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Archives by Tag 'John Danowski'

Increase Speed and Agility using This Strength & Conditioning Exercise!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Duke University Men’s Lacrosse coaching staff alongside John Danowski provide you with a lateral bound exercise that helps build strength in a player’s hip and leg muscles so they can be quicker and more explosive while changing direction on the field. The first drill is a basic lateral bound. While the following drill involves a lateral bound with a 45 degree drop step. This is a great exercise for players to develop the ability to change directions rapidly, powerfully, and keep their body under control. 

Lateral Bounds

Athlete Movements:

With multiple lines of players facing the length of the field, the first players will face toward a sideline and squat down. From that position, they will leap to their side (away from their lines), land, and return to the squatting position. They will continue this for the length of 10 to 15 yards and the next set of players will go.

In the 2nd part of this clip, the first set of player will be now facing their own lines in the same squatting position. They will first open their hips to their right side, leap back at 45 degrees, land, and return to squatting position. They will then open up to their left side now and do the same. They will do this for 10 to 15 yards and the next set of players will go.

Teaching Points:

  • In the squat position at the start of each drill, be sure that players keep the hands and the elbows tight to their chest
  • Challenge your athletes with the technique of the drills as well their own endurance.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Speed, Agility & Strength Training for Championship Lacrosse.” View the latest video selections on Skill Development.




Help Your Players Become a More Complete Offensive Force!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

John Danowski, Duke University Head Lacrosse Coach, teaches the basic fundamentals and mechanics required for proper shooting. To help your players become more complete shooters, Coach Danowski explains that good shooting technique is a total body process that utilizes proper foot placement, the legs, core, upper body, and hands/wrists.

Shooting Basics

How it Works: The drill begins with the players in two lines a few yards wide of the pipes and about even with the top of the crease. One line feeds the other, a player catches the ball, gets his hands back (kisses his shoulder), and then shoots at the goal. This drill is about repetition and reinforcing proper technique.

Drill Tips: Younger players may need to be reminded to keep their back hand above the height of the front hand in order to keep the ball in the pocket as they shoot.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Technique & Drills for Championship Lacrosse.” View the latest video selections on Shooting Drills.




Create Space to Find the Open Shot!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

John Danowski, Duke University Head Lacrosse Coach, reinforces the need for players to learn to shoot on the run. The technique that he teaches is designed to create separation between the shooter and the defender, in order to get off a shot.

Shooting on the Run

How it Works: The drill begins with players approximately 5-7 yards above GLE. A player will pick up a ball and take only a few steps before jumping off their inside foot and shooting. Some might call the movement a “hitch” that is used to create separation from the defender.

Drill Tips: In this drill, continue to reinforce good shooting techniques that include getting the hands back and kissing the shoulder. Note that the shooters are aiming for the back third of the goal (or inside the far pipe), because a goalie would be protecting the near pipe.

The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Shooting Technique & Drills for Championship Lacrosse.” To view the latest video selections on Skill Development, CLICK HERE.




Improve Your Transition Game with John Danowski’s Clearing Exercises

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Get a glimpse of John Danowski’s clearing system in this segment. The 2x NCAA Championship coach provides you with drills that focus on basics in a live clearing situation. Although appearing to be very basic, these drills teach numerous skills that can lead to winning at any level.

Live Clearing Exercises

Player Movements: In the first part, the defense is breaking out or “banana cutting” to receive a pass. In the attack segment of this drill, the ball side attackman learns the skill of V cutting and pulling the defenseman AWAY from the area which the ball is coming toward. Move the X attack to the ball, as opposed to standing still and waiting for a pass. A quick pass attacking the backside completes the segment.

Drill Essentials:  Ensure plenty of lacrosse balls are available for younger and lower skilled players. Using repetitions, muscle memory is created and lacrosse IQ is increased.

Drill Tips: Keys to observe are the goalies counting 3 seconds, the way the long sticks break out, watching the ball the whole way and the backpedal at the restraining line to “front” the ball. Also note the tempo of the goalie’s passes, which are hard low arc passes.

Check out an additional clip from the Championship Productions’ DVD “Mastering the Clearing Game.” If you’re interested in more Transition drills, click here.




6 Must-Have Components for an Effective Clearing Game

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In this month’s team concepts feature, Duke men’s lacrosse coach John Danowski lays out his plan for an effective clearing game. Read along as the two-time NCAA champion coach covers the essential rules and philosophies that the Blue Devils implement to perform successful ball transition. 

Two Clearing Rules to ALWAYS Keep in Mind

In the live clearing game, which is any time the ball is in play, the rules say we have 30 seconds to clear the ball and get the ball into our offensive box.

Rule No. 1 – So if we have 30 seconds, this tells us that we need to be poised and relaxed in the defensive end when clearing the ball.

Rule No. 2 – On the defensive half of the field, we have 7 players to clear the ball and the opponent has 6 to ride. Therefore, we have an extra man. Spacing becomes really important now.

4 More Essential Components of Clearing

Quick Strike – Any time we make a save or pick up a ground ball, our first priority is “Quick Strike” (AKA fast break or let’s get the ball out of here). Here we must become proficient at looking up the field, getting the ball moving, and getting the ball to streaking teammates heading up the field.

Maverick Clearing – If there are no quick strike opportunities, then what? Coach Danowski teaches the middies to come back to the ball. We call this “Maverick Clearing.” Always look to break back to the ball, demand the ball, catch it, and turn to the outside.

Determining Clears to Use – Next, if we cannot break back to the ball, what clear is appropriate for our opponent’s ride then? What pressure is our opponent giving us? Well, this is where it becomes important to read the opponent and then be able to react.

For instance, is it full field pressure you’re up against? Three-quarter field pressure? No pressure at all? You must have an answer to whatever pressure you see out there. But no matter what the opponent is doing, the fundamentals of clearing must exist.

Common Principles of Clearing – Finally, what are the common principles or fundamentals of clearing? Coach Danowski preaches this over and over again in practice.

First, it’s about spacing. You want to spread the field and not have too many players super close to each other. Spread the field and get as wide as you can and make the opponent cover a longer distance.

Second, we want to be able to pass and catch.

And third, clearing is all about fundamental movements for each space on the field. But do the players know what to do when they get to those spots? It’s important to keep it simple so players understand each other well on the field.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Mastering the Clearing Game” with John Danowski. To check out more videos focusing on clearing and rides, click here.




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