12 Commandments of Lacrosse

These are the 12 Lacrosse Commandments that every player should follow.

  1. You should be able to catch, throw and shoot both left-handed and right-handed.
  2. The more time you spend playing lacrosse with your stick perpendicular to the ground (as opposed to parallel to the ground), the better player you will become. This allows the player to protect the full length of his stick with his body.
  3. Do not hold the ball in your stick. The ball can be passed over a distance at speeds faster than anyone can run. Defensive pressure becomes far less of an irritation when a player knows how to move the ball with purpose.
  4. Move the ball immediately upon gaining possession of a loose ball (communication is a must). If your team picked up a loose ball, it can capitalize on the opponent's misalignment only if it can move the ball before the opponent has time to adjust.
  5. You should learn how to move without the ball. Every lacrosse player plays a majority of the time without the ball. You must maximize your time when off ball so that you put yourself in a position to do something effective when gaining possession.
  6. You must move to the ball. This is particularly true when a player is (1) open on the backside (2) not being watched by a defenseman in front of him and (3) receiving a pass to shoot.
  7. Look to a spot behind the goalie when you shoot. A spot behind the goalie is a spot out of the goalie′s momentum.
  8. Shoot with a quick release.
  9. Defense must have stick skills as good or better than both attackmen and midfielders. Defensemen must be able to clear the ball effectively to a midfielder. Broken clears put teams in their most vulnerable position possible. The only way to ensure that clears do not fail is to make sure the ball does not go on the ground. That requires flawless throwing, catching and communication.
  10. Defenders must play defense like boxers box. Boxers never stand still with reference to their opponent. They use their footwork to gain position and advantage. Neither do they leave their arm extended after throwing a punch. A defender should not leave his stick or his opponent′s hip. He must learn to move, check, and reload to repeat the process.
  11. Defenders do not have to take the ball away to play good defense. The purpose of all defense is to reduce the opponent's′ scoring. That is accomplished by focusing on four factors: (1) prevent high percentage shots, (2) hinder passing that allows opponents into the prime shooting area, (3) gain possession of loose balls, and (4) begin the transition game. The attributes that every defender must develop are footwork, stickwork and awareness.
  12. Players should emphasize constant foot motion. If a player is in motion when catching he/she will be able to increase speed much more rapidly upon gaining posession. Take note during a good college game, you will observe this in action. Similarly this holds true for passing.
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