Level 1 Fundamentals of Coaching (boys’ and girls’ courses)
Level 2 Coaching (men’s and women’s courses)
How to Make Proper Contact (men’s)
Fundamentals of Goalkeeping (men’s and women’s courses)
Rules Tests (for youth and high school boys’ and girls’ lacrosse)
Although only required for Boys U13 & Boys U15 Head Coaches at this time, we also encourage our coaches to complete the complete the full LEVEL 1 certification process by attending the in person clinics when they are available.
Thank you again for taking in active role to help our young lacrosse athletes!!
If you have a good drill or other lax related information that you think would be helpful to the other coaches you can share it on the Coaches Forum page and or let us know and we will post it on the Coaches Corner page for all to access.
The ability to move the ball in the air to open teammates using the stick is important to both successful offense and defense. It is a lead-in skill to feeding other skills such as shooting and feeding (passing the ball to an open player for an immediate shot).
Points to Remember When Teaching the Skill:
Stick in "box position" (shoulder area and ear)
Body is perpendicular to the target by pointing your non throwing shoulder at the target.
Throwing motion is similar to baseball and football throwing mechanics.
Push off back foot of the stick side foot.
Step in direction of the target with opposite foot from which stick is being held.
Trunk rotates and turns toward target.
Throwing occurs by bringing the stick by the ear area.
Mechanics is a pull (pull hard on with the bottom hand on the butt end of the stick) and push (push and slide the top hand down to the bottom hand as the ball is being released) (allows for proper follow through).
Rotate inward the upper hand as it slides down to the bottom hand causing the wrist to snap. This is similar to a baseball batter as he snaps his wrist in batting - the top hand should go over the bottom hand as the ball is release.
Top hand pushes and slides as the bottom hand pulls as the top wrist rolls over the bottom wrist.
As confidence level increase begin to slide hands closer to create the snap on a pass.
Throwing motion is done in 3/4 arm motion to provide best throwing accuracy with speed and quick release.
Catching the ball requires a high level of hand eye coordination. The basic mechanics for catching a ball are:
The player asking for the ball should give a target for the thrower by positioning the stick in or near "the box position"(shoulder and ear area)
A player should always expose the greatest surface area of the stick as possible to give a clear target.
As the ball comes into the stick's pocket area - the player should give with the ball as it hits the pocket. This "giving" motion is created by slightly moving the stick in the direction the ball is traveling.
A player should try to see the ball into his stick by following the path of the ball with his eyes until it rolls into the stick's pocket.
As soon as the player feels the ball in his stick, he should start cradling immediately to keep the ball in his stick and protect it from a defender.
There are three types of catching styles:
1. Catching ball while running towards the passer:
This requires the stick head in the box position near the shoulder and ear area
The pocket faces the thrower (exposing as much surface area as possible)
The player runs towards the passer
2. Catching the ball moving away from the passer (over the shoulder)
This requires a player to look over his shoulder and catching the ball with the stick in the box position and the pocket facing the thrower.
Whatever shoulder you look over, that hand should be at the top of the stick (similar to football player catching the ball looking over his shoulder).
This allows the player to catch the ball without bringing stick across his body and without breaking his stride (left hand should be on the left side and the right hand on the right side)
3. Catching the ball while running parallel with passer or catching a "lead pass"
The player extends his stick out in front to receive the ball. For example, a player should have his right hand at top of his stick while looking to receive the ball from pass running parallel to him on his left side or vice versa.
The receiver should keep his outside hand at the top of the stick. This will protect the stick as the receiver keeps his body between the defender and his stick.
Key Points of Emphasis:
Make sure hands are up near the chest area to free your hands to maximize speed on a pass.
If hands are at the waist area - a pushing motion is created instead of the desired throwing motion "pull and push" action of the bottom and top hand.
Body perpendicular to target.
Step towards target.
Throwing Error Detection
Throwing Error Correction
Body Facing Target
Turn perpendicular to target
Poor throwing speed
Hand too low and in tight to the body
Top hand too dominant creating a push only not pull-push-snap action
Make sure they are "giving" with their stick.
Soft hands - allow stick to give with the pass by retracting the stick in the direction the ball is thrown.
Gently cradle as the ball goes into the pocket.
Catching Error Detection
Catching Error Correction
If a player keeps dropping the ball
Make sure they are "giving" with their stick
Make sure they are not extending the hands out & reaching for the pass; give with the pass as the ball reaches the stick pocket.
Make sure the player is not trying to cradle the ball before they have the ball in their stick.
