A Lacrosse Weekend 9.3.22

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2022

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.

Phi-Lacrosse-ophy Podcast with Providence Head Coach Bobby Benson

This is a must listen podcast if you want to get the inside scoop on how Benson, one of the most respected offensive minds in the game, guided the Maryland Terapins to a National Championship with one of the best offenses we've ever seen!  

The Maryland offense was marvelous: the intangibles of discipline, intelligence, and unselfishness combined shooting, ball movement, and efficiency in all phases of offense from transition to early offense and sub game, into 6v6 and EMO was literally as good as it gets.  If you read last week's blog about the Principles Based Offense you will see that Benson is running his own version with a focus on shot selection, passing, off ball movement that is not scripted, 2man games, spacing and reading.  Bobby's offense is so unscripted it allowed his players to develop within the framework of the situations, finding new solutions as they competed against one of the best schedules in the country and every day against the vaunted Terp defense.

If you do your homework on Benson, you will find that throughout his career he has put together highly efficient offenses and EMO teams where he truly let the players play while maintaining discipline with a focus on decision making.  At Hopkins it looked a little different with his 132 set and down picks off ball which flowed into a heavy Big-Little 2man / 3man game from behind coupled with with Spaghetti action in front.  At Maryland, Benson inherited Jared Bernhardt and crew in year one and seamlessly inserted himself into an already high powered offense and built on it in year two.

One thing is clear from this interview, Benson, a long time assistant coach, is ready for this challenge.  Benson's calm demeanor, obvious intelligence and most of all, incredible experience puts him in a great position to take the sleeping giant of Providence College Lacrosse to new heights.  I can't wait to watch the Friars play!  Click here to listen!



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Head Fakes

One of the simplest ways to create an advantage on your man is to use Head Fake Deception.  On the flip side, the worst thing you can do is signal or project your intended direction to your opponent when you dodge.  If you subtly look off your move, you will create more separation allowing you to make more plays.  In the video examples below, you'll see delayed head turns on Spin Moves and Question marks as well as look offs and Head Fakes on cut backs. 

The concept of looking off where you're going is both obvious and basic, yet most coaches and most players teach / practice the opposite in the structured dodging drills against cones or in endless on command repetitions of various techniques. Interestingly, many times there is a discrepancy between optimal movement efficiency / mechanics and utilizing deception. For example, have you ever heard coaches teach turning your head first on a spin move or a roll back because it's quicker?  Turn your head and the body will follow?  While this may be true, it also tips off your defender to your direction.  In reality, it can be impactful to make your defender late than it is for you to be a little quicker.  If you watch Lyle or Rambo on Spin Moves or Rob Pannel on his question mark, the subtle delayed head turn gives them the edge they need!  

Watch how Rob Pannell delays his head turn on his patented Question mark move making the defender late on his trail check even though he knew what was coming! 


Watch Lyle delay his head turn on his inside roll, holding his defender and the double team to the topside as he spins underneath!

Rambo was totally holding the defender on the wrong side of his spin move, (the double came and flushed the play), but you can see this high level of patience and deception.

Here Chris Gray makes this Up The Hashes Jump Shot look effortless!  How?!  Because he looks it off!  He uses a subtle Head Jab to the middle just after he bounced for space and just before he stepped back looking like he was going to feed and not engaging the goalie.  

 Connor Fields uses a jabbing head fake to the right on his Hitch and dodge to the left.


Jeff Teat is a master of the look off.  Look at the way he buckles the ankles of the insanely athletic Challen Rodgers on his jabbing head fake look off!


Check out the video below of Head Fakes and Look Offs being used in a girl's lacrosse training session in 2man game. 

Learning Head Fakes

One of my favorite 1v1 drills is Area 1v1's.  In this variation, the emphasis was to try and use head fakes in the opposite direction of the intended direction of the dodge.  Here Lucy uses head fakes on her splits, her pop outs, 

The concept of using Head Fakes is not reserved for lacrosse!  You will see this in all invasion sports!  Check out the wide receiver below using head turns as he makes his move!



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If you're interested in learning more about the JM3 Athlete Program email me at [email protected], If you want to learn more about pick up games and how to create these environment at home, check out the Backyard Curriculum.  Get yourself some small nets, at HotBed Lacrosse and tap into the miracle of Free Play.

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Have a great weekend!



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