A dominant face-off man can change the outcome of a lacrosse game, whether it’s paving the way for fast break opportunities and scoring opportunities or preventing an opposing team from gaining momentum. An effective face-off man can also control the time of possession for his team, which will ultimately give his side a better chance at winning a particular contest.
With current Lehigh University head coach Kevin Cassese as your guide, check out these four useful face-off moves to see how you can start implementing them at your next practice. Hopefully, after learning some of the key techniques, your squad can gain a major advantage at the face-off X.
Start in your normal lacrosse position. Then, at the sound of the whistle, take your left fist and punch it forward as you clamp. This maneuver will get the ball into the small of your stick and block the opposing player’s stick away from the ball. Plus, it allows the strength of your stick to control the move. Forearm and wrist strength are also key towards having an effective power clamp move.
As you go to clamp, shift yourself over the ball. Then, pull your back hand up a tiny bit and rake the ball out the front side.
As soon as you hear the whistle, move yourself down the right side of the mid-line, pushing forward. Then, jam the ball into the small of your stick and make a big step with your right foot. Rake the ball out the back, turn and box your man out.
Don’t just swing it down the line, get the ball into the small of your stick and rake it back into space where an opposing player can’t get to it.
Don’t forget to about the key elements of a good lacrosse face-off stance: Keep your feet shoulder width apart and your backside down. Your knees should be bent and low to the ground. Your hands should be light yet explosive. Always keep your head and body out of the neutral zone and don’t lean over the ball. Plus, your stick shaft should be parallel to the midfield line.
The previous face-off drills can be seen in detail on Championship Productions’ DVD “Becoming a Champion Lacrosse Player: The Face-Off” with Kevin Cassese. Check out our entire lacrosse face-off catalog right here.