If a player has trouble catching the ball over their shoulder
Make sure whatever shoulder is being looked over that the same side hand is up at the top of the stick
Scooping = skill of getting the ball off the ground
Points to Remember When Teaching the Skill:
Scooping -shoveling action
Body is bent down low to ground
Aim stick 12 inches in front of the ball with knees bent low
Stick parallel to ground
Back hand low to ground
Go through the ball and bring the stick quickly to your face as you explode from the opponents.
Use the body and leg to protect the butt end in the scooping process.
After picking up the ball always take 3 fast steps and fish hook for stick protection.
Pick head up and look to pass the ball.
Key Points of Emphasis
"I've got ball" or just "ball"
this lets everyone else know that you are getting the ball so two people do not go for the ball at the same time.
Perimeter players will yell "I've got man" or "Man" which means that if they are within 3 yards of the ball they will screen or block out any opponents with their bodies and with both hands on the stick (rules permit this only within 3 yards of the ball)
Once you get possession yell "release" so that anyone blocking in 3 yd area breaks away from his man and is looking for ball. This also prevents interference and also may creat numbers advantage.
Back hand is too high which pushes the ball forward
Lower back hand so stick is parallel to ground
Ball checked while player is scooping
Must bring stick head immediately to the helmet to protect the stick
More than one player is going for the ball at once
Proper communication so entire team members recognize their responsibilities:
"I've got ball"
"I've got man"
Scooping = skill of getting the ball off the...
Universal Elements for Defensive Slides
↵When it comes to defensive slides, here are five individual elements of that remain universal.
1.Time the slide for when the ball carrier's head is turned.
Some long poles have itchy trigger fingers and will jump the line on a slide. This gives the ball carrier an opportunity to anticipate the slide and either step around it or feed his teammate left uncovered by the slide. As a guide, pick out a decal on the rear quarter panel of the opposing team's helmet - when you see it, you're in the ball carrier's blind spot. That's your go point. This is most pertinent when making adjacent slides up top or near goal line extended, and when sliding to execute a double team.
2. If you know he's a feeder, fake it.
In this bit of trickery, you want the ball carrier to see you coming. Sell the slide by taking a few steps in his direction, but then pull up. Feeders by definition are more cerebral and have less escapable speed. Make him hesitate, and he should be ripe for a hard check from the on-ball defender.
3. Slide to the head of his stick.
Many defensemen make the mistake of sliding to the ball carrier's body. An advantageous shooter can simply use that as a screen. Instead, know the ball carrier's strong hand, and shade to that side. If not, he can take that extra step to shoot around your body.
4. Don't slide to where the ball carrier is; slide to where he's going to be.
Always slide on a "smart angle," rather than on a flat angle. Anticipate his movement. Even if you don't make contact, you can alter the ball carrier's intended course.
5. Never slide to check; slide to stop the ball.
And yes, this sometimes means putting your body in the line of fire.
Use the crease slide if there are two or more offensive players on the crease. When executed properly, this slide package forces the offense to make a difficult skip pass through traffic to hit the open man. Off-ball defense must keep their sticks up, ready to pick off a skip pass. Everyone must fire in and out quickly on a piston.
See the video below for an example of the crease slide if the ball is up top.
See the video below for an example of the crease slide if the ball is down low or behind the net.
The key to success is communicating a 2nd slide to back-up the crease defenseman. Below are the calls that need to be made by the defense.
I Got Ball – a call made in the defensive end to let teammates know that you are playing defense on the person carrying the ball.
I’m Hot – in the defensive end of the field a player who makes this call is the first one to slide to the ball should the player covering the ball get beat in crease slide.
I Got 2 – in the defensive end of the field a player who makes this call is the second to slide to the ball should the player covering the ball get beat in crease slide.
Fire – a call made by the goalie telling the defense to get back in the hole as fast as possible.
See the video below for an example of a crease slide with the defense using the proper calls.
For the 2-2-2, two attackmen should be behind the net, about 10-15 yards away from each other. One attackman and one midfielder are in the middle of the field, about 10-15 yards away from the crease. The final two midfielders are at the top corners of the box. This can be run balanced, or overloaded left or right.
With the 2-2-2, the players doing most of the work are the two in the middle in front of the crease. While everyone else is passing the ball in a circle, the players in the middle are constantly moving and setting picks for each other or running a crossing pattern.
The only real rotation in 2-2-2 is the players in the middle setting picks. The other players can set picks if they want to try confusing the defense, but it isn’t required.
In the diagrams below, you can see the rotation of a 2-2-2 offense.
Click on the video below to see an example of the 2-2-2 offense.
This is referred to as a “isolation offense.”One attackman is behind the net, while the other two are on the bottom right and left wings. Attackmen are in the same position as a 2-3-1 formation.
