Tips to becoming a better player

 

 

August Newsletter

Each month Shooters Lacrosse will post tips on become a better lacrosse player.   These tips will be a good way to help you fully understand the roll of being an overall Lacrosse player.

 

 

Offense -Playing without the Ball 
  
The majority of the game is played without the ball. Therefore as an offensive player, you need to understand your position on the field and what you need to do in relation to where the ball is. There are some simple rules to follow regardless of your own offensive system. 
First, if the man with the ball comes towards you, clear through. Next, if the man with the ball goes away from you, follow the ball. 
As you clear through, never lose sight of the ball. You never know when your defender will leave you or whether you can break free and get open. Always have your stick in your upfield hand and be looking to make a play and be a scorer. 
By following your teammate, you also provide an outlet for a player who may get double-teamed, is fatigued, or simply needs an outlet. 
When adjacent to the ball carrier, your job is to clear through. But if your defender decides to leave you and double team the ball, you can also execute a fish hook move where you put on the brakes, stop, and come back to the ball with the stick in your upfield hand.  
  
Some simple tips to remember: 
• Watch your defenseman's head as he turns to watch the ball 
• Make sure you're making eye contact and working with your teammate who's carrying the ball 
• As soon as your defender turns to look at the ball, cut backdoor for a quick pass to the goal 
  
Defense - Playing off ball. 
  
Off-Ball defense is identical to defensive concepts in basketball. When you are not covering the ball, you want to stay in between your man and the net. This allows you to stay in a position to help your teammates out but also not leaving too much room, so that you can recover back to your man once he receives the ball again. A good distance to use is one or two stick lengths away from the player you are covering. Finally, when the ball is moving around and your offensive player does not have the ball, you will want to keep your head on a swivel. Keeping your head on a swivel and opening your hips to the ball allows you to view your offensive player and the current player with the ball. Remember that you are working as a unit, so the player you are covering is important but the ball carrier is just as important. 

Crease Help

As the ball is rotating around the offensive zone, the players who are not covering the ball need to “sluff” in. “Sluff in” is a term that is used to describe the off ball defenseman sagging into the middle of the field to help protect the net. When players are sluffing in off-ball, they should give help to the crease defenseman. This allows the crease defenseman more flexibility in case he needs to slide. An important thing to remember is when players do not have the ball, and they are 20 - 30 yards from the ball and net, they are not a threat to score! Defensively, you should not be covering them this far away for the net. This is the time to sluff in and be help to your crease defenseman, as the crease area is the biggest threat for an offense to score. 

Slides

Offense is often initiated through dodging. When a defensive player gets beat on a dodge, the action required to stop the offensive player is called a slide. Sliding is when the crease defensemen or the nearest adjacent defenseman leave their player to stop the ball. It is important to understand that when a player slides, his first goal is to stop the ball. Too many times player try to throw stick checks in an attempt to take the ball away. Offensive players are becoming skilled, allowing them to run through or past stick checks. Your goal as a sliding player should be to “buy time” so that your teammate can recover to a new player.