Stoneham Youth Lacrosse Principles:
Please note this list will grow as the season progresses.
Pride and Class – we play with pride and class at all times – no exceptions.
Head, Heart, Hustle - every time you step on the field.
We shoot overhand, low, and away.
We don’t throw slap checks or over the head checks. We push players out and in the process throw bottom hand poke checks and lifts. We do this because it works.
We work just as hard off ball as we do on ball – remember on offense – if you are not moving your feet, you are doing something wrong! Set picks both off ball (preferred) and on ball (rarer as this can invite a quick double team if not done well). Motion creates confusion and space.
We are always looking for “one more” – meaning keep your head up and pass the ball - don’t leg the ball. The ball moves faster than the man. Play unselfish lacrosse - pass the salt!
Riding – we ride with pride. Defense and midfielders lock off their men as soon as the ball is turned over – off a shot, sideline out of bounds, dead ball, or any other turn over. With the other team’s personnel shut off, it allows our attack to be aggressive. If and when possible force the goalie to handle the ball. Take away the middle of the field and force the ball carry to the sidelines. Remember the sideline is your “silent defender”. When the ball carrier realizes he is going to run out of bounds he will roll back. If you can get the clearing ball handler to “roll back” you have now gained the edge, continue to get him to roll and he will most likely turn the ball over.
Clearing – we clear the ball to the sidelines, meaning we break out to the sidelines, our passes are to the sidelines, and if we pick up a ground ball in a scrum we break to the sidelines. The reason we do this is in the event we turn the ball over, the ball is not in a dangerous position on the field. There will be plenty of room to get back to the hole.
Offense – formations are called from ‘X’. Any one that believes otherwise grew up somewhere other than Long Island and they can discuss their philosophical differences with coach R. Our preferred formation is the 1-3-2 or “13”. So one man at X, three across slightly higher than GLE (goal line extended) and two men at the top of the restraining box. The motion offense works by having two moving triangles, ideally with simultaneous clockwise and counterclockwise rotations (midfielders rotating clockwise, while the attack rotates counterclockwise). Stay spread out and create space. If a teammate is dodging toward you – clear through and give him space to work. Set picks both on and off ball (preferred).
Defense – Your job as a defender is to force your opponent where he doesn’t want to go – where he is not a threat. It is not to strip the ball or throw clap checks. We communicate and mark up. As a midfielder you don’t need to mark up until you are back in the hole and pushed back out to pick up a man (covering a guy at the midfield is of no use, if there is another guy more dangerous ahead of him). We play a hybrid of a zone and man. Our midfield plays man, locking off the crease, while our poles play zone. (In a true zone the midfield would “pass” the offensive player to the next defender as they move – think basketball). This confuses a lot of teams. Although they are played soft at ‘X’, there really is no one to feed the ball to, as a result they usually make a bad decision and throw the ball away or force the middle. *** We never give up or get beat top side. This allows the whole defensive unit to know where the 1st and 2nd slide should come from. If we are going to get beat it is down the ally / underneath. Run hip to hip and force your opponent where they don’t want to go – push out.
Dodging – we dodge hard, north to south, not east to west. Midfield - dodge to the pipes – not the sidelines. If you are a midfielder and your name/number is called, your first step should be “back” or should be toward the mid line not the restraining box (remember climb the ladder). Dodging from the midfield above anything else is a foot race – give yourself plenty of room to get up to full speed by dodging down hill. The toughest guys to stop are the ones that dodge full speed. Give yourself an angle. Meaning, if you are right handed and want to finish shooting right handed, start your dodge on the left side of the field giving yourself plenty of room to ‘sweep’ across. As you beat your man you should be at the left pipe or center of the net giving you the best angle to shoot from. If you start on the right side you will have much less room to beat your man before you run out of shooting angle. For attack – the same fundamentals apply – it’s all about going as hard as you can. If you are dodging from X – remember change of speed and change of direction – make the turn going full speed. Make sure your pull elbow is tucked in so that you can’t get hung up w/ a lift check. Recognize the slide or double and move the ball.
by Tim Batten posted 09/16/2014