Youth lacrosse in Shelburne, VT

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 ESSENTIAL LACROSSE SKILLS FOR BOYS AND HOW TO TEACH THEM

Note-  This page includes  essential lacrosse skills that boy players in Grades 3-8 should learn and a description of how to teach them.  This information should be supplemented by watching DVDS (see the DVD section for a list of DVDS that Shelburne Lacrosse owns).  It is also valuable to attend coaching clinics.  See the drills section for drills and games that can be used to teach these skills.  


INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE SKILLS

 
CRADLING AND PROTECTING THE BALL
 
Ready Position
 
1) The player holds the stick with one hand on the butt end of the stick and the other hand about mid-way up the stick.
 
2) The head of the stick is around the player’s ear (box position).
 
 
Two Handed Horizontal Cradle (the stick goes across the body)
 
1) Begin  with the stick horizontally across your body.
 
2) Grasp the stick with the fingers (not the palm) of the top hand about half way down the shaft. The bottom hand will be loosely wrapped around the bottom of the stick.   Rotate the wrist and forearm out and back rhythmically.
 
Note- This cradle  is used when a person with the ball is not covered.
 
 
Two Handed Vertical Cradle (the stick straight up and down)
 
1) Begin with the stick straight up and down (parallel to the body).
 
2) Grasp the stick with the fingers (not the palm) of the top hand about half way down the shaft. The bottom hand will be loosely wrapped around the bottom of the stick.   Rotate the wrist and forearm out and back rhythmically.  Instruct the player to cradle from ear to ear(the cradle will go from one side of the player’s head to the other).
 
3) Turn the shoulders to the side to protect the ball from the defender. (The player’s body is between his stick and the defender.)  Instruct the player to keep the head of the lacrosse stick below the player’s head.
 
Notes- This cradle is used when the ball carrier is covered by a defender and needs to protect the ball.
 
-Ball protection. - You always want to keep your body in between your stick and the defender (keep your stick to the outside).  If you are running to your right your stick is in your right hand (outside hand).  If you are running to your left your stick is in your left hand (outside hand). 
 
 
One Handed Cradle
 
1) Grasp the stick handle with the fingers of the top hand just below the head.  Position the thumb of the top hand in front of the handle and pointing up.
 
2) Position the head of the stick behind the head and shoulders, with the shaft perpendicular to the ground (straight up and down).
 
3) Rotate the shoulders to the side of the body to create a wide body surface for shielding the stick.
 
4) Rotate the wrist and forearm out and back rhythmically.  The elbow should be close to the body. This should be a crescent motion.  Instruct the player not to swing  his whole arm out. Instruct the player to cradle from ear to ear (the cradle will go from one side of the player’s head to the other).  Hold the off -stick arm out to protect the stick.  The thumb of the off-stick arm should be pointed down.
 
5) Do the cradling motion within the protected area formed by the outstretched off-stick arm.   Instruct the player to keep the head of the lacrosse stick below the player’s head.
 
Notes-
This cradle is used when there is extreme pressure being applied from a defender.
 
-Ball protection. - You always want to keep your body in between your stick and the defender (keep your stick to the outside).  If you are running to your right your stick is in your right hand (outside hand).  If you are running to your left your stick is in your left hand (outside hand). 
 

SWITCHING  THE STICK  IN  HANDS
 
Two Hands:
 
1) Hold the stick in the ready position
 
2) Take top hand off of the stick
 
3) At the same time loosen the bottom hand and let the stick slide down.  The bottom hand will now be the top hand. 
 
4) Place the other hand at the bottom.  The stick will now be on the opposite side.
 
Note- After players master the basic switch they will want to rotate their shoulders to the side while they are switching hands to protect the ball.
 
 
One Hand:
 
1) Hold the stick in one hand
 
2) Position the head of the stick behind the head and shoulders, with the shaft perpendicular to the ground
 
3) The  shoulders should be rotated to the side of the body to create a wide  body surface for shielding the stick.
 
4) Hold the off-hand up to the side to protect the ball
 
5) Rotate the shoulders to the opposite side.  After rotating, pass the stick from one hand to the other, placing the stick in the other hand.
 

THROWING

 
 
1 ) Hold stick in the ready position(bottom hand on the butt of the stick-the other hand half way down the stick- hands about 13 inches apart)  with the head of the stick to the side and  above the ear.
 
