Parents: PLEASE Stop Coaching Your Kids from the Sideline

After spending nearly every day this summer at camps and tournaments, here are our Top 3 things we wish parents would stop yelling from the sidelines.

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Do THIS Before you Double-Team the Ball

Every week we see teams lose close games because they struggle to get the ball back when they need it most. Use this simple technique before you “Double” the ball to get it back.

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“Box-and-One [in the Middle]” Man-Down Defense

We see many youth and high school teams giving up easy goals every time they are Man-Down because of a penalty. Use this basic Defense to teach your players to cover the ball, kill penalties, and shut down the other team!

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Transition Drills for Defense

These are some of our favorite practice drills and games to work on attacking and defending numbers-advantage game situations that are really what lacrosse is all about- the "2-on-1".

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Lax Lingo: “Draw and Dump!”

This is one of the basic principles that coaches and players at every level should know and understand how to move the ball to the open man to score!

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“Ball-Watching” Can Wreck Your Defense

Youth and beginning lacrosse players make a few common mistakes all the time that can wreck the Defense for your entire team. Luckily there are simple solutions to fix the problem!

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Short Stick Sideline Clear vs 3-3 Deep Zone Ride

Clearing against the 3-3 Deep Zone Ride can give high school and even college teams lots of trouble. Try this simple play we see college teams use to get the ball down the sideline away from your own goal to your offense!

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Short-Stick Sideline Clear

This is a simple but genius variation on a standard Clearing play that every coach should know and every team should be able to use to get the ball down the field away from your own goal into the sticks of your offense.

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Don’t “Over-Commit” on Defense

We love Defense, but it can be very difficult to teach younger and beginning players how to play good Individual AND Team Defense. Here are a few easy drills for Defense you can use with your Team!

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The “Attack Back” Clear

Clearing can be one of the toughest things to teach younger players. Use this simple play to get one of your Attackmen to come back to your Goalie for an easy, open pass and trigger numbers-advantage situations at the other end of the field!

"Clearing" can be the ultimate test of a team's stick skills, communication, and lacrosse IQ. Just getting the ball away from your own goal is one of the most common challenges that coaches at every level will see. But Clearing doesn't have to be a frustrating scenario to teach players new to the sport. No matter what level you coach, it's critical you teach all your players to understand this common game situation.

From youth to pro lacrosse, the most successful teams are usually the ones that Clear the ball the best--usually over 80 percent of the time. If your team can't Clear well, chances are you are spending most of your games on Defense, and your players aren't getting very many chances to score. It can be a disappointing downward spiral when your players start giving the ball back to the other team every time.

The "Attack Back" Clear might be common knowledge for most of us. It has been a Lax Classic for at least 50 years. But that doesn't mean it's not effective. This is an easy way to draw the Riding Defense one direction, and get one of your men open in another part of the field.


attack back clear play defense

Figure 1.) Here's the Secret: Clearing is a 7-on-6 game! With six (6) Blue Defenders plus the Goalie (6+1=7) against the six (6) Red Attackers in the play, any time your team gets the ball, you have the numbers advantage. This is why college teams usually look so calm when they are Clearing--they know they have an open man. Make sure your team understands how to work this numbers advantage so they can get the ball down the field to score!

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  • Use this play sometimes to mix things up on the Clear. If you try this Clear every time you get the ball, the Defense will most likely start to "Match Feet!" and Ride in more agressive Man-on-Man coverage.
  • Keep Space! Remember to work the 7-on-6 situation first! Don't let your Attackman come back too far and clog up the field for your Midfielders and Defense.
  • Don't go Offsides! Be mindful of the offsides rule. If one of your Attackmen goes over, your midfielder has to stay in the Attacking end of the field in cases of bad passes, turnovers, etc.


No matter what Clears you use, make sure to let us know if you start getting more possessions and more scoring opportunities after working on Clearing with your team!