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College Park Lacrosse Instructional Video Library

Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2009 by Devon Bahary
 
 
The Official College Park Lacrosse Video Library

The intention of this article is to provide a list of videos for our players to watch to better their understanding of the sport of Lacrosse. Personally, a lot of the techniques I have developed have come from or with the assistance of videos like these, and I thought I'd ease the inconvenience of searching for videos yourselves and offer these important ones to share with you. 


Note: Video links that lead to the PlaySportsTV Major League Lacrosse Videos (most of them) will have the very first video in their series of videos in the video player by default. Click on the highlighted name of the video the link should have brought you to to view the correct video. In other words, if the link brings you to a paused video with a guy carrying a short-stick in front of a guy carrying a long-stick behind the goal, look to the videos tab and re-click the highlighted video.


Fundamentals

Throwing/Catching/Cradling
  • There is nothing we can do in the game of Lacrosse if we cannot do these three things.
  • I can think of no better player to demonstrate these simple fundamentals than Liam Banks.
  • Even if you're confident in your abilities to do these three things make sure you're doing all of them correctly.

    Liam Banks: Lacrosse Throwing Basics
    -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks breaks down the mechanics of a proper pass. Even if you're confident in your throwing skills make sure that your pass includes everything he talks about.

    Liam Banks: Lacrosse Catching Basics -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about catching the ball with "soft hands" and bringing the stick to a protected position after the catch.

    Liam Banks: How to Cradle -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about the proper cradling technique. A lot of us struggle doing this, especially while moving around with the ball. You can practice cradling anywhere.
Liam Banks: Stick Protection -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about protecting the stick from opposing players, particularly the one-handed cradle and when to use it over the two-handed cradle. Stick-Body-Man is the order in which you should align yourself with your defenseman, your body acting as a shield for your stick. 

Mike Leveille: Stick Protection -- Major League Lacrosse Mike Leveille talks about one-handed cradling. Pay attention to the consequences of cradling with your stick too far away from your body or without the free arm acting as a wall of protection for your stick.


Liam Banks: The Box Area -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about how to cradle your stick in the "Triple Threat" position (able to pass, shoot, or dodge at any time). Cradling by your helmet also places those defending you at risk of throwing stick checks that draw penalties.



Ground Balls
  • Ground balls are essential to winning the game of Lacrosse.
  • Winning ground balls means possession for your team which translates to goals for your team.
  • Along with Goals and Assists, Ground Balls is another statistic that is kept track of and by itself can reflect how much you contribute to your team.

    Mikey Powell: Winning Ground Balls -- Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell talks about the proper technique to scooping ground balls and how important they are to winning possession of the ball for your team. Ground Balls = Possession = Goals.
Mike Leveille: Scooping Ground Balls -- Major League Lacrosse Mike Leveille talks about the importance of ground balls in the game of Lacrosse and also the fundamentals of a good ground ball scoop. In addition to the proper technique, he also talks about improper techniques.

 
Shooting
  • Shooting encompasses three kinds of shots: 
    • Time-and-Room Shot -- Used when separation between you and your defender exists. Requires time and room to set up for an ideal, powerful shot. The element of surprise is lacking in this shot as it is obvious to defenders and especially the goalie that a shot is about to occur. It is important to practice reducing the time it takes for you to set up your shot and practice shooting not just with velocity but with accuracy, as well.
    • Shooting On-The-Run -- Used after a dodge, usually dodging from the top of the offense (Middy). The player is sprinting towards the goal and shoots as he runs using the momentum of his run to empower his shot. 
    • In-Close Shot -- Typically used by Attackmen who are close to the goal, the in-close shot does not require power or high velocity. Ideal in-close shots are extremely accurate, pinpoint shots usually coupled with fakes to dismay the goalie. In-close shots focus on finding open net where the goalie is not occupying the goal shooting from just yards away.
 
Liam Banks: Shooting From the Outside -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about the fundamentals of taking a time-and-room shot from the outside. Understand where your hands need to be on the stick, the rotation of your shoulders and hips towards your target, extension of the arms, the "power cradle" or wind-up, and the crow hop (footwork) for your shot to generate velocity and accuracy.