2) Turn so that the shoulders are perpendicular to the target, pointing the off-stick shoulder at the target.  Lift the stick so that the butt end of the stick is pointing at the target. The hands should be high  (up around eye level).   The hands should be out and away from the body (think of fitting a helmet between a players chest and the hands).  Point the front foot toward the target.
 
3) To initiate the throwing motion, throw/push with the top hand, pull with the bottom hand, and step with the front foot toward the target.
 
4) Throw the ball to the receiver’s stick side and to the head of his stick as he holds it in the ready position.
 
5) Follow through and carry the stick to a position with the head pointing at the target and the stick parallel to the ground.
 
Notes-
a) Tell players it is similar to throwing a baseball.
b) A player can choke up on the stick a little for better control (particularly non-dominant hand).
 
 

CATCHING

 
Catching On The Stick Side-
 
1) Place one hand on the butt of the stick and the other hand half way down the stick.
 
2) The player asking for the ball should give a target for the thrower by positioning the stick in or near the “box position.”  The head of the stick is at eye level slightly in front of the eyes.
 
3) Cushion /absorb the ball into the pocket by gently relaxing the top hand of the stick as the ball arrives (the head of the stick will go from out in front to  back to the ear).  At the same time twist the stick a half turn.
 
Notes-
A player should see the ball into his stick by following the path of the ball with his eyes until it goes into the stick’s pocket.
 
Remind the players not to swipe at the ball.
 
Catching On the Off- Stick Side
 
(To catch the ball on the off-stick side, the receiver pushes the stick across his face, similar to the motion of a car’s windshield wiper)
 
1 )Place one hand on the butt of the stick and the other hand half way down the stick.
 
2) Hold the head of the stick slightly  in front of the player’s eyes so the ball can be seen as it comes to the player.
 
3) Push the stick across the face (like a windshield wiper), catching the ball with the pocket facing the passer. Make sure player’s thumbs are facing down.
 
4) Continue to rotate the stick back to the ready position so that the stick is in a position to pass.
 
Catching Over the Shoulder
 
1) Look back over the shoulder that’s on the same side as the head of the stick. (Look over the right shoulder to receive a pass on the right side; turn the head and body to the left to receive a pass on the left side).
 
2) Hold the stick up and absorb the ball as it comes over the shoulder.  Keep the top hand and elbow away from the body.
 
Catching Low Passes (Both to the stick side and off-stick side)
 
1)A player will be in the same set up position as for a regular catch.
 
2)When a low pass comes (below a player’s waist) the player will swing his stick to an underhand position.
 
Note- If the low pass is to the player’s off-stick side, the player will use the same underhand motion and sweep down from the same side as a stick side low catch.  He will just continue the sweeping underhand motion to the off-stick side.
 
Roll Back
 
Overview-  A roll back is when a player catches a ball, rolls to his right or left while switching his stick in his hands (from righty to lefty or lefty to righty), and throws with the opposite hand he caught with).  The purpose of it is to protect the ball from a defender by keeping his body between the defender and the ball.
 
1)Player follows regular catching technique
 
2) After the player catches the ball, he rolls back and switches hands from righty to lefty.  Rolling back means they swing their right leg behind them, keeping their body between their stick and the defender.  The player now is in a position to throw lefty.
 
Note- Players can also catch lefty, roll back and switch hands to righty, and throw righty.
 
Quick Stick
 
1) Player has the stick in the box position
 
2)When the ball comes to the player he absorbs it and then quickly throws the ball  to another player or shoots it on goal. There is no cradle in between the catch and throw.  There is a catch and throw in one continuous motion.
 

GROUND BALLS/SCOOPING


 
1) Move the stick out to the side and almost parallel to the ground.  One hand should be at the throat of the stick and the other on the butt end.
 
2) Bend at the knees and waist while approaching the ball.
 
3) Lower the head of the stick and butt hand. The stick should be close to the ground (think of scraping the knuckles on the ground)
 
4) Push down with your butt hand and pick up with the other hand.  Pretend like you are shoveling snow.  Accelerate through the ball.
 
5) Bring the head of the stick to the ready position (by ear) and continue to run to an open
area.
 
Note-
It is important to bend at the knees and have one hand on the throat of the stick so that a player can protect the ball from an opponent by using the body as a shield.  This keeps a player from just reaching out with his stick to scoop and exposing his stick to opposing players.
 
