with J.B. Clarke, Limestone College Head Coach;
Back-to-Back NCAA D-II National Champions (2014-15);
2016 & 2012 NCAA D-II National Runners-Up;
3x Conference Carolinas Regular Season and Tournament Champions; over 190 career wins and has coached in the NCAA Final Four at Division I, II and III levels
Head Coach J.B. Clarke gives an all-access look at proven techniques and philosophies as his team prepare for another season. Coach Clarke's explanations will help you appreciate the reasons each drill and exercise is used in the practice. As coaches explain proper technique and their proven philosophies, you will understand what each drill will accomplish.
The first practice session begins on the field with partner passing. In an effort to challenge players, each partner in the passing lines has a ball, which is passed simultaneously to their partners. When both players are each passing a ball, more focus and concentration is required to correctly time throws between the players.
After a quick run and stretches, practice moves to team drills. Beginning with a 2-on-2 drill, two sets of players recover a ground ball. Defensively, the expectation is to double the ball. Offensively, players need to recover the ground ball and then move it effectively through the double coverage to score.
The 2-on-2 progresses to various man-up drills. Each drill focuses on a narrow set of specific conditions and includes a specific set of restrictions. This might include limiting the field size or limiting where players can shoot from or move to.
Watch as Coach Clarke and his staff construct a practice. The "all access" nature of this presentation is underscored by the candid discussions of the coaching staff. Not only does Coach Clarke discuss the mechanics of each drill, he also explains why it's being run and how it fits with the goals of the practice session. The goal is not to become better at performing the drill, but to become a better lacrosse player by applying learned skills to game situations.
Coach Clarke's commentary is as useful as watching the drills themselves. Viewers get a unique insight into not only the practice itself but the planning, coaching tips and constant assessment that is going on during the practice.
Moving into the weight room, Curt Lamb, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Limestone College, explains the use of multi-joint movements to make lacrosse players stronger and more powerful. Olympic motions as well as ground-based movement encompass the majority of the lifting exercises. All of the weight room exercises were chosen for their maximum impact specific to lacrosse players. As a whole, the exercises are meant to facilitate strength and conditioning while also helping to minimize injuries.
Practice two begins on the field with the Gaffney Cup, a small-sided game exercise. Designed to be a customizable scrimmage, the Gaffney Cup is primarily an offensive drill that encourages competitiveness. The rules can be changed to force certain behaviors such as insisting on a pass before shooting on net, not allowing the ball handler to run with the ball or it can be used as a reward to allow players to play longer. This is a fun exercise that lets players try things they may not feel comfortable trying in other practice settings. As a coaching tool, it gives coaches the opportunity to evaluate players in a less structured setting.
On-field practice continues with scoring drills. In the Georgetown Prep scoring drill, players shoot from three different positions at five-yard increments. This drill is used to encourage specific habits.
The Fire drill works on defensive communication. Working from various defensive formations, the goalie calls out "here's the ball" and after the slide, returning to the location called out by the goalie. There's enough instruction to clearly define the foundation of this defensive formation as well as the philosophy of how this drill fits into the game situation. Therefore, the fire drill can be tailored to suit the needs of any team playing at any level.
Coach Clarke shares a great template for a Clearing Stick Work drill. The goalie, who has the best view of the field, is responsible for communication. He directs two of the long pole defensemen to move the ball depending on how and where the attackmen are playing. Clearing the ball is covered in several different drills—sometimes the advantage is given to the clearing team, sometimes to the team that is riding. In every variation of the clearing drills shown, Coach Clarke's basic clearing philosophy is continuously reinforced.
This video set is detailed enough to be repeatedly studied and viewed. The drills coupled with the insight shown in this presentation can be applied as part or whole to help provide a solid foundation for any level of lacrosse. This series will improve your understanding of lacrosse and leave you better prepared as a coach or player.
284 minutes (3 DVDs). 2015.