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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

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					Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork


Lacrosse is a team sport that relies on the player's ability to scoop, pass, catch, and shoot.
The better you execute these skills, the more you will enjoy playing lacrosse. Proper
technique is essential to giving you the highest chance of success. The further you progress
in the game, the more important proper technique will become. Your opponents will be more
skilled, and your opportunities to execute a skill will happen faster and with a narrowing
margin of error.

•   Proper Technique-The best way to have proper technique is to learn the correct way to
    execute skills when you are starting to learn to play. Always execute skills the way you
    would on the field of play. If you have picked up an incorrect technique, the sooner you
    correct it, the easier it is to correct.

•   Minimum Movement-Resist the temptation to add unnecessary motions when you execute
    a skill. It adds time to the execution of a skill, which you do not have. It also adds to the
    risk that you will lose the ball and hurt your team. Play as cleanly and efficiently as you
    can.


•   Offhand-Lacrosse unlike many sports requires skills using both hands. It may feel
    uncomfortable to play with your off-hand, but you must use it to develop it. Your coaches
    will always support you using your off-hand when appropriate, even if you cannot execute
    as well as your strong hand. One-handed lacrosse players do not exist on any team that
    seriously competes in lacrosse.

•   Team Play-Your investment in your skills is the foundation of team play. The ability of a
    team to execute all of the facets of team play, like faceoffs, fast breaks, offense or
    defense rests on the foundation of your individual skills. Without proper passing, catching
    and scooping techniques, the break in the chain of individual skills that make up team play
    will prevent the successful execution of the team play.


•   Practice-The best way to develop individual skills, even better than having a catch with
    your teammates, is to play against a brick wall not located near breakable windows and
    repeat the throwing and catching motions. Use both hands until the motions can be
    executed smoothly and naturally.




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

Facets of Individual Play


        1. Passing                                 5. Individual Defense
               a. holding the stick                       a. body position
               b. stepping towards the target             b. stick checks
               c. follow-through                   6. Face Offs
               d. cracking the elbow                      a. body position
        2. Catching                                       b. clamp, turn, and scoop
               a. stick position                   7. Goalie Play
               b. stick movement                          a. crease rules
        3. Scooping                                       b. body position
               a. body position                           c. ball and stick movement
               b. stick position                          d. break pass
        4. Individual Offense                             e. GOALIE TALK
               a. cradling the ball                8. Skills Matrix
               b. dodges
               c. picks
               d. cuts
               e. shots


General Comments: Passing, catching is done almost entirely in the box area. While
passing, catching, or cutting the head of the stick should be at your head level, next to your
ear. Always be moving when you pass, catch or scoop! Always work your off-hand as
much as your strong-hand. You must be able to catch and throw with both hands. This
will allow you to keep your stick protected from defending players that are trying to check you.
Generate your passing power by using your legs and lower body, not by hanging your stick
behind you. You will get checked and lose the ball.




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

1. Passing

Right Handed Pass
a. Holding the stick- the best position for your hands for accuracy and distance is shoulder
width apart. The left hand should be on the butt end of the stick.
b. Stepping towards the target- with your right foot perpendicular and your left shoulder
pointing towards the target, a comfortable step should be made towards the target. This will
shift your weight towards the target, providing more power to the pass.
c. Follow-through- after the pass the head of your stick should be pointing to the precise spot
you wish the ball to go.
d. Cracking the elbow- if the follow-through has been done correctly the stick should be
resting parallel with your forearm and your bottom hand resting on your elbow.

2. Catching

General Comments: Always present a stationary target for the passer by keeping your
stick in the box area, and calling "Here's Your Help" if you are open. Help the passer by
making passes about fifteen yards. If you are further than fifteen yards cut towards the
passer. If you are closer than fifteen yards get open by moving away from the passer.

Catching- Moving Towards the Ball
a. Stick position- your stick should be perpendicular to the ground, with the head of your stick
next to your ear. Present a target to the passer. You can move your top hand up the throat
of your stick to increase your stick control.
b. Stick movement- upon impact of the ball with pocket of your stick, you may either pull the
stick directly back, or gently turn into the ball.

Catching- Moving Away from the Ball
a. Stick position- your stick should point slightly in front of you, your back should be to the
passer and angle of your cut so you can comfortably catch the ball over your shoulder. Your
top hand should be the closest one to your shoulder.
b. Stick movement- follow the ball into your stick and wait for the ball to arrive. If the pass is
short, turn to meet the ball instead of reaching back. Move your feet before moving your stick
to catch an off target pass.