Boxing Out the Opponent
 
Overview-  Boxing out is a technique used to get body position on an opponent so a player can scoop a ground ball.
 
1)Position yourself with your back to the opponent and the ball in front of you.
 
2)Bend at your knees so that you can be stable and can withstand body contact.
 
3)Keep your body in between your opponent and the ball.
 
4)Scoop up the ground ball and run away from pressure.
 
 
Scooping communication
 
Words to use to communicate:
 
“Man” –A teammate within 5 yards of the ball may choose to body check or shield an opponent from a loose ball He calls “Man” and clears the way for a teammate to scoop the ball.  He may make body contact only from the front side and within 5 yards of the ball.
 
“Ball” – The player going for the loose ball calls, “Ball,” to alert his teammates that he has an opportunity to scoop the ball.
 
“Release” – After a player has scooped the ball, he yells, “Release,” to alert teammates that he has the ball.  A technical foul of interference results if a player makes contact with an opponent after a teammate secures possession.
 
“Help” – Players off the ball move to receive a pass from the scooper.  An open player alerts the scooper of his position by calling,” Help.”
 

SHOOTING

 
Overhand Shot
 
1) Point the off-stick shoulder and foot toward the target.  Keep the hands about six inces above the shoulders.
 
2) Step with the front foot, cross over with the back foot, and step again with the front foot—a movement similar to throwing a ball for distance.  Get the body into the shot.
 
Note- This is the most precise shot.
 
Bounce Shot
 
1) Same technique as described for the overhand shot.
 
2) Bounce the ball on the ground in front of the goalie.  Bounce the ball not at the goalie’s feet but instead at the crease so that the goalie is forced to play a rebound.
 
Quick Stick
 
Same technique as the quick stick described in the catching section except that there is a shot on goal.
 
Ball Fake
 
1)  Do a shooting fake by twisting  your arms, shoulders, and head like you are taking a shot on goal.  (Do not bring the head of your stick forward and bring it back).  Do not release the ball.
 
2)Once you get the goalie to commit with the fake shoot the ball in an uncovered spot.
 
Note- The reason why you don’t want to bring your stick forward and back is because by the time you get your stick back to the shooting position the goalie will have recovered his position.  If you only fake with your body your stick will be in position for the shot right after the fake.
 
 

FEEDING

Basic Feed
 
Overview-
Feeding is stepping away from a defender to free the hands to pass the ball.
 
1) The hands must be high on the feed- above the head so that the trajectory of the ball remains high enough to catch by the cutter.
 
2)To get away from a defender a feeder can back pedal or veer off to the side.  Some people call the process where the feeder takes a few steps off to the side to get separation  from the defender “popping out.”
 
Note-
Players cannot feed teammates beyond a 7 or 8 yard  radius.  After this distance the defense will recover and knock the ball down.
 
 

DODGES

 
Inside and Out Dodge (Fake left and go right/fake right and go left)
 
Overview- A simple dodge to gain separation from the defender.
 
1) As the dodger approaches his defender, he steps to the inside (away from his stick side) , planting off of this foot.
 
2) Drive to the stick side
 
 
Inside and Out Dodge With Stick Fake
 
Overview-A stick fake added in to get the defender to commit
 
1) As the dodger approaches his defender, he steps to the inside (away from his stick side) , planting off of this foot.
 
2) At the same time as the dodger is  stepping to the inside, he brings his stick across his body and turns his shoulders to protect the ball (stick fake)
 
3) Bring the stick back across the body to the original side and drive to the stick side.
 
 
Face Dodge
 
Overview- A good dodge when the defender rushes at the dodger
 
1) Stick is in the ready position as if to pass or shoot.
 
2) Take a deceptive step with right foot to get the defender to commit (or fake a pass or shot).
 
3) As the defender tries to check the stick, bring the stick across the body from the ready position on the stick side to the opposite side of the body.
 
4) While bringing the stick across the body, turn the shoulders to protect the ball from the defender, then drive forward to the left (for right-handed players).
 
5) Keep two hands on the stick and continue to move away from the defender.
 
6) Bring the stick back to the ready position on the stick side.
 
Bull Dodge
 
Overview-A good dodge against a defender who is standing still
 
1) Turn shoulders so player’s back is to defender and stick is protected
 
2) Run past the defender
 
Note- The bull dodge can be done both with a one-handed or two-handed cradle.  In both cases the player’s arm should be up to help protect the ball.
 