One midfielder, typically the fastest one with the best dodge, is at the top of the box. This midfielder will be running a lot, because he must pass and catch the ball from both wing attackmen.
The other two midfielders are on the crease, and are picking for each other. Good 1-4-1 lacrosse plays always have crease middies setting great picks. The 1-4-1 should be automatic against a zone offense or in a man-up situation
The 1-4-1 is great for driving and for players who can initiate offense with a strong dodge because it creates an isolation from up top or behind and has a large amount of open space.
In the diagrams below, you can see the rotation of a 1-4-1 offense.
Again, the 1-4-1 is an ideal set with a strong dodger up top against a favorable matchup. It can lead to bad situations if the dodger up top is outmatched by a stronger defender because if the dodger loses the ball up top there is no help to stop a fast break.
Mumbo & Double Mumbo
I am not a huge proponent of running plays, but rather teaching the kids fundamentals of different formations. However, this unique simple look/play is based on running out of a 1-4-1, usually in an even man situation but is also great in man-up. Just the kind of look coaches love, it looks complicated when it is really pretty easy. The hardest part of this look is getting the timing down.
For a Double Mumbo, the ball starts with #1, the midfielder at the top of the box. He will then make a dodge to either left or right at which time the two outside attackmen (4 and 6) will crack down and set picks for the two other midfielders on the crease. These two midfielders (2 and 3) will come underneath the pick and pop out for a shot on goal. You want your best right handed shooter at #2 and your best left handed shooter at #3. As a third option, the attackman at "X" (player #5) will sneak up backside on the crease.
For a single Mumbo, call "Lightning" followed by the jersey number of the player you want to take the shot. The midfielder knows to dodge opposite of that player to draw the defense, and the attackman adjacent to that player knows he is setting the pick.
Click on the video below to see an example of the 1-4-1 Double Mumbo.
This is referred to as a “motion offense.”If run correctly, you almost do not need to call plays, as everyone is simply moving all the time in unison; whereby everyone knows where their fellow players are and will be.You determine if you are on the right or left Side by looking at/facing the goal.
In the diagrams below, you can see the rotation of a 2-3-1 offense.
View this motion offense as there being two triangles 1-2-3(Midfielders) and 4-5-6 (Attackmen).The ball can easily be moved around the perimeter by V-cutting and supporting the ball carrier.
RULE 1: MAINTAIN FIELD SPACE
Each triangle is connected with a string and movement is dictated by the ball carrier. As the ball carrier makes a dodge, the rest of the players rotate away and maintain proper spacing.When one player cuts through the other members of the triangle must follow to maintain field balance. The triangles can rotate either way. Both triangles move at the same time in opposite directions. RULE 2: ROTATE WHEN BALL PASSED FROM ONE TRIANGLE TO THE OTHER
When the ball is passed from one triangle to the other on the outside, the passer automatically cuts to the goal (midfielder) or across the goal (attack) and the rest follow to maintain balance.This provides an opportunity for an immediate Give and Go shot. RULE 3: WHEN A PLAYER DODGES BOTH TRIANGLES ROTATE
When a player decides to dodge, both triangles must rotate with the ball carrier.
RULE 4: DODGE-PASS-PASS-DODGE
If you dodge and go no where make a pass. When you receive the pass from a dodging player make another pass and allow that person to dodge again. This circle back move by the midfielders creates space and moves the ball.
Click on the video below to see basic ball movement and options with the 3-2-1.
Level 3 certification focuses on high-level tactical and practical skills. Coaches will receive detailed instruction on pregame preparation and tactics of the game. Coaches will also engage in critical thinking activities to build a higher lacrosse IQ for themselves and their team. The Level 3 curriculum is geared toward coaching players that have a deep understanding of the objectives of the game.
Level 2 certification is tactically and practically focused. Coaches will receive detailed instruction on building the tactical elements of their team based on overarching principles for offense, defense and transition. The Level 2 curriculum is geared toward coaching players who have an understanding of the basic skills and objectives of the game. Coaches will also learn how practice planning fits into overall tactical objectives for their season.
Level 1 is designed to introduce coaches to the responsibilities and philosophies of coaching and how to provide a safe and athlete-centered environment that emphasizes positive growth and sportsmanship. The Level 1 curriculum provides the tools to teach rules, basic individual skills, and basic team concepts to beginning players of all ages. This baseline training is relevant for all lacrosse coaches, regardless of experience.
Please click on the video below to learn how to perform Hands-Only CPR sponsored by the Red Cross. Hands-Only CPR is recommended for use on teens or adults (anyone over the age of 8) whom you witness suddenly collapse.