Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advice for the developing lacrosse player

Jesse Hubbard, 3x National Champion, USA World Team, MLL All Pro, NLL All Pro
US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame

Advice for the developing lacrosse player:

1) Tighten your lacrosse stick's head.  Have your stick head adjusted so it does not have too much of a "bag."  To develop as a lacrosse player, it is better to have your stick adjusted to have a smaller pocket rather than a larger one.  Learning to catch and handle your stick with a smaller pocket are great skills to develop.  Throwing is actually easier and more accurate with a smaller pocket.  Coach Carey can easily adjust your pocket.

2) Hit the wall.  Throw with both hand every day against a wall.  This is the investment you need to develop as a player.  There are many many ways to do "wall ball" (some videos and ideas are below), but the most important thing is to throw and catch with both hands, and the more the better!

3) Play other sports in the off-season.  Play football, basketball, soccer, hockey and whatever other sports that you enjoy.  While you may feel pressure from some travel coaches to do nothing but lacrosse, this is misguided.  The benefits from playing multi-sports are huge, see some articles linked below to support this point.  The detriments from focusing too early one sport are also well-documented and some links to articles about this are below as well.  If you feel the urge to focus on solely two sports in upper school, that may make sense.

4) Play "pick up" lacrosse.  Take a tennis ball, wrap athletic tape around it, and then get together with friends and play "pickup" lacrosse with no body checking, and utilizing "basketball style" defense.  Use small goals, or take trashcans put on their sides, or even a couple of lawn chairs as goals.  Play one-on-one, play two-on-two, or mix it up.  Be creative!  Throw the ball behind your back, use your off-hand, through the legs!  See below some links for "trashcan" lacrosse ideas, as well as other ways of playing pickup.  The benefits of this kind of play are huge!  You get the ball in your stick more often, using a "light" (tennis ball) mean you develop "touch" and you have a ton of fun while playing creatively!

5) Play indoor lacrosse.  I am a huge fan of playing indoor lacrosse, so if you're able to get into a league or a program where you play a day a week over the course of the Fall or Winter, that is awesome.  Indoor lacrosse is much like hockey, and demands that everyone play offense, transition, and defense.  Canadians and Native Americans play indoor, or "Box Lacrosse" and many of them have developed some really incredible stick work and "lacrosse IQ."  If you can't find, or commit to, playing "Box," make sure you do play some "pickup lacrosse" or "trashcan lacrosse.'

6) Fitness, strength, agility.  Lacrosse is known as the "fastest game on two feet" for a reason.  The sport requires a high level of fitness, strength and agility.  Our practices will demand that you will have a solid base of fitness.  The good thing is that if you can improve by puting in the effort to run, to build your strength, and to work on your agility and flexibility.   These elements will help you improve your game, and help us to have more success.  Get out to run several days a week, do push-ups, sit-ups, & pull-ups, and also stretch daily.  For those of you who are 14 years old and above, see your doctor about when you might be able to begin a weight training program that is appropriate for your age.  If you want ideas for some creative fitness drills, see the links below.

7) Health and nutrition.  You are each at a critical age in terms of your growth and health and nutrition.  Make sure that you are eating well, that you are getting foods high in protein, carbs, and vitamins.  Make sure that you are hydrating and that you are avoiding having a lot of soda and sugary sports drinks.  Professional, college, and high school sports teams are making nutrition a key ingredient in their training and approach.  Make your nutrition and health a priority for "we are what we eat."

8) Watch lacrosse.  To learn and develop your game, you need to watch the top levels of this great sport.  Luckily, with youtube and other online sites, you can make it a daily ritual to watch lacrosse.  In addition I have several dvds and videos that you can borrow to study your particular position.  To be the best, we need to emulate the best, and watching the best is one great first step in this process.  In addition, you will learn much of the team concepts of our great sport by watching the best teams play the sport.  Below are some links to great videos that are great ones to begin with as you strive to learn more.

9) Esse quam videri.  The Latin phrase "esse quam videri" means "to be rather than to seem" to be.  I want you to concentrate on what is important - your effort and your focus, rather than what isn't as important, such as your "gear" or how you look playing  the game.  I want you to be more concerned about how you are playing, how hard you are working, how well you are a teammate, how positive you are about our team and not as much about your "lacrosse style" or whether you (or others) have the "cool" stuff.  An example of this item is that if you had $50 to spend on lacrosse "stuff" it would be far better to buy two dozen balls so you have them to shoot with, than it would be to get the "newest, coolest" sublimated lacrosse gear.

10)  Academics.  Last but not least, make sure that you are staying on top of, and achieving great things in the classroom.  It is my goal as your coach that our team will be some of the hardest workers on the field, but also in the classroom.  I want to hear great things from your teachers about how you are doing.  If you are running into any challenges, and I can be of a help at all, let me know.  I would be happy to be your advocate, and your "counselor" or "advisor" if you are having any issues in your classes.