 
Change of Direction Dodge
 
Overview- This is a good dodge for when the defender slows down the ball carrier or when the ball carrier runs out of field space and wants to cut back.
 
1) Drive diagonally across the field, plant the foot opposite the stick, and bend at the knees.  These steps should be executed when a defender slows down the ball carrier or the ball carrier exhausts field space.
 
2) Pivot away from the defender, keeping the stick protected by the upper body.  Keep the body between the defender and your stick (keep your back to the defender).
 
3) With the back to the defender and as the shoulders and the head start to move away from the original line of direction, pull the stick back with the top hand and switch hands.
 
4) Keep the stick completely shielded from the defender. (If you are doing the dodge from a one-handed cradle, bring the stick back to the other hand to keep it protected).
 
Notes- This dodge can be executed from a two handed cradle or a one-handed cradle.
 
-It is assumed that if you are running to your right your stick is in your right hand (outside hand).  If you are running to your left your stick is in your left hand (outside hand).  You always want to keep your body in between your stick and the defender.
 
Split Dodge
 
Overview- This is a good dodge for when a player wants to switch the stick from one side to the other. The player is facing the defender so he can see his opponents and his teammates.
 
1) If stick is in the  right hand, step with the right foot (stick side foot)  to the right and bend the knees (this is called a deceptive hop).   Turn shoulders to the right to protect the ball.
 
2) Step to the left with the left foot and at the same time bring the stick across the front of the body, switching the stick from the right hand to the left.  Turn shoulders to the left to protect the ball.
 
3) Accelerate toward the goal.
 
Notes- As the player is switching hands the stick should come down below the player’s chin to protect the ball.
The dodge can also be done starting with the stick in the left hand.
The dodge can also be done going from a two handed cradle to a one handed cradle.
 
Roll Dodge
 
Overview- This dodge is most effective when a defender over commits and is slightly out of position.
 
1)Run at the defender.  Plant your foot in between the defender’s legs as close to the defender as possible.  If stick is in the right hand, step with the left foot (non-stick side foot) with the toe pointing straight ahead. 
 
2) Pivot on the left foot 180 degrees with the player’s back to the defender.  Swing the right foot around.  (The player will be pivoting on the defender’s right side).
 
3) While pivoting switch the stick from the right  handed cradle to a left handed cradle.
 
4) Step on the right foot and continue to run past the defender.
 
Notes- If the starting position of the stick is in the left hand, reverse the above steps.
 
-Remind players to plant hard and pivot as they are rolling, not to pirouette.
 
-By stepping with your non-stick side foot you are keeping your body in between your stick and the defender.
 
 
Z Dodge
 
Overview- This dodge is useful when a player wants to create some space to pass or shoot.
 
1) Hold the stick in a one handed or two handed cradle.  Drive directly at the defender.  As you drive at the defender he will most likely back away.
 
2) When you are near the defender cut sharply to  the side at a 45 degree angle. Take a few steps to your right (or left if the stick is in the left hand).  This move should create space between you and the defender. 
 
3) If the defender comes at you, drive up field past the defender.
 
Notes- This dodge looks like a Z.  Remind the players to turn their shoulders to protect the ball. When the player cuts to the side they can also get their hands in the feeding position to bait the defender into lunging at them.  At this point they would run past the defender.
 
Quick Inside Roll
 
Overview-   This dodge is started from behind the goal and is useful for getting  to the goal.
 
1)Start behind the goal.  A  right-handed player would run out to the right of the goal (looking from behind the goal) and stop  around 4 yards up from the goal post and four yards out to the side.   This spot is called  the four and four (it is assumed that a defender would be covering this player).
 
2)The player will plant his left foot and immediately pivot off of  his left foot and go to goal.
 
3)The player will protect his stick by keeping it in front of his body and go for a shot.
 
Notes- The player will not switch his stick in his hands.  The player will position his body as he rolls to protect his stick from the defender.  Reverse the process when coming out from the left side of the goal.  This dodge is effective because defenders are expecting the player to keep curling to towards the goal and not stop and cut back.
 
Power Inside Roll
 
Same steps as the quick inside roll except when the player gets to the four and four he stops and waits to feel pressure on his body from the  defender.  At this point he rolls to the inside.
 
 
Question Mark
 
Overview-   This dodge is started from behind the goal and is useful for getting  a shot on goal.
 