Liam Banks: Shooting From the Inside -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about the fundamentals of taking an in-close shot. Important points include utilizing a fake and how to properly execute one (don't expose too much stick or take too much time), faking to one corner of the goal and shooting in the complete opposite, and shooting entirely from the ear or the "box area" over the shoulder (don't pull your arms back for a wild shot) to make quick, protected stick movements. 

Jesse Hubbard: How to Maximize Scoring Chances -- Major League Lacrosse Jesse Hubbard talks about taking a few extra steps as an Attackman dodging from GLE (Goal Line Extended, an imaginary horizontal line extending across the face of the goal to either sideline) to increase the angle of your shot. Too many Attackmen take the shot from the side without any angle, missing the goal or even worse, losing possession for their team. 

Jesse Hubbard: The High Percentage Overhand Shot -- Major League Lacrosse Jesse Hubbard talks about why the overhand shot has the most success over the sidearm and underhand shots. Prepare to use what you remember about Geometry. Basically, the goal is 6' by 6'. If you remove the option of a bounce shot you're limited to a 6' by 6' target. With the overhand shot, you have the option of shooting the ball at the ground (whether or not you mean to) so that it bounces into the goal, thus extending the 6' by 6' target to the ground in front of the goal.

Lacrosse Shooting On The Run - Paul Rabil (Vol. I) -- I've yet to find an instructional video on shooting on the run, but one of the best ways to improve your game of Lacrosse is to watch the professionals and imitate the way they play to the best of your abilities. Paul Rabil is a God of shooting on the run and won the Fastest Shot Competition of '09 (I think it's '09) with a 111mph shot. He's a role model for aspiring middies.

Lacrosse Shooting Basics :: Joe Walters
-- Major League Lacrosse and STX-affiliate Joe Walters talks about important points that the above videos did not cover about shooting including: releasing the ball quickly and the feet positioning to do so, hiding the stick as you wind it back so that the goalie can only follow the ball at the last second it's released (a.k.a. "screening" your stick), and changing up your shot, shooting at a different location on the goal every time you shoot to keep the goalie guessing. 


 
Advanced

Dodging 
  • "Dodging is used by an offensive player to try to get open and initiate offense, initiate a move towards the goal." - Casey Powell
  • "An offense can't be successful unless one of the guys knows how to dodge and create an even-and-odd situation." - Mikey Powell
  • Dodging is an important technique in the sport of Lacrosse, used to create separation from your defender.
  • Dodges include the face dodge, the roll dodge, the split dodge, the bull dodge, and the alternative swim dodge and rocker step.
  • By beating your defender, you create a situation in which there is a free man on offense (man-up situation), which starts an offensive play. 
  • When an offensive player moves towards the goal with the ball, he is said to be driving towards the goal.
 
Mikey Powell: Face Dodge -- Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell talks about one of three dodges he likes to use: the face dodge. The face dodge utilizes a set up as though to shoot, baiting the defender or causing the defender to flinch, and then a maneuver around the unsuspecting defender.

Mikey Powell: Roll Dodge -- Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell talks about one of three dodges he likes to use: the roll dodge. The roll dodge is initiated close to the defender, planting one foot across the defender towards one side as if to dodge in that direction, but then rolling and switching hands to come out of the dodge on the defender's opposite side.

Mikey Powell: Split Dodge -- "This is the dodge I've done since I was 4 years old; it's the dodge I'll do 'til I'm 40." Lacrosse Legend Mikey Powell talks about his favorite dodge: the split dodge. The most successful dodge in the game of Lacrosse, the split dodge resembles a crossover dribble in basketball. The dodger runs towards his defender, baits his defender in one direction causing the defender to drop-step, and then switches hands across his body sprinting in the other direction. 

Kyle Harrison - Split Dodges -- Who better to ask about split dodges than Kyle Harrison? Major League Lacrosse Kyle Harrison has an advanced technique for the split dodge he developed from watching his favorite basketball players dodge. He teaches two variations: a dodge against short-sticks and a dodge against long-poles.  

Casey Powell Tip - Dodging
-- "...if all else fails, we go for the bull dodge." National League Lacrosse Casey Powell quickly talks about the face dodge, the roll dodge, the split dodge, and the bull dodge. 

