Lacrosse Tips & Tricks: Defensive Slides with Brodie Merrill

With two-time All American defenseman Brodie Merrill leading the way, learn about proper slide techniques and tips from one of the game’s most heralded defenders. Merrill walks through each scenario with you before putting on the pads and simulating the defensive techniques at full speed on the lacrosse field.

Sliding Overview

Although often overlooked, defensive slides are absolutely critical to a team’s overall success. Slides are all about communication, being on the same page as your teammates, being up-field from your opponent, having your head on a swivel, and having your stick and body in the right positions. Let’s run through a typical slide scenario.

If the ball is behind the goal with an attackman and you are guarding a man in the crease, you are the first slide. Therefore, you need to make sure your head is on a swivel and that you have your stick on your opponent lightly to get a feel of where they are.

If the defender has been beat, you need to slide and take a good angle, get your stick up-field from your man, break down, and get nice and low. At this point, you have two options. First, you could tell your fellow defender to stay and double the ball. The second option is to say, “Find One.” That defender will then retreat to the crease and bump that second slide back to his man, and you are all even again.

Check out some examples below of proper slides in action.

Sliding Adjacent

An adjacent slide usually occurs when there is no one in the crease. In this scenario, the nearest man must slide to the attacker that beats our defender.

In the video example below, Merrill is the “HOT” man. First, it’s key to be above GLE. Also, your fellow defender wants to be taking away the top side and force the offensive player inside.

Why inside? Well, if the player gets beats by the attackman, he will ONLY get beat into the help.  Therefore with the adjacent slide, you will have to slide cross-crease while your fellow midfielder is sliding down to help on the backside. Remember to lead with the stick and follow with the body. Get as low as you can and power through.

Take a look at a few examples in the video clip below.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Brodie Merrill’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Skills and Drills.” To check out more videos focusing on defense, click here.


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