The following are some skills that most great defenseman seem to possess. Work on these tips to round out your game!
Good body position is essential for one on one play and team defense.
+When playing one on one, break down in an athletic stance keeping your hips between your man and the goal.
+Shuffle your feet when moving, do not cross your feet!
+Know your opponents strengths and take them away. Force him to play with his weak hand.
+When you slide, do it under control. Slide body on body.
+Communication is the key to good defense — who has the ball, who has the slide, who is backing up the first slide?. Function as one unit!
+Take pride in the little things. Get after the ground balls! Start the offense!
+Attitude matters - play with the confidence that you will not get beat!
Ground balls win games. Period!!!
Here are a few tips to make you into the human vacuum:
+Use the proper technique — keep your body low to the ground and in between the ball and your opponent, keep your hand nearest the butt end of your stick down, explode through the ball, and immediately cradle and tuck your stick.
+Look to pass right away or run away from pressure
+Go for loose balls passionately and with attitude — a lot of times the player who wants a ball more gets it.
+Ground balls win games and will keep you on the field if you're good at it.
ATTACKMEN/MIDDIES Stick Protection
+Proper technique is essential!
+Keep your elbow locked in on your stick carrying arm while cradling mostly with your wrist.
+Your elbow should stay within 4 inches of your ribs. Don't swing your arm!
+Your free arm should be kept in a comfortable protective position.
+Try not to run on the same line or plane. Run in and out. Zig zag and make the defensman work!
+Keep your head up!!!!!!
There are several different types of shots. Here are a few tips for each one!
Time and Room Shots:
+Set a good base with your legs.
+Keep your hands near the bottom of your handle about 12 inches apart.
+Make sure your hands and elbows are high, and away from your body.
+Turn your shoulders and hips and push off with your legs — technique is very important.
On the Run Shots
+Hardest skill to learn in lacrosse! Work on all of the above skills and practice doing them full speed. +Turn your hips and uncork your body like a golfer!
+For extra control, keep your hands 12 inches apart, but slide them up about 10 inches from your butt end.
+Shoot high to low and off the goalies hip.
+Accuracy of shot is more important than speed in close.
+Use more wrist action in close.
+Make fakes with your shoulders rather than stick!
+Don't dodge with the intention of blowing by your defender. Your thought should be to make a move to get your hands free for a pass or shot, if only for a second or two.
+Execute all of your moves at FULL SPEED. If you go 100%, it's unbelievable how much harder you are to cover.
+Learn to play lefty and righty equally as well. Regardless of how good you are at a certain dodge, if you go the same way every time your defenseman will recognize this and you'll never get a step.
+Don't feel your job is done as an attackman when the goalie makes a save — ride hard until the ball is cleared through the midfield line.
+Be in shape
+Know how to break down and play "defense"
+Use the sideline to your advantage — force the clearing player in that direction
+Don't go for the clearing player's stick head — check his hands and always stay between him and and midline.
Want to take the WHIP out of your pocket?
+Tighten the pocket a little. It may be just too deep to release normally. Tighten the sidewalls first, if that doesn't work tighten the leathers.
+Loosen the shooting strings. If they are too tight your stick will hook every time.
+Try adding a third or fourth throw string.
If these tips don't work, contact your lacrosse specialty shop.
Stringing: Mesh vs. Traditional
Matt Millon always used a hard or durable mesh pocket because I feel it give me the hardest, quickest, and most accurate passes and shots. Many other players think traditional pockets are the way to go. The "best" for you is the one that you feel the most confident with. I recommend giving both styles a chance before you make a final decision.
Here are a few of the benefits of each:
+Mesh: Quick hard release; very consistent; easy to maintain; performs well in bad weather.