Swank have you ever played true canadian based box lacrosse? Not the shitty American version you can find at your local indoor hockey or soccer arena.
The reason top coaches in the NCAA are picking up canadians is because of the intensity level at which they play the game. Most field players can not understand this level of play and have a hard time creating the sense of urgency that is needed to play the game the right way.
Why is team canada such a force in field and box lacrosse world games?
Box lacrosse defense requires you to do all the things stated above but with no time to think or set up for it. You do not have time to adjust your spacing or turn your body to face your defender. You must constantly be pressuring the ball with cross checks and slap checks on the hands. You must be able to properly communicate through a pick and roll and stop your offensive player from cutting through the middle because if he gets to the middle he’s probably getting the ball regardless of the space between you and him.
When you give a box defender a 6 foot pole and a slower pace to defend at he will float around the field and do his job effortlessly.
Where the canadians fail is where we as Americans exceed. They are not athletes nor do the majority of them follow our training methods. This is why we may not be seeing as many canadian defenders in NCAA lacrosse yet. Most coaches want big, athletic defenders that move well.
In order for us as Americans to catch up with canadians we must understand and be able to play both versions of the game.
Swank moral of this long comment is DON”T KNOCK BOX WITHOUT PLAYING IT FIRST.
This is a simple progression that will happen its just a matter of time.
With that said, using the short stick and playing on the other side of the field has given me a little more of an inside on what an attackman will be reading and how the field looks to an O guy. Confidence has improved with the stick, I believe that I’ve always had decent stick skills but I have seen a major improvement in my ability to move the ball with a pole.
Interesting argument and a good read for a player and future coach. Thanks]]>
Yes, the most basic way to teach defensive positioning is to play without a stick. Think of this as learning the alphabet and basic sentence structure in English. This enables you to have some ability to communicate your ideas much in the same way playing defense without your stick will teach you the basics of footwork.
However, once you master the basics of the language, you seek to express your thoughts in more nuanced and refined way. That means learning how to create sentences that flow together with multiple clauses and how to make use of sophisticated literary tools. Similarly, once you have learned the basics of defensive footwork, you must learn the more nuanced approach to take with your feet when playing 1 v 1 defense. To be an excellent defender, you need to learn to identify when to adjust your spacing as an on-ball defender. For example, when defending a ballcarrier at X, it is essential that you be able to read his intentions and adjust your spacing accordingly. If he is carrying behind but not driving the goal, you are best off with some separation between yourself and the ballcarrier to account for his ability to change direction on you. It is the cushion that provides you with the ability to recover when he changes direction. When the ballcarrier drives towards GLE, you are forced to close space and jam the ballcarrier to keep him from getting topside on you. When in the dodge you actually close and do this depends on the individual matchup in terms of tendencies as well as size and strength.
Great defensemen do not merely keep their men from getting to the goal. They are disruptive to an offense, harassing a feeder, stymieing a dodger and doing whatever they can to take the initiative away from the offense. You want the offense to adjust to your presence, not the other way around. This doesn’t mean throwing crazy checks or putting the ball on the ground every two seconds but it does mean learning some very subtle techniques that can be the difference between being a good defenseman and an exceptional one. It is my belief that those techniques are best learned by playing as much defense as you can with your pole, and having someone who is able to give you feedback on those performances and help you to avoid the bad habits that plague a lot of young defensemen. You can learn some of the basics of defense from box (though they can also be learned from field), but if you wish to be a refined defender, you will need to log countless hours playing 1 v 1 defense with a longpole. The nuanced nature of defending with a longstick necessitates it. The pole is not there to help you with your positioning or footwork. It is there as a part of it, and your footwork and position should reflect the fact that you have such an advantage in stick length. If you approach 1 v 1 defense with a pole the same way you approach 1 v 1 defense with a short stick, you are wasting the benefits of having that extra length.
Connor can vouch for my credentials, particularly in this area. That should be good enough for you.]]>
There is probably a good reason as to why so many people think that your wrong. Why haven’t you responded yet to Elliottbender? He seems to know where it’s at. I can’t wait to see some more bitchy responses. Think before you reply.]]>
I’m waiting for an unintelligent response about how I’m a “shitty defender” or how much more knowledgeable about lacrosse you are than me.
While your at it let’s see some credentials to back up your larger than life ego.
I don’t care what you did in high school lacrosse. Might as well brag about your accomplishments in youth lacrosse for all the weight it carries.]]>
I think Dave Y made some excellent points, things I hadn’t thought of. familiarity with creating offensive transition situations would definitely be a benefit of playing box for a pole because you don’t get those opportunities as much in field.
As far I’m concerned, the “ask a pro” argument is a non-starter. Pro lacrosse players are the elite of elite in our game. To use their experiences as typical of the sport is simply inaccurate.]]>