11) Honor the game.  Lacrosse is an outstanding sport, and if you put in the effort and honor the game it will give you much!  Learn all you can, watch all you can, teach others the game, and have fun!

Honor the game! GoBucs!
~Coach Carey

Hit the wall:

Multisport athletes:

Indoor or "Box" Lacrosse:

"Pick up" Lacrosse:
Watch how the Thompson Trio learned to play in the backyard!

Fitness, Strength, Agility:

Health and Nutrition:

Watch Lacrosse:
Scroll down over to the right -> and see some video links for this great game!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lacrosse 101 - a Guide to Lacrosse

Lacrosse 101 - A Guide to Lacrosse

The Basics!

Men's lacrosse teams use netted sticks to carry, pass, and shoot a ball along a field in an effort to score goals. A goal counts as one point and is scored when the lacrosse ball completely crosses the opposing goal line between the posts and under the crossbar. The team scoring the greater number of goals in the allotted time wins the game.

The Field
The Men's lacrosse field is approximately the size of a football field, but just a bit wider.  Click on the diagram below to see a larger view of the "official field" dimensions.

The Players
There are 10 players on each team on the field.  One goalie, who uses a large-headed stick.  Three defenders who use long-sticks, three midfielders who use short sticks, and three attackmen.  Teams can also put in one additional long-stick defender as a midfielder.  Typically, teams have two or three "lines" of midfielders who substitute into the game regularly and often.  In addition, teams will typically play 4 or 5 atack-men during the game, as well as 5-6 long-stick defenders.  

What's Needed?

Lacrosse stick, solid rubber ball, helmet with face guard and chinstrap, lacrosse gloves, shoulder and elbow pads, cleats, shorts and team jersey, mouthguard, and athletic supporter with cup.

How Long Is A Game?

A game is divided into four quarters. Depending on league rules, each quarter ranges from ten to fifteen minutes with a ten-minute break at halftime. Each period begins with a "face-off" at midfield. Teams switch playing sides after each period and are allowed two time-outs per half. If a game ends in a tie, teams may play overtime periods of sudden victory; the team to score first wins.  

Style of Play
Lacrosse strategy and style of play resembles a combination of basketball, football, soccer, and hockey. In addition, aspects of wrestling impact the face-off techniques. Related to basketball, lacrosse offense uses picks, motion offense, dodging one-on-one, "give and gos," and changes in formation.  Also related to baskeball, lacrosse uses a combination of man-to-man with help on defense, as well as a wide variety of zone defenses at the upper levels.  Related to football, lacrosse has physicality, but it is NOT a "impact" sport such as football.  Related to soccer, lacrosse is played up and down a large field, and the team is composed of goalie, defense, midfield, and offensive players.  Related to hockey, lacrosse can be played behind the net (unlike nearly all other sports) and also has both "man up" and "man down" situation which resemble hockey's "powerplays."

Check This Out!

Body Check - Defensively using the body to hit an opposing ball carrier or a player within fifteen feet of a loose ball. The body check must always be done above the waist and from the front or side.

Stick Check - In an effort to dislodge the ball from the "pocket," the defending player strikes his stick against the stick of an opposing ball carrier.

Poke Check - A defender jabs his stick at the hands of an opposing ball carrier in an effort to jar the ball loose. If, in the act of going for the ball carrier's hands, the defender pokes the body, no foul is called. It is a foul if a player "slashes" his opponent.

Slap Check - A type of poke check in which a player snaps his wrists, to slap his stick hard against an opponent's hands.

Wrap Check - A stick check in which the defender's stick is swung around the body of the ball carrier.

Foul Play!
Most violations of the rules of play results in a penalty and the offending player is removed from the game for a designated time. The fouling player serves time in a penalty area and his position on the field cannot be filled. His team must play "man down" until the penalty is over or a goal is scored by the other team. If a player commits five fouls he is removed from play for good. The removed player's position may then be filled by a teammate.

Personal Foul - A player may not trip, slash, recklessly charge, or use his stick or body to illegally check an opposing player. An illegal body check is a hit above an opponent's shoulders, below the waist, or from behind. It is further illegal to use the stick as a means to interfere with an advancing opponent. Depending on the severity of the personal foul, the violating player sits out of play for one to three minutes in the penalty box.

Technical Foul - Called against a player who pushes an opponent, holds him or his stick, touches the ball with his hands, or goes "offside" when his team does not possess the ball. Any of these fouls results in a thirty-second penalty. However, if a player commits one of these fouls while his team has the ball, he stays on the field and the opposing team gains ball possession.

