Editor’s Note: There are lots of skills in lacrosse that need perfecting before you can play at the highest levels. Connor Martin is here to drop some knowledge on you, in his inimitable way, and each week he’ll answer some questions from Connor Wilson about this week’s tip. This week, we’re talking about the Dive Shot!
You scored your first (and I believe only?) NLL goal on a dive shot. How did you learn the move yourself? And what gave you the gumption to go out and try it in Colorado right away?
I had 2 goals that year!!! But yes, all I was any good at in Indoor was diving. They soon realized this and didn’t let me go inside on them. I started diving like this my senior year at Chaptown. I realized if you dive up field and away from your defender you don’t land in the crease and can still create enough space and angle for yourself to wrap your shot around the goalie. I was stoked. When I got to Colorado I played with Brian Langtry and he showed me the rest, and how to use it better in box.
The only reason I was on that Colorado roster was because I was willing to dive across the middle. So naturally the first thing I did was try and get dive goals. That one worked out and I got to fulfill a childhood dream of scoring a goal in the NLL and doing a back flip off the wall. And than I got cut the next year. Glad I went for it! #NoRegrets #YOLO
Why should the dive be brought back into the game at all levels?
Three reasons: 1st – because it’s rad. 2nd – because it’s a beautiful demonstration of putting it all on the line. 3rd – because the only person it really puts in danger is the person diving.
I think a lot of goalies would attest to maybe getting knocked over, but never getting hurt. It also gives goalies a chance to beef up and make plays. Try to dive on Adam Ghittelman, and he’ll clock you right as you jump. What’s more dangerous is trying to run upright through the middle and then getting crushed. That is pure insanity. I have never gotten hurt diving. I would actually argue you are in more control and safer when you decide to leave your feet and shoot near the net. Most defenders and goalies freeze and watch it happen as well as the fact you’re often leaping around or underneath defensive pressure.
LEGALIZE THE DIVE!
What does the dive shot do in terms of opening up other opportunities for the offensive player?
In the dive shot I show in the video, I am showing you that this is a great way to increase your angle when close to the goal in a pressure situation. Even if there isn’t anyone close to me you’ll see me leap across the goal to try and bury the biscuit around the goalies legs. With the dive shot I show in this video you see how you can leap up and out away from the crease and still get a high percentage good angled shot off. In my highlight reel you can see the first goal I score is this exact shot on a shorty. Doing this move on shortstick middies is where it’s at.
What can defenders do to defend against the dive shot? Who is the hardest MLL defender to beat for a diving goal?
There really isn’t too much defenders can do against the dive shot if you get a step on them. Over the head and trail checks are usually there because lots of guys hang their sticks when they sell out like this. Like most defensive situations, good body defense is your best bet to avoid guys getting beneath you or diving around you. BODY UP!
The hardest MLL defenders to beat on this are the quick ones or rangey guys who play body. Guys like Mitch Belisle are super hard to take inside. Lee Zink, best defender in the world and recent attendant to a Con Bro Chill show, is super hard to take inside as well. Really anyone with a long stick who plays good body, and you’re going to have a tough time getting a step.
Go out there and try it!