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In this week’s lacrosse player development feature, we’ll focus on specific defensive techniques and strategies when defending against shots on goal. With Virginia head coach Dom Starsia leading the way, you’ll learn about proper stance and technique before getting an understanding of key strategies to help you be successful in these frequent defensive situations. Coach Starsia dishes the same advice to youth players and college athletes alike, so see how many tips you can pick up and implement with your team on the lacrosse field this season.
During 1-on-1 play when defending against shots on goal, the goal for the defender is to create unsettled situations. Unfortunately, with their back to the goal, they have a natural disadvantage. Meanwhile, an attackman knows exactly where he’s going, so the defender must react to that. Therefore, it’s crucial that defensemen have an opportunity to make up for those disadvantages. Here’s how they can close the gap.
First, it’s critical that a defender is always maintaining proper stance. His feet should be shoulder-width apart, knees are bent and one foot should drop back a little bit behind the other. In other words, players should be in a drop-step mode, which will give them some ground they can make up.
Also, defenders should remain low, never up high or straight up. Remember, you almost can’t be too low. Staying low gives you the chance to change direction and drop step quickly in order to gain an advantage.
Meanwhile, keep the head of the stick pointed at the offensive player. The distance between the head of the stick and your body is called the cushion. This is the margin of error in this situation. With that cushion, a defender has the chance to regain territory and gain an advantage.
With this technique, once an offensive player makes his move, the defender should poke him with his stick and then drop step. Also, it’s important to remember when approaching the goal line extended that the onus is on the defender to get above the GLE about 2-3 yards – and get there before his man does. Here, the defender must get his hands on the offensive player and ride him out and away from the goal. Defenders should not shy away from contact. Get your hands on your opponent and push him into a position where he can’t attack the goal or score.
In the situation where you get beat, try to get your stick on the inside of your opponent. If a player starts to shoot, you can still put your stick in a position to prevent the shot or deflect it. Remember to make contact below the GLE. If the offensive player gets there first, he has a major advantage on the defender.
The follow segments can be seen in their entirety on the Championship Productions’ DVD “Developing the Dominating Individual Defender” with Dom Starsia. Check out more defense-oriented videos in our extensive catalog by clicking here.
In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Charlottesville, Virginia for an exclusive look inside of a Virginia men’s lacrosse practice. Watch as head coach Dom Starsia runs through a variety of clearing situations with his squad and dishes out advice to players regarding movements, positioning and overall strategy.
This unique perspective gives coaches and players at every level a chance to see how a top college program works on their clearing and transition areas. Coaches can also pick up tips, approaches and overall guidance that can be used for their own practices, like how to simulate different clearing situations, from a save to a turnover or a loose ball.
In this instance, the offense works on moving the ball around the horn and implements different plays each segment. On each simulation, Starsia dictates a particular change of possession, like a loose ball, goalie save or turnover. The defense then works on clearing the ball and making a clean transition up the field in order to set up the offense on the other end.
The Cavaliers went 16-2 overall in 2010 and reached the NCAA semifinals before falling to eventual champion Duke by a score of 14-13. The squad is a title contender once again in 2011 and faces a tough schedule that features eight teams that saw postseason action last year.
This behind the scenes look is featured on the Championship Productions DVD “All-Access Virgina Lacrosse Practice with Dom Starsia.” Be sure to check out our entire All-Access catalog, which also features Duke, Bryant, Navy and Notre Dame.
The USILA Division I Men’s Coaches Poll was recently released. The University of Virginia, coached by Dominic Starsia, owns a 14-1 record and is ranked #1. They hold 8 first place votes while #2 Syracuse holds one first place vote. The complete rankings are below. Many coaches from the ranked programs have produced instructional lacrosse DVDs with Championship Productions:
1. Virginia (Coached by Dominic Starsia)
3. Maryland (Coached by Dave Cottle)
4. North Carolina
5. Duke (Coached by John Danowski)
8. Stony Brook
9. Denver (Coached by Bill Tierney)
11. Loyola (Md.)
14. Johns Hopkins (Coached by Dave Pietramala and Bobby Benson)
19. Brown (Coached by Lars Tiffany)
20. Notre Dame (Coached by Kevin Corrigan)
We have recently released a new lacrosse DVD titled All Access Virginia Lacrosse Practice with Dom Starsia. Dominic Starsia, the Men’s Head Lacrosse Coach at the University of Virginia, offers over 4 hours of all access footage. This DVD series will allow you to learn how the #1 team in the nation practices each and every day!
Championship Productions has produced several lacrosse DVDs featuring coaches ranked in the USILA Division I Men’s Coaches’ Poll. The latest Top 25 was released on 3/7/2010 and features:
1. Virginia (Coached by Dominic Starsia)
3. Notre Dame (Coached by Kevin Corrigan)
4. North Carolina
5. Maryland (Coached by Dave Cottle)
7. Johns Hopkins (Coached by Dave Pietramala and Bobby Benson)
9. Loyola (MD)
10. Duke (Coached by John Danowski)
15. Stony Brook
18. Navy (Coached by Richie Meade)