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Basic Offensive Strategies for Boys Lacrosse

1. Pure Hustle! Never be standing still. If you are standing still, you are doing something wrong!

2. Make your defensemen play you and you alone during every second that you are in the game. If you are moving, then his/her attention will be on you, and not on your teammates or his responsibility to play team defense.

3. In passing the ball, make all passes sharp, short, to the outside and away from the defensemen.

4. Make your feeding passes crisp and head high.

5. Give the person who is passing to you something to aim for (like a catcher in baseball!)

6. When you have the ball, NEVER stand still!! Keep moving and running at all times. When you are ready to make a pass, make a hard move to the net and then cut back out for separation. This will give you space to make the pass.

7. All passes should be made directly overhand. These are the easiest to catch and the ball will not have any sidespin on it.

8. Take pains to make every pass good.

9. Catch every pass while moving toward the ball. Circle away from the defender once you have received the ball.

10. Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.

11. Always expect the pass is coming to you, always be ready for a pass.

12. If someone is in trouble, the two people nearest to the play should bust hard to the play "hear is your help!"

13. On all shots from up top, a man should be in the crease to screen unless he has moved to open space to receive a pass.

14. After receiving a pass the first look is to the person who gave you that pass to see if he/she has made a move to the net. The second look is to the crease to see if there is an open pass there.

15. After picking up a loose ball, get the ball to "X" as quick as possible so that the attackman can look to exploit an unsettled situation.

16. Have a plan with the ball. If you do not plan on dodging, then move the ball to the next man. Do not hold onto the ball for no reason.

17. Always be in position to back up every pass or shot. When a dodge is made, or a shot is taken, the whole team must play a part, moving into position to back up the pass, shot, or rebound.

18. Never make a feed into the crease just because a person is cutting or calling for the ball. Make sure he is open or has a space from his defender.

19. Never stand close enough together so that one defender can cover two men at the same time. Stay spread out.

20. When there is a loose ball, go hard after it. Make it your mission to get that ball!!

21. Always keep the field balanced and in the offensive set. This will create more space to work in.

22. Always have at least one man behind the net to back up the shot. Remember that the closest person to the ball when it goes out of bounds on shots gets the ball. We should never lose a possession on an out of bounds shot.

23. If you lose the ball, ride hard, especially at attack. It is your responsibility to get that ball back before it gets past the mid-line.

Individual Defense:

1. Control what the offensive player can do with the ball.

2. Force the player to use his weak hand.

3. Force the player to the outside and behind the net. In other words, keep them away from high scoring places.

4. Force the player's moves to be lateral and away from the net.

5. "Breakdown" i.e., knees bent, hips forward, weight distributed on the balls of the feet, head up, stick out in front on defense.

6. When you are in the breakdown position, stay low; look to poke check. Do not step towards the man when you poke check. Do not cross your feet over!

7. As the offensive player breaks into a run, you must stay hip to hip with him. Keep your eyes on his chest, not on his feet or head. Try to cut down his angle to the net.

8. If a player is rolling back or trying to back you in, place firm pressure in the small of their back. Do not lean on them, but keep good balance!

9. When laying a body check, keep your stick and hands in tight to your body. Lead only with your shoulder.

10. When playing a man without the ball, be in a sloughed position that enables you to see both the man and the ball. Put your stick up in the passing lanes to discourage cross-field passes.

11. As the ball is passed to your man, move out quickly to play him. You should arrive just as he catches the ball. Arrive under control and breakdown with your stick out in front of you.

12. When playing a man on the crease, play between your man and the ball. Keep your stick upright so that you can check down if a pass is made.

13. Keep your head "on a swivel." See the man and see the ball.

"Team" Defense:


2. All great teams play great defense and have great communication.

3. All seven defenders must have ownership of the defense. Defense is not a series of one-on-one confrontations.

4. Defensive pressure on the ball should be highlighted by great footwork and crisp stick checks. Defense is a healthy blend of body and stick. When in doubt, poke check!

5. Defenders adjacent to the ball must talk and anticipate back up and slide situations.

6. Defensive slides should be well timed and executed from the inside -> out. That is, picking up the opponents nearest the goal first, then those on the perimeter of the field. Never slide half way. Either go 100% or not at all. The entire defense needs to slide, so all should go or none should go.

7. The farther removed your man is from the ball, the more you should be sagged in to help your teammates in the crease.

8. Adjust your approach when playing defense on the crease; tighten up, talk, listen for "check" call from the goalie. Stay between your man and the ball. Never lose your player in the crease.

