Tag Archives: Atlanta Lacrosse

Tough enough

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As our spring season draws near I wanted our Mom’s and Dad’s to understand a little different part of the game and how to feel about seeing your son get checked with a stick.

I have seen many things in our beloved-ed game.  I used to hear people say ” I can hit that kid with the stick” or “I love this game, it’s just like Football with sticks”.  I detest comments like these because that is not what the game is about.

lm     Growing up as the youngest of four boys and in a neighborhood of thirty or so boys in a two block radius I got roughed up quite a bit.  My oldest brother would pound my second oldest brother who would pound my third oldest brother who would pound me.  This was a daily occurrence in our house as well as the Sunday afternoon boxing matches in our garage where our Dad played referee.  My Mom hated it and refused to watch and my Dad’s response was “the boys need to learn how to protect themselves”.  I always wondered about my big sister who never had to strap on the gloves… How come she did not need to know how to protect herself.  I love my sister dearly but boy I would have loved to get a few punches in.  Those were sure different times.

Today there is more structure growing up and more social awareness of rough housing.

In the game of lacrosse you will see players get pushed, slashed, tripped and cross checked.  All of these are fouls in the game of lacrosse but sometimes the officials do not see every infraction and the call is not made.  As a coach and parent you worry about your players as well as your children.  No one wants to see a player injured.  That being said Lacrosse is a very rough game and these infractions will occur regardless of the official.

All of our coaches are instructed to teach the proper fundamentals to each and every player as well as penalties.  We are always looking to help make sure the game is safer for all of our players.

The link below from the Georgia High School Officials Association has some great videos of the rules and fouls that occur in a game.  This is a tremendous resource if you would like to learn more about the game.

http://galaxref.com/training/resources/

I try to tell young kids and older players that you will get pushed, slashed, tripped and cross checked and you have to deal with it.  This is what I call being “tough enough”.  All to often we want to retaliate or question the official.  The best course of action is to walk away and keep playing hard.  That’s what a gamer does (please understand, I am not talking about a video gamer).  A gamer is someone that plays aggressive hard nosed lacrosse and never gives up constantly pushing himself and his teammates to succeed.

Every child/player is different.  Some players are more aggressive than others.  So when you are watching your child play and you see him get roughed up a little,  don’t get on him for not being tough.  Let him understand that you just need to be “tough enough”

The web site below is a humorous way of describing roughhousing and how important it is for children.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/02/07/the-importance-of-roughhousing-with-your-kids/

I wish my parents had this resource when I was growing up it would have saved me several trips to the emergency room.

See ya on the field,

 

Coach Lou

 

 

Grit and Resilience

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Mary Jo, sent me an article recently on how soldiers train to be Navy SEAL’s.  While I don’t profess to know anything about military training the article pointed out many things that all of us can do when faced with challenges.
The author points out eight secrets of how to prepare of obstacles we face.  As a coach and former player I believe these all to be true and can help our young Athletes become more confident, improve their skills and prepare themselves for the rigors of practice and games.

  1. Purpose and meaning. It’s easier to be persistent when what we’re doing is tied to something personally meaningful. (being on a TEAM and how important it is to work together)
  2. Make it a game. It’s the best way to stay in a competitive mindset without stressing yourself out. (challenge yourself every day)
  3. Be confident — but realistic. See the challenges honestly but believe in your own ability to take them on. (understand your abilities)
  4. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Grit comes a lot easier when you’ve done the work to make sure you’re ready. (Constantly practice and improve your craft..In the Classroom and on the field)
  5. Focus on improvement. Every SEAL mission ends with a debrief focusing on what went wrong so they can improve. (watch video and take constructive criticism)
  6. Give help and get help. Support from others helps keep you going, and giving others support does the same. (be a great teammate)
  7. Celebrate small wins. You can’t wait to catch the big fish. Take joy where you can find it when good times are scarce. (how many ground balls can I get, did all my shots go on cage, did I sub through the box correctly)
  8. Find a way to laugh. Rangers, SEALs, and scientists agree: a chuckle can help you cope with stress and keep you going. (We play to have fun…period end of story)

Real grit and resilience pays dividends long after the challenges are over. They build bonds that last a lifetime.

Link to the full article http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/01/grit/

 

See ya on the field!

Coach Lou

Position Spotlight – Midfield (Offense)

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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:

  1. Option 1 – Dodge your man to Shoot
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Keep your head up at all times
  2. Accelerate through your dodge i.e. change speeds
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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