1)Start behind the goal.  A  right-handed player would run out to the right of the goal (looking from behind the goal) to a point  around 4 yards up from the goal post and four yards out to the side.   This spot is called  the four and four (it is assumed that a defender would be covering this player).
 
2) The player then keeps running and curls  to the outside (towards the sideline), switching his stick from the right hand to left.
 
3)The player continues the curl back towards the goal (about 2-4 steps) and takes a shot on goal.  The dodge takes the shape of a question mark.
 
Note- Reverse the process for a question mark dodge to the left side of the goal.
 
 
Rocker Dodge
 
Overview-   This dodge is started from behind the goal and is useful for getting  to the goal.
 
1)Start behind the goal.  A  right-handed player would run out to the right of the goal (looking from behind the goal) to  around 4 yards up from the goal post and four yards out to the side.   This spot is called  the four and four (it is assumed that a defender would be covering this player).
 
2)At around the four and four the player momentarily stops and rocks.  (Twists his head and shoulders to the inside  like he is going to inside roll.  His legs do not move).
 
3)The player  keeps curling, however, towards the goal and takes a shot.
 
Note- Reverse the process for a rocker dodge to the left side of the goal.
 
 
Pump Fake
 
Overview- This is a good dodge if you receive a pass from another player and a defender comes at you.
 
1) Face the defender.  Have your arms up in the air in the shooting position with the head of the stick behind you. 
 
2) Do a shooting fake by twisting  your arms, shoulders, and head like you are taking a shot on goal. At the same time step forward with your foot as if you were shooting.  (Do not bring the head of your stick forward and bring it back.)   This should momentarily freeze the defender.
 
3)Run around to the outside of the defender.
 
Circle Dodge
 
Overview-  This is a combination dodge.
 
1)Perform a face dodge on the defender.  Make sure you only take one step forward with your right foot.  The defender will most likely  step towards you.
 
2)Spin your left leg behind you and follow with your body.  Your body will spin totally around and you will now be facing  forward.  Do not switch hands with your stick.  Your body will protect your stick. 
 
3)Run past the defender.
 
Note- This dodge is similar to a roll dodge.  Use similar spacing to the spacing used in a roll dodge.
 
 

FACE OFF

 
Clamp and Step (basic face off technique).
 
Before the whistle:
 
1) Assume a low, crouched position with the feet shoulder- width apart  and weight evenly distributed.
 
2) Place the right hand at the top of the shaft of the stick, with the palm facing forward and the left hand shoulder-width from the top hand.  Rest both hands on the ground, with the handle of the stick parallel to the midfield line.
 
3) Keep the stick one inch from the ball on the ground, being sure to match the back of the pocket with opponent’s.
 
4) Keep both hands and both feet to the left of the throat of the stick.
 
When the umpire sounds the whistle:
 
5) Stay low and step to the head of the stick.  Clamp down over the ball with the top hand, and drive into the opponent with the right shoulder.  At the same time, pull back with the left hand toward the left knee.  Coordinate all movements to occur simultaneously.
 
6) Try to get the head and upper body over the ball and pivot the hips into the opponent, positioning the body between the ball and the opponent.
 
7) Direct the ball out to an area or to   a wing player.
 
Rake
 
1) Same set up position as for the clamp.
 
2)At the whistle, push forward with the stick, raking the ball with the back of your pocket out to the side.  (You do not clamp down with your stick.)
 
3) If the ball  is close to you, scoop it up yourself.  You can also use more force and rake the ball out to a teammate.
 
Jump or (Top)
 
1) Same set up position as for the clamp.
 
2) At the whistle, jump over the ball with your stick and pull the ball between your legs.
 
 

PLAYING WITHOUT THE BALL

 
Overview-
Even when an offensive player does not have the ball, he must keep moving to make it more difficult for the defense to cover him. A player will want to cut to receive a feed from a teammate or to move a defender away from a teammate.
 
Cutting
 
1) Cut (run) to the ball carrier at full speed with the stick in the ready position.  The best time to cut is when the defender is ball watching.
 
2) Call, “help” to get the feeder’s attention.
 
3) Time the cut.  Make eye contact with the feeder, and cut when he is ready to pass the ball.
 
4) Discontinue the cut and round back to the original position if a pass isn’t received.  Do not crowd the feeder’s space by moving into the feeder’s area with the defender.
 