3. Scooping

General comments: Your top hand should slide up the shaft of the head of the stick. Keep
your bottom hand at the butt end of the stick and as low to the ground as possible. In order
to scoop you MUST keep your bottom hand down and get low! This makes your stick
parallel to the ground. As soon as the scoop is done, bring your stick into the box area so
you are ready to pass or feed. Remember your objective is to get the loose ball, not beat
up on the opposing player!
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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork


One on one
a. Body position- to scoop the ball, it is necessary to get as low to the ground as possible by
bending at the waist. Your head should be down, following the path of the ball. The scoop is
executed when your nose is directly over the ball. Use your body to shield the ball from the
opposing player by keeping your body between the other player and the ball.

Two on One- "Man, Ball"
a. Body position- the player closest to the opposing player calls "Man" and uses his body as
a shield to protect the ball. You must be within five yards of the ball to make contact with the
opposing player. Your teammate will call "Ball" and scoop the ball. As soon as he gets
possession of the ball he calls "Drop Off" so the opposing player can be released.

4. Individual Offense

General Comments: If you have possession of the ball you must protect it while moving
it towards the goal. Keep your body between the defensive player and your stick. This
means that sometimes you will have to pass or catch with your off-hand. Take the
opportunity to develop your off-hand! You can help keep the ball in your stick by gently
cradling the ball. Do not twirl your stick! If you want to twirl, be a cheerleader not a lacrosse
player.

If you are open, have an angle, and are within fifteen yards of the cage then shoot and
score. If someone else is open then pass the ball to them. They will shoot and score and
you will get an assist. Make your passes have a purpose. Do not throw into a pile. You
create offense by moving the ball AGRESSIVELY towards the cage! This opens
opportunities to shoot or pass. Create offense by dodging a defensive player and taking it to
the cage, or by drawing two defenders and passing to a teammate that is cutting towards the
open area.

If you do not have the ball make the defense play you by moving. The biggest mistake you
can make on offense is to stand still! Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet. You
cannot be fast while you are standing still!!!!

a. Cradling the ball- is done by keeping your bottom hand stationary and below your waist
while you gently roll the wrist of your top hand. The path of the ball should form a half circle.
Cradle the ball in the box area so that it is next to your ear. If you keep the ball next to your
ear, it will tell you when it is time to shoot and score.

The "tuck" position is used keep the defending player from checking your stick. Hold the stick
6-8 inches from the head with your forearm parallel to the ground. The stick is perpendicular
to the ground and held close to the body while cradling. The head of your stick should be next


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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

to your ear. Your off-shoulder should be rolled favoring the stick with the palm of your free
hand turned outward.

b. Dodging

General Comments: Make your cuts crisp and execute the dodge as close to the opposing
player as possible. Maintain a straight line towards the goal. After the dodge bring the stick
to the box area and be prepared to pass or feed. Maintain the tuck position. If one or two
moves do not produce a feed or shot withdraw and pass the ball.

It is never a good idea to dodge more than one defending player. If two players are
covering you find the open man and pass the ball!! Always accelerate out of your dodge.
Do not hang your stick. The defender that you just beat will be chasing you looking to check
your stick to save themselves from disgrace and humiliation.

Dodges that are used in the open field to cleanly get past your defender are the Face Dodge,
Roll Dodge, and Split Dodge.

Face Dodge
Use the face dodge when the opposing player has their stick high and they are attempting to
check the ball from your stick. Cradle the ball in front of your body. When the opposing
player starts his check bring the stick completely across your face. Once past the man bring
the stick back to the box area.

Roll Dodge
Use the roll dodge when the opposing player has their stick low and they are attempting to
use their body to prevent penetration to the goal. If right handed, plant your left foot and
place the stick in the tuck position. Wrap around the opposing player. Bring your stick to the
box area.

Split Dodge
Use the split dodge by moving at an angle towards your defender, so that he turns his hips
towards the direction you are moving. Cut sharply in the opposite direction. You may
change hands or keep the same hand. Keep or bring your stick to the box area.

Dodges that are used by attack players coming from the X are the Inside Roll, Fishhook, and
Rocker. They are executed in a five yard square area starting at the Goal-Line-Extended and
extending towards the top of the restraining box. They are intended to get a shot on goal.
Movement is circular around the crease area.




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

Inside Roll
Drive your man to the furthest point from the cage of the five yard square area. Plant your
offside foot and roll away and wrap around your defender. Quickly shoot low and away from
the goalie directly towards the bottom corner of the cage.

