Championship Productions Blog

Archives by Tag 'Kevin Donahue'

Work on Fighting Off a Clamp!

By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Syracuse University assistant coach, Kevin Donahue, teaches players how to clamp or counter against an opponent that wants to clamp on a face-off. This is a great live drill that is sure to improve your players’ face-off technique and ability to battle, and win, a ball that’s up for grabs.

The Bull

Drill Summary: Set up with two lines of players. Have the first person in each line step forward — their job is to always clamp on the face-off. The next player in each line steps up and will face-off with the full-time clamper. Have both pairs of players face-off at the same time, with the person facing off against the clamper alternating techniques (clamping the clamper and countering the clamp). Each ball is live until one person can secure it. Continue rotating players through, and don’t forget to sub in new clampers every couple minutes.

Keys to the Drill:

1) Work on clamping the clamper.
2) Work on countering the clamp.
3) Go until someone wins the ball.
4) Focus on angles and technique.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video “The Encyclopedia of Faceoffs.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!

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Stop More Shots Using These Goalie Techniques!

By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Two key components that go into championship-level goalkeeping are hand movement and footwork. In this clip, Syracuse University assistant coach, Kevin Donahue, explains how keeping hands comfortable and relaxed while conditioning the lead and trail leg of the goalie can help them become a more consistent presence in the net.

Save Technique

Drill Summary: When defending shots, make sure the goalie’s top hand is soft on the stick and they’re holding the stick away from their body (this prevents rebounds). As the goalie moves the stick around to defend shots, it’s important that both hands work together. The feet should follow wherever the hands move first. Remember to move the trail leg after moving the lead leg, otherwise the goalie will allow a large hole between their legs for shooters to take advantage of.

Keys to the Drill:

1) Soft top hand.
2) Hands out and away from body.
3) Move the stick in arcs.
4) Feet follow hands.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Building a Championship Goalie.” View other world class Lacrosse videos!

Essential Face-Off Techniques: Proper Hand and Foot Placement

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Looking to be a difference-maker at the face-off X this season? Follow along with Syracuse assistant men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Donahue as he breaks down proper hand and foot placement when it comes to face-offs. These must-have tips and techniques will go a long way towards improving your fundamentals as you look to make strides in your face-off play.

Hand Placement

First, your top hand should be as high as the rules allow you to get. The further up you can get, the better (and obviously playing within the rules of the game). This is where the force is going to come from. If you are down lower, you will lose a lot of leverage.

Eventually you have to make a decision about which grip to use. Do you go with a regular grip or a reverse/motorcycle grip? Well, both have advantages. For instance, the reverse grip can be quite effective, but it limits what other moves you can use. Meanwhile, the regular grip allows you to have more counters and helps disguise what you are doing a little more.

All the while, your left hand is really important and don’t use it effectively enough. Where you place your left hand depends on which  move you are going to do.

*Now follow closely as Coach Donahue provides some examples of proper hand placement during face-offs.

Tip #1 — If your hand is close to your other hand, with a very short movement, your handle can go a long way. While it can be quick, the problem with this is that with your hands that close, you lose power. If the opponent is using a power move on you, you won’t have any strength.

Tip #2 — If you bring your hand all the way down to the end of the stick, your hand has to move farther and it’s much slower. But you have power.

Foot Placement

When it comes to your feet, they MUST be able to support what you are doing with your hands. For example, most kids in lacrosse camps have their feet back too far on face-offs. In this position, they simply won’t be able to move their hands very well.

Therefore, keep the right foot close to the hands. This will allow a player to get his weight off of his hands, also allowing the athlete to get their right shoulder over the ball, which is where you want to be anyway.

Meanwhile, the placement of the left leg is a bit trickier. It can actually take a while for a player to figure out where he wants it and what works best. Many times it often depends on the size of the player. For instance, taller guys may have to stick their leg out a little because otherwise it’s just not comfortable any other way.

Also, try turning in a little bit, especially if clamping. This will really help you get to where you want to go.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD The Encyclopedia of Face-Offs.” To check out more lacrosse videos featuring face-off tips and techniques, click here. 

Brand New Lacrosse DVDs featuring John Desko and Kevin Donahue!

By nate.landas - Last updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We have recently released two new Lacrosse DVDs featuring John Desko and Kevin Donahue.  Coach Desko is the Syracuse University Head Men’s Coach and has 5 NCAA Championships throughout his coaching career.  Assistant Coach Donahue has been on the coaching staff of 11 National Championship teams.  The names of these Lacrosse DVDs are:

The Syracuse Way: Building a Championship Lacrosse Program

  • Learn to build a championship-caliber program from 5x National Championship coach John Desko
  • Replace line drills with game-skill drills to make your warm-up time game relevant
  • Learn progressive drills to benefit your offensive and defensive play
  • Get a blueprint for structuring a year round practice and player development program

Building a Championship Goalie

  • Develop quick hands and reduce unnecessary movements before the shot
  • Correct and build an effective goalie stance, positioning and movement.
  • Learn warm-ups and technique drills that build and reinforce proper fundamentals that result in important saves


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