Cutting Terms-
 
Frontside Cut- Cutting in front of a defender.  This is a good cut to do when the defender is
looking  behind.
 
Backside Cut (also known as the Backdoor Cut)- Cutting behind a defender.  If a defender’s attention is focused in front of himself or to the side this is a good time to cut behind.
 
Clear Out Cut- Run away from your teammate who has the ball to create space for him
 
V-Cut
 
Overview- (To get separation from a defender who is covering a player tightly, use the V Cut)
 
1) A player being blanketed by the defender can lose him by making a run to the goal.
 
2) Abruptly cut back in the direction you started from (it looks like a V)
 
Note-
The defender should be caught unaware by the quick cut and the cut should be good for at least 3 yards of separation.  Young players tend to run in circles to get open, tiring themselves out while running again and again into their defenders.  The V cut is a purposeful move  that they can use to get open when needed.
 
Note-
The V cut can also be used if the defender is not right on the player.  The player looking to get open for a pass will run into the defender’s space and make it look like he is going a certain direction and then cut away from the defender.
 
Pick
 
(This move is positioning your body to block or impede an opponent’s movement or path to free up a teammate for a cut to a feeder or a shot.  The ball carrier, pick man, and cutter work together to create a scoring opportunity)
 
1 )The pick man looks for a player he can set a pick for.
 
2)The pick man runs to that player and stands motionless with his feet planted in the path of the defender.
 
3) The player who the pick has been set for runs past the defender and pick man, looking for a feed from the player with the ball.
 
Pick and Roll
 
1) Set a pick as described above.
 
2) Roll (or spin) off to open space for a return pass from the player you set a pick for.
 
Give and Go
 
1) Pass to an open player.
 
2) Run into open space for a return pass.
 
 

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE SKILLS

 
DEFENSIVE STANCE AND FOOTWORK
 
Stance
 
Overview-  The defender’s stick position keeps the ball carrier at least a stick length away from him.  This space, or cushion, between the ball carrier and the defender makes it easier for the defender to react to the ball carrier’s dodges or change of direction. 
 
1) Keep the feet shoulder width apart
 
2) Bend the knees and lower the center of gravity
 
3) Bend forward slightly at the waist.  The weight of the head and shoulders stays over the feet.
 
4) Hold the stick parallel to the ground directly in front of the body (at the height of the numbers of the ball carrier’s jersey).
 
Note- Players should be instructed to stay between the offensive player and the goal.
 
Shuffle
 
1) When the ball carrier is moving slowly, the defender shuffles his feet and keeps his shoulders square to the ball carrier.
 
Running Hip to Hip and Crossover Step
 
1) When the ball carrier runs faster, the defender turns and runs hip to hip with him.  The defender establishes a hip to hip position with a crossover step.  In a crossover step a defender:
 
a) Pushes off the foot closest to the ball carrier
 
b) Brings his back foot across the front of his body, turns his hips, and runs
 
Drop Step
 
1) When the ball carrier runs at the defender, the defender uses a drop step. For a drop step he:
 
a) Steps back with the leg closest to the ball carrier and opens his hips  in that direction
 
b) Shuffles or runs hip to hip with the ball carrier, depending on the ball carrier’s speed
 
 

 CHECKS, HOLDS, AND SLIDES

 
Poke Check
 
1) Assume the basic defensive stance and position.
 
2) With the back hand, push the stick through the thumb and forefinger of the top hand.  (This motion is like the motion used to shoot pool).
 
3) Keep the body a stick’s length away from the ball carrier to create a cushion between the ball carrier and the defender.
 
4) Aim to poke at the ball carrier’s bottom hand when he has two hands on his stick.  Aim across the ball carrier’s numbers to the head of the stick when he has one hand on the stick. 
 
5) Do not extend the feet or upper body.  Stepping in toward the ball carrier gives him a chance to dodge the defender.
 
Note-Explain that a poke check can be used to disrupt a person with the ball to keep him from making a good pass or shot.
 
 
Slap Check
 
Overview-
In the slap check the defender brings the head of his stick from in front of the ball carrier back into the ball carrier’s stick hand and glove.  This is a good check to disrupt an opponent’s pass or shot.
 
1) Assume the defensive ready position and hold the stick out in front of the ball carrier at a 45 –degree angle.
 
2) Time the delivery of the slap check to coincide with a pass or a shot attempt. 
 