Rocker Dodge
Drive your man to the midpoint of the top of the five yard square area. Roll away from the
defender so that the defender moves in that direction. Roll back in the original direction and
quickly shoot low and away from the goalie directly towards the bottom corner of the cage.

Fishhook
Drive your man to the closest point from the cage of the top of the five yard square area. Roll
away from the defender, change hands and quickly shoot low and away from the goalie
directly towards the bottom corner of the cage.

Dodges that are used by midfield players starting at the wing areas near the top of the
restraining box are the sweep and sweep and roll. They are intended to get a shot or feed.
They are executed from the wing area of the restraining box moving East/West and towards
the cage.

Sweep
Start with your offhand and move towards the end line or away from the cage to get your
defender moving in the same direction. Cut sharply towards the cage with your strong hand
and leave your defender in the dust. Shoot hard, bounce the ball and score before you reach
the offside pipe.

Sweep and Roll
Execute the sweep as described above. Plant your opposite foot, change hands and roll
back in the opposite direction. Quickly shoot hard, bounce the ball, and score.

c. Picks

Set your pick facing the man feeding the ball. Pick an area of the field not an opposing
player. It is the responsibility of the player using the pick to run his defending player into the
pick. The player using the pick should cut off the pick as tightly as possible and be prepared
to receive the ball, feed or shoot. As always keep your stick in the box area.

The defense must choose to "slide through" or "switch". The crease defense player calls this.
If "slide through" is called, the man covering the player setting the pick backs off of his man
far enough to allow the player covering the cutter enough room to stay with his man. If the
pick succeeds a switch is called. Then the defensive players swap the players that they are
covering until play stops. It is preferable to slide through than switch.


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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

If the pick is successful the cutter will be open cutting towards the cage. Feed, catch, shoot
and score. If both defenders go with the cutter then the player setting the pick makes a back
side cut to the cage. He will be open. Feed, catch, shoot and score. If the defense avoids
the pick, do not feed a player that is covered. Pull the ball out and start another play.

Unlike basketball we will not set picks for the man with the ball. This creates a double-team
opportunity for the defense.

d. Cutting

Always be moving towards the cage while cutting. Cut towards the cage straight towards one
of the pipes. Cut sharply off picks with the stick in the box area. Start your cut in the
opposite direction that you want to go. Cut with your stick away from your defender. Be
decisive. Do not stop a cut, either cut or don't cut. If you start a cut, finish it. If you do not
get the feed, clear out from the crease area!

The key to a successful cut is timing. If you make a great cut and the feeder is not ready to
feed the ball, your effort is wasted. If you wait till the feeder is ready, by the time you cut he
will no longer be able to get you the ball. Time your cut so that the feeder is ready to feed
when you are ready to shot and score. Present the feeder a target, catch and shoot in no
more than two steps.

There are several types of cuts towards the cage that can result in a scoring opportunity. A
ball side cut starts from midfield on the same side as the ball. The middie starts towards the
center of the field and breaks towards the feeder. A cross-side cut starts from midfield on the
opposite side of the ball and breaks towards the feeder. A wing cut starts on the ball side
outside the feeder. The middie or attack cuts laterally towards the cage. A backside cut is a
cut towards the cage, but away from the feeder.

Use a V-cut at any point of the field when you want the ball. Drive towards your defensive
player about three to four steps then cut sharply away from him. This gives you room to
catch the pass. An attack man to neutralize the extra length of the defensive player's stick
uses the V to get free.

The feeder to create enough room to feed the cutter can use the drop step. It is similar to the
V Cut in that you drive your man hard in one direction and cut back the opposite way to
create space between you and the defender.




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

e. Shooting

You must shoot on cage to score. Nobody has ever scored by shooting and missing the
cage. Shoot quickly! Your shot should be like a hard pass to the back of the net. Shoot
quickly when you are open and BEFORE the defense and goalie are ready. This is more
likely to score then waiting to crank a really hard shot.

A good, hard bounce shot to the goalie's offside is the best shot outside of ten yards. Aim for
the crease line or just inside it. From the crease area or one on one with the goalie, shoot
overhand high to low towards the bottom of the cage on the goalie's offhand.

When shooting close to the crease practice shooting the ball without cradling. This is called a
“quick stick”. The catching motion is immediately reversed to redirect the ball to the cage. It
will be behind the goalie before he turns his head. This is a way cool way to score!!!

If driving from behind, keep moving towards the cage when you shoot. You must be at least
two steps past the goal line to have an angle to shoot. If you are fifteen yards or more from
the cage keep working for a better shot.