Expulsion Fouls - Occurs if a player is overly aggressive in striking an opponent or is verbally abusive to an official. The offender is ejected for the duration of play. The removed player may be replaced by a teammate after three minutes.

Slashing - A reckless and illegal stick check to the body of a ball carrier. Slashing results in a personal foul. Only the hands holding the stick or the stick itself may be checked by the defender's stick.

Offside - Called anytime a team has fewer than four players on its defensive side of the field, or fewer than three players on its offensive side. If the defending team is offside when a goal scores, then the goal counts. If the attacking team scores but is called offside, the goal does not count and the ball is turned over to the other team.

In-the-Crease - Attacking players may never enter the opposing goal crease. They may only reach in with their sticks when attempting to get control of the ball. Defensive players may enter their own goal crease, but not when carrying the ball. And, the goalie cannot hold the ball in his crease for more than four seconds. Such fouls result in the loss of ball possession.

Did You Know That?

North American Indians began playing a form of lacrosse several centuries ago in preparation for battle. It was called "Baggataway" and games lasted up to several days. French missionaries to North America gave lacrosse its modern name, as the stick the Indians played with resembled a bishop's staff - "crozier" - or - "crosse" in French. The game as it is played today originated around 1840. Canada declared lacrosse, not hockey, its national game in 1867. 

Lacrosse Terms Glossary
Click HERE to learn more about the the terms used in men's lacrosse.

Youth Lacrosse Rules and Best Practices Guidebook
If you want to learn more about the game, one place to start is this great booklet, here in a .pdf, written and published by the US Lacrosse Foundation.  Click HERE to download a copy of the booklet.

Adapted from a "Lacrosse 101" document that was written by St. Alban's School (DC) parents and posted on their team website.


Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.

 ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"HelmetGate" more at 24SevenLax

Cascade Lacrosse Announces Solution for Cascade R Helmet

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (December 12, 2014) – Cascade Lacrosse announced today its agreement with the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) on a solution for the recently decertified Cascade R helmet.
The solution involves a simple modification to Cascade R helmets currently in the marketplace. NOCSAE has accepted the solution. Cascade’s data confirms the helmet, as modified by this solution, meets NOCSAE certification standards. For NOCSAE certification purposes, the modified helmet is treated as a new model, identified as the Cascade R-M, although it will continue to be marketed by Cascade under the Cascade R name. Moving forward all newly manufactured Cascade R-M helmets will be certified as meeting the NOCSAE standards.
A tamper-resistant sticker will be placed on all modified helmets as well as on newly manufactured Cascade R-M helmets to differentiate them from non-certified Cascade R models. Model R helmets that have not been officially modified by Cascade do not meet NOCSAE standards and the certification will remain void.
Read more HERE

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Coaching Clinic Archive Available - Duke Lacrosse

December Coaching Clinic Archive Available
Wednesday 12/10/2014  -  Duke Sports Information

DURHAM, N.C.—In case you missed the final installment of the 2014 Duke men’s lacrosse coaching clinics, the archived video of the two hour session is now available on The Duke coaching staff outlined a typical Duke practice during the year, demonstrating and drawing up drills and sharing the when’s and whys of its training sessions.

Click HERE to access the video
Here is an outline of what a typical Duke practice during the season would look like. Tune into the archived clinic to get an in depth look.
1.     Pre-Practice
           a.       Early work to get the guys warmed up and moving – 10-minute session
2.     Stretch
          a.       Perhaps the most boring, but potentially one of the most important parts of a practice
          b.      Duke does dynamic and static stretching
          c.       Warming up the goalies during this time
3.     Stick skills
          a.       A crucial part of the Duke game is to constantly hone stick skills
4.     Ground Balls
          a.       Skeleton – Thud – Live.
5.    Individual Work by position
          a.       Attackmen, offensive midfielders, defensive midfielders, close defense
6.    Group Work (2 sessions)
          a.       Thud and Live
          b.      1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3, 4vs4, 5vs5, 6vs6, 1s vs. 1s and Scout team
          c.       Everyone gets coached
7.    Team Work
         a.       Faceoff – 10 minutes
         b.      Riding/Clearing – 10 minutes
         c.       Transition – 10 minutes
8.    Special Teams
         a.       Man-up/Man-down
         b.      Special situations

Defensive Spotlight: Steven O'Hara and "Head on a Swivel" - from Lacrosse Film Room

Lacrosse Terms Glossary

Lacrosse Terms Glossary


"6 by 6"


The Crease

The "Hole"


"X Behind"

"Faceoff X"


"Pinch and Pop"

"Five and Five" or "The Island"

Man Up or "EMO" (Extra man offense)

Man Down or (MDD) (Man Down Defense)

The Pole or the Longstick Middie

The Alley

Time and Room Shot