This weeks Position Spotlight is Midfield Offense:
As I stated in our midfield post last week the midfielder (middie) is the work horse of the team. They need to have good stick skills, good endurance, and be able to play offense and defense. They have to be able to communicate while on the run, and most of all they need to bring the intensity.
The midfielder is constantly going, they never stop running. They should be good dodgers, and be able to shoot while on the run. They should also be good outside shooters. The midfielder controls the game by starting and stopping the offense. The faster they run, the faster the pace of play will be. Midfielders should be the most athletic on the team because of all the running/dodging involved.
Overall, midfielders need speed, strength and incredible endurance. Middies are required to run up and down the field, so quickness is a very important skill for this position. Middies must be ground ball hogs, shoot from the outside and be able to pass with purpose.
There are many keys to the position. I like to teach offensive players the “DSP” (Dodge, Shoot, Pass) concept. I invented this term which was directly related to “Triple Threat” in basketball. Basketball players must be able to dribble with both hands, pass with both hands and shoot with both hands. Being from Long Island “Triple Threat” did not flow off my tongue smoothly so I invented “DSP”.
My concept is you Dodge to Shoot first then Pass. I like to remind players that if you keep your stick vertical in the “DSP” position you can then be a threat to DODGE, SHOOT and PASS.
Pro Lacrosse Player Kyle Harrison likes to talk about three options as a midfielder:
- Option 1 – Dodge your man to Shoot
- Option 2 – Force the slide and pass to the open man. After a pass, however, the midfielder should hustle down to the goal to grab a return pass if necessary. A midfielder should always be on the move to keep the defense on their toes.
- Option 3 – Shoot the Gap – Kyle says he likes to do this in the second half of the game because he now knows how the team likes to slide and he can then go underneath the slide and come back to the front of the goal.
Dodging is another aspect of being an offensive midfielder and in my view the most important. There are tons of different moves to make. I always ask my players what they think is the best dodge. I always get answers like the split, roll, face, swim, toe drags, hitch etc. etc.. I like to tell players the best dodge is to just run by the guy.
If you are faster then your opponent you should be able to make a quick step and accelerate through your dodge and past your opponent.
There are several keys to Dodging:
- Keep your head up at all times
- Accelerate through your dodge i.e. change speeds
- Go North and South – Running backs in Football understand this concept. You also hear coaches say get down hill. If you Dodge on an East and West plain your really have not accomplished much and the defense does not have to react as quickly
- Protect your stick. By keeping your stick in the “DSP” position you will be less likely to expose your stick to a check and lose the ball
- Being able to Re-dodge. This is an important concept that I teach. Defenses are taught to take you out of your dodge but by incorporating a Re-dodge you can have another weapon to rely on.
Listed below are some great videos from some great offensive midfielders:
Kyle Harrison Dodging
Jeremy Sieverts Shooting on the Run
Various Offensive Dodges
See ya on the field…Coach Lou