We spend a lot of time at camps and clinics, and we go to a lot of summer club tournaments where several hundred teams are attending from all over the country. We listen to coaches in between games to hear what they are teaching their players now. We notice when things that were important ten or twenty years ago are not even being mentioned by coaches anymore. And we notice what kids are and are not having success with on the field.
The Long-Stick Midfielder (LSM) is a very exciting position in lacrosse that has been getting some pretty good attention the last few years, having big impacts in big games, and putting together some very nice highlights.
No matter what level of lacrosse you are coaching- youth, high school freshmen, high school varsity, etc., your players are going to make mistakes. Even if you are coaching the elite U15 traveling club team for your area. There will be lots of them if you are a high school varsity team in a new or developing area. You probably have good athletes that just don't have many games under their belts yet. Your star Attackman will miss a pass, your Defenders will drop the ball on the clear, somebody will miss an easy ground ball. It is how you respond to these mistakes that will determine what kind of working relationship you will have with these young men (or women!) that are looking for your guidance.
High school and college lacrosse coaches today want players that can get in front of the goal. The Split Dodge down the alley isn't going to cut it all the time anymore. Against better Defenders and better Goalies today, you have to be able to get those high percentage chances in the middle. Teach your players to get to the "Slot," just like getting to the "Paint" in Basketball. Initiate the contact with the dodge- lean in to the defender to push your way into the middle.
Every lacrosse player born in the US has gotten plenty of stick skill instruction on how and when to use the stick on both sides of the body. Now, more youth players are growing up playing both Box and Field Lacrosse, and having some really great success with it.
The "Wheel" is probably one of the easiest youth and high school lacrosse Man-Up plays to run. If your players can catch and throw reasonably well for their age and ability level, sometimes you can score in as few as two passes!