youth lacrosse up field down field

Lax Lingo: “Up Field” and “Down Field”

We spend a lot of time listening to what good Lacrosse Coaches are saying on the bench, and what we can hear players telling each other on the field or on TV. This "Lax Lingo" can be very helpful in communicating clearly with your players so that they know exactly what you mean and what you want them to do in a given situation. Being clear and concise with your players will get you much better results on the field than yelling uncertain terms like "Move!" and "Hustle!" from the sidelines over and over. So we want to share this "Lax Lingo" with all of you.

In today's installment of Lax Lingo we want to talk about field directions: "Up Field" and "Down Field". Both of these are simply to tell your players which way to go. This may seem like a no-brainer for most of us, but not for your players.

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youth lacrosse defenders chasing the ball

Keep Score to Raise the Intensity at Practice.

We go to a lot of youth and high school lacrosse practices where the players are all standing in line, or just jogging through line drills, throwing lazy, arching passes. It's painful to watch. One way to inject some intensity and competitiveness into any practice is to keep score. Keeping score can make any part of practice literally "count for something"- goals, ground balls, turnovers, Clears, etc. can all be counted as points somehow.

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lacrosse defense poke check

Play Good Defense. Maybe Don’t Teach the Poke Check First.

When teaching your players good individual defense, maybe don't teach the Poke Check first. We realize this might sound blasphemous, since the Poke Check is a classic. But we have heard that even top coaches like Dave Pietremala are getting away from it  (although don't quote us). In game situations, a beginning player is running at full speed, trying to poke the 2"-wide shaft or the ball carrier's bottom hand, both relatively small targets. Instead, teach them to play Body Defense with the Feet, Hips, Hands, Stick last.

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