Shooting is similar to passing. However, in order to get more power on your shot, move your
arms away from your body, slide your top hand down a few extra inches, the head of your
stick at a slightly lower angle, and let it fly!!!!!!

5. Individual Defense

General comments: The objective of the defensive player is to neutralize and control the
attacking player, not to take away the ball. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep your
body between your man and the goal!! ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS know where your
man is. NEVER, EVER, EVER turn your back on your attacking player. YOUR HEAD
MUST BE ON A SWIVEL!! Be AGGRESSIVE, BUT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT IS
BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR MOVEMENT AND YOUR CHECKS. Within five yards of the
ball is live. You can check the opposing player stick on stick, or body on body.
Control your checks.

Talk is the key to solid team defense, and an important responsibility of individual
defensive play. Know your responsibility for keeping your teammates informed.
Goalies call ball position "front right", "back left", "ball's at X", defense on the ball
"hold there", "push him out", and when to "check sticks" on a feed. Crease defense
calls picks "pick right", and cuts "cutter coming, slide through or switch". Other
defenders call coverage of attacking players "I've got ball", and the next slide "I'm help
right". Listen to your teammates. They will tell you what they are doing. After every
whistle check up, "I've got number 24" so everyone knows who you are covering.


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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

Defense is played with your feet. You have feet . . . you must move them! The biggest
mistake you can make on defense is to stand still! Lacrosse is the fastest game on
two feet. You cannot be fast while you are standing still!!!! Give ground if needed, but
do not lunge at the opposing player.

Remember your ABC's of defense. Approach hard to the ball and lead with your stick. Favor
the opposing players stick side. Break down under control in a position to deliver a poke
check. Control the direction that your offensive player can move. Overplay your opponent's
strong hand to force him to his off hand. Keep your stick at chest level in front of your
attacking player when you are playing your man. Keep your stick up in the passing lane
when your man does not have the ball. Your stick is a defensive tool, not a bludgeon!

a. Body position
Feet should be shoulder width apart. Shuffle laterally using short steps, and do not cross
your legs. Maintain a position between the opposing player and the cage.




A-Outside the restraining box maintain a stick and a half's length from the attacking player.
B-Inside the restraining box maintain a stick length from the attacking player. Be prepared to
check the attacking player if he attempts to pass or shoot
C-Within fifteen yards of the goal establish body contact with your forearm and stick in front of
the opposing player. Use steady pressure to drive the attacking player away from the cage.
Be prepared for the attacking player to change direction.

The simplest way to remember this is to be close enough to your man to check him if he
received a pass from the man with the ball.

b. Stick checks
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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

Use a poke check when your attacking player is using the same hand that you are. The
POKE CHECK is the most effective check possible. POKE, POKE, POKE! Using your top
hand as a guide thrust the stick with the bottom hand aiming at the opposing players bottom
hand or stick. Once you poke the bottom hand, lift it to prevent the feed or pass.

The slap check is a short lateral chop at the opposing player's stick. It is used in conjunction
with a push with your bottom hand and a rapid slap check when your attacking player is using
the opposite hand that you are. Be careful not to over commit.

If your attacking player is close enough to the goal to get off a shot, move him away from the
goal with steady and strong pressure with the V of your stick and forearm if same hand or
your bottom hand if he has the ball in the opposite hand.

6. Face Offs-Winning the Draw

a. Body position
Hold your stick with your right hand near the head. Your bottom hand should be shoulder
width apart. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and about six to twelve inches from the
midfield line. Your weight should be leaning forward towards your right hand. Maintain your
balance. Place your stick on the midfield line when instructed to do so by the official. The
head of your stick will be perpendicular to the ground with the ball placed by the official
between your stick and the opponents stick. Believe you will win the face off!

b. Clamp, turn and scoop
As soon as the whistle blows, push down and forward with your right hand and keep your
bottom hand low for the most leverage on the ball. Usually the first stick moving after the
official's whistle will win the clamp. Pivot quickly counter-clockwise so that your body is
between the ball and the opposing player. Move the ball out in front of you where you have a
straight path to the ball and scoop the ball. Usually the player that wins the clamp can
control the direction of the ball. Remember that the object of the face off is to get the
ball for your team and not to beat up on the opposing player!


7. Goalie Play

The goalie position has the most impact on your team’s play. In addition to stopping
opponent’s shots, the goalie must direct defensive play and clear the ball up the field. All
teams look to their goalie for leadership on the field.

a. Crease rules
The crease is a nine foot circle around the cage intended to protect the goalie. Offensive
players may not enter the crease, even if they are checked into it from a legal defensive
check. Defensive players may go through the crease. The ball may not be carried into the
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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

crease. Goalies will clamp the ball and rake it into their sticks if the ball is loose near the
crease.

