles for practice film!
Families are investing tons of money and time in the hopes of having the opportunity to be recruited to play college lacrosse. Yet almost no individual players are leveraging the power of video themselves! Do you realize what an advantage the use of video really is?
Imagine if no high school lacrosse coaches used video to assess their team play, but your team did? It would be a massive difference maker! It would be a competitive advantage no question.
Get your son or daughter assessed and it will be the deepest instruction your kids have ever received.... A competitive advantage.
Watch this Jeff Teat video... It's pretty sick! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0fsHTcjUcw
I've done this for some of the top high school and college players in the nation and they loved it!
Upload 3 game videos of your choosing. JM3 combs through the film and picks out the good plays, the not so good plays, the things you should do more of, the opportunities that you didn't take advantage of and put them in a movie with chapters of dodging, feeding, shooting, and off ball. Next I voice over the video, "Telestrate" on it, and my editors add "Spliced in" examples.
Splice ins are sick! If I say in the voice over, "Here, you could have executed "Curve ball" shot, we then splice an example like the Randy Staats clip above.
Go to www.JM3Video.com and see what the program is all about and watch the video testimonials from folks I've done this for!
Thursday Night 3x Wash Park in Denver
For the past 20 plus years on Thursday nights on the Wash Park tennis courts in Denver, a group of guys show up to play 3x3 pick up lacrosse games called 3x pronounced 3by. This past Thursday I took my son (home from school because of hurricane evacuation) and my daughter (Oregon starts super late) down to Wash Park for their first taste of Thursday night 3x. What a great scene! There were 4 games going on where winners moved up a court and losers moved down a court. Teams are reshuffled for every game. There's music playing, games under the lights, and a really cool inviting culture. One tradition is at the conclusion of the game everybody hi fives everybody else. On this night, MLL star Matt Bocklet showed up. You never know who's going to be on your team... could be a pro could be a plug... but it doesn't matter because it's so fun!
I was introduced to 3x when I first took the job at Denver 20 years ago by my assistant coach Peter Hilgartner. Peter was a star in the Final 4 a couple times when Maryland was so close to winning national championships in the late 90's. Some of you may recognize the last name as Peter's brother Andy is the Head Coach at McDonough and has done great things in the sport. I asked Andy to write a little bit about the history of 3x.
Hilgy's History of 3x
"We were introduced to 3x3 by the Kelly family and Tommy McClelland. The Kelly boys all went to Towson HS - Brendan and Brian then played at Hopkins; Brian now head coach at Goucher. We would cut across York Rd into their neighborhood and have epic games in the street until it got dark or our parents called the Kelly's to send us home.
Then we spread the game to all of our own HS friends. We would play almost every day in high school until we all had to get jobs. Then we played every other day. One day in the summer of 1987, we had 9 of us together to play. We decided to have a 3 team tournament. So we went to the local elementary school, along with 3 cases of Schaeffer, and played a multi hour round robin and double elimination tournament. Players that day included: Kevin Pehlke (UVA 4X AA); Kevin Anderson (former ND Ast coach); Gene Ubriaco (Loyola U and current Loyola HS coach); Matt Lazenby (MSU); Sandy Cook (Gettysburg); Stewart Crotty (Towson); John Webster (UNC AA); Rife Hilgartner (Whittier) and myself.
Later that night we decided we should have a tournament every year and name it the Lloyd Thacker Lacrosse Classic. Lloyd, who just passed away this summer, was the rec leader at the local elementary school. He ran all the sports, except, ironically, lacrosse. Lloyd was from Arkansas and knew nothing about lacrosse!
At its peak in the mid 90's, the 10th annual at Mt. Washington field had 36 teams participating with guys coming from all over the country. Many All Americans and multiple world team players. There was also a beer truck that somehow was empty before the tournament even ended. Legendary referee Spanky Reppert was on the grill that day and Kenny Davis was DJ-ing all tourney long.
Two of the Thacker participants were Dave Kieffer (MSU) and Andy Dutton (W and L). Both were from Denver and decided to start their own tourney in CO. They named it the Hal Tremper. Many 3x3 games were played in the Cherry Creek area as well as Wash Park....where they still play now with Jim Munro!!
The Thacker and the Tremper were groundbreaking events and maybe never will be replicated....which might be a good thing in some ways! But the 3x3 game no doubt enabled many guys to get a lot better at the game of lacrosse and to build incredible friendships for a lifetime."