9. Avoid switching defensive match-ups. Try to fight through or slide under picks.

10. COMMUNICATION! The field should be alive with talk on the defensive end of the field.

Lacrosse Goalie

Essential to every team is a good goalie. A goalie needs to be a leader with very good knowledge of the game, its rules and understanding of the needs of the team. The following covers the FUNdamental technique of playing lacrosse goalie.


* Simple Concept: intercept the ball in its path with your stick or body before it goes in the goal.

* Musts: Cup, Helmet, Goalie Stick, Chest protector, throat guard, and gloves. Anything else is up to you.

Goalie Positioning

- Fingers should hold the stick, but not choke it. Handle should be in fingers not palms.
- Hands should be about 12" apart in a comfortable relaxed position.
- Arms should be away from your body, but you should not have flying wings, far enough so you can easily maneuver the stick in a clock and counter clock- wise fashion (like a baseball player). Far enough away from your head so you don't hit your mask when you move it from stick side high to off stick side high.
- Feet should be shoulder distance apart and weight should be forward. Not necessarily on your toes but definitely not back on your heals.
- Body position should be similar to a linebacker, a tennis player: an athlete.
- Goalie Stick should be positioned just off your shoulder covering the "Box Area". If you are right handed, you hold the top of the stick (toward the stick head) with your right hand and the bottom hand (left hand for righties) should be about 12" away. Arms bend at elbows and away from your body. Head of stick should be slightly forward and you should be ready to step toward the ball in an easy fluid motion.

Step to the ball

- Legs come together
- Attack the ball. Get your whole body in the path of the ball. Your stick gets there first while starting to step to the path of the ball.
- You should step to the ball beginning with the foot and leg from the side the ball came from. If the ball (bounce, high, or low) came toward you from the right of your body, you should step with your right foot and leg followed by your left foot and leg coming together with your right foot and leg. If the ball came from toward you from the left side of your body, you should step to the path with your left foot and leg followed by your right foot and leg coming together with your left foot and leg.
- If the ball is a bounce shot position your chin at the point of the bounce while stepping to get in the path of the ball. Your stick gets to the ball first with your whole body following.
- This is true for any shot. Every time. Practice, Practice, Practice! Attack, attack, attack

Goalie Position in the Goal

- When the ball is in front of the opening of the Goal, you should be in the goalie position on the imaginary "half moon" between the pipes and move as the ball moves. As the ball moves from pipes, side, front (top) right and left, you should be moving on the half moon to be in position to attack any shot that comes near the goal.
- When the ball is behind at X (directly behind the goal) or off pipes right and left, you should be positioned at the center of the moon, waiting in goalie position except with your bottom hand at the end of the handle so that you are in position to "steal the ball". Only make the attempt if you can be successful. Do not be over anxious so as to be out of position for the next opportunity to make a save.
- When the ball is thrown from back to front, you move with the side the ball went to first. If I am standing at the x of the moon, and the ball is thrown from back right to side left, I turn (clockwise) with my right side moving first to get my stick to the ball side as fast as I can the rest of my body follows my head. If the ball is thrown from back right to side right I move (counter clockwise) my right side to the ball first followed by stepping with my right foot to the right side of the goal.

Catch the ball

- Don't pop at it. Cradle it into your stick like other players do. Don't stab or pop it. Catch it.
- Make sure your pocket is broken in.
- Make sure your stick is in good repair. Fixing any loose or broken strings prior to game.

Throw the ball

- You must be able to cradle and throw just like any of your teammates. They must be able to rely on you to control the ball, catch the ball, cradle the ball, and throw the ball with consistency and accuracy. Half field accurate and consistent throws at a minimum.
- To throw the ball you position your hands in a throwing position. Bottom hand at the end of the handle and top hand about 12 to 18 inches away as to allow the "levered" throwing of the ball. Always step toward your target and lead the runner just like a quarter back would lead a wide receiver. Don't throw buddy passes.
- After you pass the ball, look to get back in the cage.


- The crease is yours; it is your domain; it is your protection. Your sole responsibility is to keep the ball from going into the goal. You can use the crease to help you do that.
- Remember to always clamp on the ball with your stick when it is near the crease. Rake it back to you but be careful not to allow it to pop out. Get your defensemen to know what "clear the crease" means.
- After you have possession of the ball, you have three seconds to get the ball out of your crease (pass it or walk/run it out).
- Look for the idiot attack man standing in front of your crease while you are attempting to make a clear.
- If there is no fast break or out let pass, take the ball behind.
- You cannot go back into the crease after you have left it with the ball. You can enter the crease at anytime without the ball. Remember the ball in the back of the net trick.


- Talk to your coach about the proper calls he wants you to make. You need to use an authoritative voice without yelling. Know everyone's name, nick name. Talk to provide information not to talk.