Paul Rabil Demonstrates the Swim Dodge -- Major League Lacrosse all-star Paul Rabil talks about when to use the swim dodge and the mechanics of the technique. The dodge is completely situational and should not be premeditated going into a dodge as it relies heavily on an unsuspecting defender and exposes a lot of stick to check. Remember that the swim dodge can also be used on short-sticks (perhaps even more effectively).

Jesse Hubbard: Rocker Step -- Major League Lacrosse Jesse Hubbard talks about how to shed off a defender over-asserting his body on you with the rocker step. An alternative to the rocker step is a good roll dodge, keep that in mind when you watch this video.

Mikey Powell: Drive Defender Into Crease -- "[As an Attackman] I'm probably never going to run into the goal, but I can get my defenseman to." Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell talks about how to utilize the crease to the Attackman's advantage. What he teaches here is exactly what he did for Syracuse in one of his famous dodges behind the goal seen in this video (fast forward to 2:00).


Stickwork
  • The below videos demonstrate techniques that are advanced but would fall under throwing, catching, or shooting. 
Matt Danowski: Over the Shoulder Catch -- Major League Lacrosse Matt Danowski talks about the over-the-shoulder catch. The over-the-shoulder catch allows players to catch the ball while running directly away from the passer and towards the goal.  

Liam Banks: How to Make Behind the Back Passes -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about how to properly make a behind-the-back pass (both the Syracuse-way and the 'Canadian' way). Behind-the-back passes are deceptive ways to transition the ball to other teammates.


Matt Danowski: Shooting Behind Your Back
 -- Major League Lacrosse Matt Danowski talks about the purpose and advantages of the behind-the-back shot. More than just a flashy move, the behind-the-back shot is useful when driving across the goal to increase your angle and to deceive the goalie and defender. 

 
Movement
 
  • It's not just about what you do with the ball, it's about what you do without it.
  • Positioning yourself to help out teammates, setting yourself up to score, cooperating with teammates to effectively move the ball around on offense all involves movement without the ball.
     
Mikey Powell: Mirror Technique -- Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell talks about the circular movement relationship around the crease between an Attackman at the X position (directly behind the goal) driving around the goal to the Crease Attackman/Middy's position (directly in front of the goal). The concept of moving around to provide space for players can be applied for any position playing anywhere on the field.

Mikey Powell: Playing Behind the Cage -- Lacrosse legend Mikey Powell explains the importance and role of the Attackman playing behind the goal (X Attackman). The X Attackman is the quarterback of the offense and is essential in providing Middies at the top of the offense with feeds to shoot with.

Matt Danowski: V Cut for Space -- Major League Lacrosse Matt Danowski talks about how to get open when a defender is closely guarding you. By cutting straight towards the goal, the defender forces himself towards the goal to keep with you. Planting your foot and cutting back to your original outside position leaves your defender stumbling in the other direction and gives you the space you need to be open for your teammate. 

Jesse Hubbard: How to Free Your Hands Before a Shot or Feed -- Major League Lacrosse Jesse Hubbard explains how to free yourself from your defender's checks with a simple back-step before making a shot, pass, or feed to ensure that the defender does not interfere with the process.

Mike Leveille: Create Space for a Feed or Shot
-- Major League Lacrosse Mike Leveille talks about how to back away from an aggressive defender to free up your hands to make passes or feeds to teammates. Too many young players freeze up when they become overwhelmed by their defender. 

Liam Banks: Setting a Pick -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks about how to legally set a "pick" for your teammate. The point of the pick is to free up an offensive player being pursued by a defensive player by forcing the defensive player to run into or around a stationary player (the player who sets the 'pick'). The offensive player who sets the pick cannot move into the defensive player. 

Liam Banks: The Pick and Roll -- Major League Lacrosse Liam Banks talks more in-depth on the "pick" concept. In the first half of the video he demonstrates how to properly use an offensive teammate setting a pick for you to your advantage. In the second half, Liam Banks introduces the pick followed by a roll in which the offensive teammate setting the pick rolls off his pick to get open for a pass.

Mike Leveille: Space and Opportunity -- Major League Lacrosse Mike Leveille shares some words of wisdom for new players who have the tendency to rush plays when they get nervous in the game. Remaining relaxed with your head in the game, never forcing passes, resetting the offense when things become chaotic, all of these mental things lead to better offense. 

 

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