3) As the ball carrier places two hands on the stick in preparation for a pass or shot, bring the head of the stick down on his bottom hand.
Notes-
Explain that because a slap check is a quick forceful check, a defender should keep his stick no more than 4 to 6 inches away from his opponent’s stick or glove.
 
Explain the slashing penalty and what part of an opponent a player cannot hit.
 
Lift Check
 
1) Get your stick underneath an opponent’s hands and lift his gloves or elbows straight up, making it so they can’t pass or shoot.
 
One-handed Wrap Check
 
1)This check is a one-handed check against an offensive player who has his back to the defender.  It is done by “squaring up”--- positioning yourself directly behind the opponent--- and wrapping your stick and arm around the defender in an attempt to hit his stick.
 
Note- A defender must be careful maintain the wrapped position or he will be called for holding.  It will also be holding if the defender uses his free hand against the offensive player’s body.
 
Forearm Hold
 
Overview- Holds are used to force a ball carrier away from the goal area
 
A right-handed defender plays a right-handed ball carrier this way:
 
1)Hold the right arm with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
 
2)Establish a wide base of support.  Bend at the knees.
 
3)Hold the stick at chest level, parallel to the ground.
 
4)Apply pressure to the ball carrier’s upfield  shoulder side at a point below the armpit.  Keep space between the forearm and the chest.
 
5)Use steady pressure to prevent the ball carrier from moving to the goal.  Separate from the ball carrier when he moves out of the hole area.
 
Note- If the ball carrier is moving you must move with him to keep from getting a penalty.
 
Fist Hold
 
A right –handed defender plays a left-handed ball carrier this way:
 
1) Extend  the hands completely away from the body as the defender prepares to apply pressure to the ball carrier.  Slide the hands together by bringing the top hand down to meet the bottom hand.
 
2)Establish a wide base of support.  Bend at the knees.
 
 3)Hold the stick at waist level, parallel to the ground.
 
4)Apply pressure to the ball carrier’s upfield shoulder side at a point below the armpit, applying pressure with the fists.  Keep the arms fully extended to keep a cushion between the defender and the ball carrier.
 
5)Move away from the ball carrier after the defender has pressured him away from the goal.
 
Note- For a defender, reverse the holds for a lefty defender.
 
Slide
 
1) If an opponent with the ball beats another defenseman, move over to cover the ball carrier.
 
2) If another defenseman slides to the ball carrier, you may need to move to cover an uncovered opponent.
 

DEFENSIVE COMMUNICATION

Overview-
The most important aspect of team defense is good communication between defenders about where the ball is on the field, who is guarding the ball, who needs help when beaten by an attacking player, and who goes to help that beaten defender.   The most basic rule of defense is to stay between your man and the goal and at the same time to see the ball.  The most vital aspect of functioning as a team will be the act of communicating with each other so that you can truly function as a team.
 
Key defensive terms-
 
-“I’ve got ball!” or “ball.” – The defensive player guarding the ball should yell this to let his teammates know that he is covering the most dangerous player.  It also lets his teammates know where the ball is on the field. 
 
-“I’ve got your help” – Defenders next to the ball carrier may also yell this to communicate to the defender guarding the ball carrier that this defender has help should his attacker try to beat him.
-‘I’ve got two!” – A defender who finds himself guarding two players  should yell this to communicate that he needs another defender to come help him to pick one player up.
 
-“Help!” – A defender who has been beaten by his attacking opponent should yell this to let his teammates know that he has been beaten and needs someone to pick this player up until he can recover.
 
-“I’m One!” – The defender closest to the ball carrier should yell this to let his teammates know that he will be the first to slide towards the ball carrier should the ball carrier drive towards the goal (see the next defensive concept for an explanation of sliding).  This player may also yell – “I’ve got you back,” which means he will help if the defender gets beaten or if another teammate has to slide.
 
-‘I’m two” – The second defender to slide after the first defender who has called ‘I’m one” should yell “I’m two!” so his teammates know that he will be the second defender to slide to cover the ball carrier driving towards the goal.
 
-“I’ve got your help” – Defenders next to the ball carrier may also yell this to communicate to the defender guarding the ball carrier that this defender has help should his attacker try to beat him.
 
-Slide!” – If the defender guarding the ball carrier does need help he can also yell this to let the adjacent defenders know they need to slide to cover the ball carrier.
 
-“Switch” – To maintain balanced coverage, the defender without the ball calls for a switch of man-on-man coverage.