While the goalie has the ball in the crease he may not be checked. The goalie has
possession of the ball when it is in the pocket of his stick. When the goalie has possession of
the ball he has four seconds to leave the crease. Once he leaves the crease he can be
checked like any other player. The goalie is in the crease if any part of his body in the
crease.

Offensive players may check the goalie’s stick if he does not have possession, even if he is in
the crease. It is interference with the goalie if he makes a pass from the crease and his stick
hits an offensive stick or player. This results in a free clear to midfield for the defense. The
goalie is the only player that can touch the ball. However, unlike hockey, lacrosse goalies
use only their stick.

b. Body position
Keys to stopping shots are body position and movement towards the ball. The goalie stays
on the balls of his feet and shuffles along with the position of the ball on a small arc in
between the pipes of the cage. His stick should be in front of the body, hands shoulder width
apart. He should be comfortable and balanced in his stance.

c. Ball and stick position
When a shot is made the goalie steps towards the ball and watches the ball into his
stick. His body stays in front of the ball and his back leg quickly closes towards his front leg.
This will prevent shots from going between his legs. This is the “glad to meet you” step.

The head of the goalie’s stick moves in the direction of the ball. On bounce shots the goalie
moves his hands so that they reverse position. The hand that is closest to the head of the
stick moves towards the ground. This brings the bottom hand furthest from the ground.

The goalie must watch the ball at all times!!!!!!! Call where the ball is at all times (Front
Right, Center, Front Left, Back Right, X, Back Left).

d. Break Pass
When a save is made the goalie immediately looks to where the shot came from. If the
breaking defensive player is not open for the pass, the goalie calls “break” and looks to pass
to the wing defensive player. If the break pass is not open the goalie will take the ball behind
the cage. A defensive player or middie will break back towards the goalie to help. The
goalie’s passes on the clear are always UP the field and OUT towards the sidelines.
They are never to a player in front of the crease, even if he is open!!!




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

e. Talk
In addition to calling the position of the ball, the goalie will instruct defensive players when an
offensive player has a shot and needs to be moved back. An attack player that is coming
from behind the cage has a shot when he passes the goal-line-extended. The goalie will call
“he’s got a shot, move him out”. If an offensive player feeds the ball the goalie calls “check
sticks”. Defensive players will check the sticks of the players cutting to the cage. A goalie
must use talk as an extra defender!!!




ALL PLAYERS
Remember: Take every opportunity you can to practice your individual stick skills.
ALWAYS practice as if you are in a game situation!!! The way you practice is the way
you will play. Your stick skills are the foundation of your game. Build a strong
foundation.




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Allen Youth Lacrosse - Fundamentals of Individual Stickwork

8. Skills Matrix


     Lacrosse Skills Matrix
                                            Position

     Skill                                  Attack      Midfield   Defense    Goalie
     Scooping                                 XXX        XXX        XXX                XXX
     Passing-Strong Hand                        X          X          X                 X
     Passing-Off Hand                           X          X          X
     Catching-Towards                           X          X          X                 X
     Catching-Away                              X          X         XX
     Cradling                                   X          X          X                 X
     Face Dodge                                 X          X          X                 X
     Roll Dodge                                 X          X          X                 X
     Split Dodge                                X          X
     Inside Roll                               XX
     Rocker Dodge                              XX
     Fishhook                                  XX
     Sweep                                                 X
     Sweep and Roll                                        X
     Setting Picks                              X          X
     V to be Free                              XX         XX           X                X
     Cuts Towards Cage                          X          X
     Shooting                                  XX         XX
     Quick Stick                                X
     ABC Defense                               XX         XX          XX
     Head on a Swivel                                     XX          XX
     Body Position on Defense                   X         XX          XX
     Poke Check                                 X         XX          XX
     Push and Slap                              X         XX          XX
     Slide to Help Defense                      X         XX          XX
     Check Up/Going to Hole                               XX          XX
     Faceoff Clamp                                        XX
     Staying On-sides                           X          X
     Position on the Arc                                                             XXX
     Meeting the Ball on Save                                                        XXX
     "Glad to Meet You" Step                                                          X
     Clamp and Rake                                                                   X
     Break Pass Up and Out                                                            X
     Talk                                     XXX         XXX        XXX            XXXXX

     X-Important Skill, XX-Very Important Skill, Blank-May use but not regularly.


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